5 things I learned in my first week of in-person college


September 5, 2021

I just finished my first official week of in-person college! Even though I’m a Sophomore, this is my first time on campus, as I completed my entire freshman year of college online from Dubai, which was not ideal. This semester I moved to Washington DC and I’ve been living out that college experience I had planned, and I’ve been learning a lot while I’m here. I’ve been navigating a new city, alongside being independent for the first time, feeling a bit homesick, adjusting to a new social life, and of course the stressful academics – it’s been busy! I thought it would be fun to share 5 things that I’ve learned during my (kind of) first week of college. I’ll obviously write some more serious posts like this later on in the semester once I’ve experienced a lot more, but for now, here are some fun little lessons I’ve learned!

1. Cafeteria food gets really repetitive really fast

Everyone always complains about cafeteria food, and I did try and go in with an open mind! However, after a week and a bit of eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same place with the same rotating menu, I’m definitely getting a bit sick of the food. I guess I might have to start venturing into the communal kitchen and cooking there… I’ll keep you updated.

2. There will never be silence

I’m very much the type of person that likes to have a quiet room to sleep in or a quiet study space, but I’ve just kind of come to accept that wherever you are at college, there will always be someone close by doing something noisy. I’m getting used to that!

3. If you want to see an empty campus, wake up early on Saturday or Sunday morning

I love the hustle and bustle of campus during the day when everyone’s out and about walking to class or socializing. But, the introvert in me also loves campus once in a while when it’s quiet and calm. Living in a place that’s always buzzing with energy can be a bit overwhelming sometimes when you just want a moment to unwind and relax. I love waking up early and going for runs or even just waking up early on the weekends when all the party-ers from the night before aren’t up yet.

4. Professors are not as scary as you’d think

I feel like, in high school, our teachers always talked about preparing us for college and how college professors would have such high expectations. And while most professors do have high academic expectations, I’ve found that after meeting all my professors in person, most of them are really nice and just like to chat with their students and make some cringey jokes related to their subject area. It was a nice surprise!

5. Everyone’s just doing their own thing

It’s weird returning to in-person education after so long, and especially coming back to a large university instead of high school. I feel like I’m not the only person who thinks that everyone is constantly looking at you and noticing what you’re doing (not in a narcissistic way, but in a “haven’t-been-around-this-many-people-in-a-while-way”) But everyone is just so focused on what they’re doing and busy with their own things, that they honestly don’t notice if you trip while you’re walking or if drop something on your shirt in the cafeteria.

I obviously have a lot more learning to do while I am here, but these are just a few of the things I’ve picked up on since I’ve been here. I’m excited to be taking you along this journey with me! You can read my post from last week here, which detailed why I chose to make another expat move to DC. I’ll be keeping you updated over on my Instagram @little.miss.expat, so be sure to follow me there!

See you next week,

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