First Semester Reflection by Jade Ganter

My First week of college was just as I expected it to be. Saying goodbye to my parents was hard but I was excited for the journey that was ahead of me. I was determined to make all A's my first semester and have tons of extracurricular activities. I was unbelievably motivated and I couldn't wait to start my academic experience at UF strong.

Moving in day

At preview, I created a schedule that I know that would work for me. I was able to sleep in until 10 at least everyday and get back to my dorm by dinner. I thought this was perfect because in high school, I would be up at 6:30 every morning and get home by 7:00 at the latest and I still managed to make all A's. I thought that I would have so much free time in college and would have so many opportunities to study during the week so that I my weekends would be designated for my free-time activities.

First Gator Game!

Little did I know that even making my 11:45 am class would be a struggle and my weekends would consist of trips to the library. I would stay up till 3 am most nights doing homework and talking to my friends who moved to the west coast for college. I had to set multiple alarms in five minute intervals every morning in order to ensure that I would wake up and be on time. My grades never struggled badly my first semester, even with this abnormal sleep schedule. But, I did realize that I needed to manage my time differently. I prioritized my schoolwork as number one without exceptions. This may seem great but I soon began to do things that I loved less. I used to workout everyday and I loved it. Towards the beginning of the semester I went to the gym at most twice a week.

This not an actual photo of me but I can very much relate to this

Even though my grades were right where I wanted them, my health suffered at the expense of straight A's. Due to hours on end at Library West, I lived off Jimmy Johns and Starbucks. The fluorescent lighting became my main source of daily light. Therefore, began to lose my Floridian glow and muscle mass. This change was gradual and I didn't even notice until I went back home for Thanksgiving break when my family commented on my "sickly glow" and how "college must of taken a toll on me". I didn't understand. I felt happy because I had all A's and thats all I wanted out of my first semester.

my daily breakfast

I decided that I needed to make a change second semester. I created my second semester schedule so that I would be done with classes by 4 pm three out of the five days and by 12 pm the other two days. This change will be hard because I am not a morning person but I need this in order to get a job so I can have money to buy real food and make time for myself during the evenings.

my goal for second semester!

As a whole, my first semester of college was pretty good. I wasn't able to volunteer or become a member of any clubs, which is disappointing to me, because I wasn't familiar with what's out there. Now that I know what I like and what there is to offer I can choose what I want to be a part of. Hopefully, I develop better time management skills next semester so that I can feel healthier but still keep my grades up.

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