How I changed from freshman to senior year

four years have flown by

When I think back to my first day as a freshman at Florida State, I realize I literally had no idea what I was doing.

When I got my acceptance letter to FSU, it was surreal. I immediately thought of choosing my major, wearing garnet and gold, and going to football games. So many thoughts went through my mind about all the new and exciting things I was going to do when I got to school.

Coming to Florida State was also intimidating, because it is a big school and meant completely changing my lifestyle- from abiding by my parents’ house rules to managing my complete freedom.

With independence came challenges. Managing my social life- joining a sorority, making new friends, and getting involved with extra curriculars- while also being an Interior Design major (one of the most time consuming majors at FSU by far) was really hard at first. In high school, I only worried about my classes and playing soccer, so also having to balance cooking, laundry, and my general health, became tough. Managing all aspects of life got out of control at times, but it shaped me into a person who is successful in all areas of my life today.

You can’t compare yourself to others

I realized early on that the major I thought I was destined for, actually wasn’t for me. I was really excited to be an Interior Design major coming into FSU- I had always loved the idea of designing homes’ interiors, and my dad’s job as an architect influenced my decision. I would have had internships and a job set in stone after college with no problem. But, after constantly feeling overwhelmed and out of place, I ended up switching my major from Interior Design to Exploratory.

At the time, switching to Exploratory made me feel like I didn’t have a direction or purpose at FSU. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, compared to those who knew what they wanted to major in before they enrolled and stuck to it. This was the first lesson I learned in college.

Everyone has their own purpose in life, and everyone has different talents

Changing my major actually turned out to be one of the best decisions I made for myself. It gave me the time I needed to explore my options and reflect on my strengths. I realized I always loved journaling and expressing my thoughts on paper. I researched English majors and found Editing, Writing, & Media to be the perfect fit for me, because it encompasses not just creative writing, but also writing for online platforms and digital marketing.

And yes, I asked myself: “What the f*** am I going to do with an English degree after graduation?” Which led me to the next lesson in college: Do what you want to do, and what makes you happy. My dad always told me this, and he was right, but it did not become evident until I experienced it myself. This advice has contributed to my success and happiness both in and out of the classroom.

Once I found what my passion was, everything became easier, because school was no longer stressful, but enjoyable.

Socially, I joined a sorority and met a lot of new women who are some of my closest friends today. When I came to FSU, it seemed like the norm to join Greek Life. And because my sister was a part of it when she went here, it seemed natural to join one, too. So I did, and as a freshman, it was the perfect way to meet friends, be a part of something bigger than myself, and make FSU feel smaller than it is. I enjoyed my time in Greek Life- I liked attending philanthropies, going on socials and date functions, and having the house to relax in when the dorm didn’t quite feel like home. It also brought me to the next lesson I learned in college.

To each their own

After two years of being a part of a sorority, I realized it was not something I felt I fit into anymore. As I got older and started finding out who I was, I wanted to focus my time on other interests. By no means do I regret my time in Greek life- I tried something new, which is what college is all about- but to each their own. Now, I spend my free time focusing on improving my writing and accomplishing my health goals, two things I never prioritized as a freshman.

As the everyday chaos of college continues, reflecting on my time at FSU has made me realize these four years have flown by, and everything I've experienced since freshman year, both academically and socially, has shaped who I am today.

Florida State University