Monday, May 4, 2015

Freshmen 15

The notorious fear that comes with entering your first year of college is the Freshmen 15. Due to the excessive amount of coffee, $5 pizza, buffets in the cafeteria and endless amounts of ice cream, the myth is you gain fifteen extra pounds your freshman year of college. As my freshman year is coming to an end I want to share my personal freshman fifteen- what all I’ve gained.

  1. A fresh start: I’ve gained the ability to let go of everything that was holding me down in my hometown. Going away to college isn’t necessarily going to get rid of all your problems but taking a step into a new town with new people opens up a door that you just can’t open at home.
  2. Confidence: Whether I wanted to admit it or not, in high school I was consumed with caring what everyone thought. That’s something that is almost impossible to overcome and easy to do subconsciously. Since my time in college, my fear of being liked has dwindled and my confidence has grown just by the freedom of getting to start over.
  3. Fear of the Future: Although this is a fear, it is something important to gain! I have dreams, goals and career aspirations that would have never crossed my mind if I didn’t attend college. It’s a scary, inspiring thing to fear the future.
  4. Trial and Error: Boy have I screwed up this year. What I've learned really is that college is a whole lot of testing the waters.
  5. People to miss: Being 4 hours away from my family and closest friends has given me a heavy heart in loving as many people as I can from a distance.
  6. Independence: This one may seem like a given but it will hit you like a bus. I’ve always felt very independent growing up but I am now experienced to the true meaning of freedom. By the way, grocery shopping comes with that and it is no fun.
  7. Tattoos: Ok but seriously, I came in with one and I’m leaving with four…
  8. Anxiety: If you really knew me you’d know that I’ve never struggled with anxiety or understood it prior to college. Well now I can say I can understand the feeling crystal clear.
  9. Friendships: I have met the most amazing people here and the absolute worst people here. The biggest aspect of college that I am grateful for is the ability to separate yourself from the “bad apples.” You can pick and choose who to have valuable friendships with and I have made the best of friends over the past year!
  10. How to be a pro at being lonely:  As much time that I get to spend with people, the majority of my day when I am in and out of classes is spent alone. This was really hard for me at first because I talk so much that when I have no one to talk to I get a little crazy. It’s something that I am grateful to have learned because it has made me so aware of what is best for me.
  11. How to live off of $5 for two weeks: No explanation needed.
  12. Curiosity: Since I have lived in the same area my whole life, moving to Denton has meant that I’ve had to find all the best coffee shops, restaurants and fun things to do around here. Man, has it been an awesome adventure.
  13. Planner: I’ve never used a planner before and now I write down what time I’m going to eat otherwise I’ll just forget.
  14. YOUNGLIFE: I’ve done YL all throughout high school, I came to college not even wanting to be a leader and now I am a college leader at UNT. Probably the biggest part of me that was gained my freshmen year was through YoungLife.
  15. A Relationship with Jesus: If you really knew me you would know that a relationship with Jesus was never something I was chasing after. Honestly for me to be saved during my first year of college was the last thing I expected but the love of Jesus was something that I couldn’t run away from anymore. Not to say I haven’t made mistakes this school year, actually my first semester was nothing but mistakes, to say the least. I'm thankful for a graceful God!

My freshman fifteen has created a journey that I am so happy to have gained. I could lose a few pounds on my list but some weight I don’t ever want to leave me. Goodbye to my freshman year of college, I am ready for what is to come!

-Alyssa Stringer

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