All right. I have to keep it real. I could have done better. Looking back on my first year of college, I can’t help but think of the many things that I could have done differently. From finances to school to friends, the list seems to go on and on. Now don’t get me wrong; I think I did pretty a-okay for all that I had going on.
That said, I’m going to make this year mine.
Before all else, money came first in all of my stresses. Not having any financial aid or scholarships, I had to figure out how to make ends meet. Finding ways to make ends meet kept me up at night (among many other things, of course). Okay, let me backtrack a bit. I do have the highest tier of Bright Futures, a Florida-based scholarship that covers all tuition and college fees. After that, though, the trickle of money ends.
Everything else falls on my shoulders: rent, food, bills, books, class fees, etc.
And to make matters even better, the University of Florida makes health insurance a requirement. So if you just happened to not have insurance like little, old me, you’d have to cough up a beautiful $883 just for the fall semester. Let’s just say that your girl here had below three bucks in her account for a hot minute.
“But why not get a job?” you ask.
Literally within the first weekend of moving to Gainesville, I got myself an interview and landed one. Meet Alexa, your very own Pizza Olo at Blaze. Since they paid minimum wage, I had to barricade myself in hours to be able to treat myself every now and then, if not to just stay afloat. Living from paycheck to paycheck, it felt like I never caught a break. So entering this new year, I plan to set new payment standards for myself. I left Blaze for a better paying job. If come the time for another change, however, I have to keep in mind that I need a job that can accommodate a low amount of hours and still pay all of my expenses.
As warned by the masses, working so much ended up affecting my performance in school for the worse.
Since all of my classes were during the day, I could only work to close. Pushing thirty plus hours a week, it felt that I only ever went to school and work. Each time I would come home, I usually crashed or half assed my assignments. Studying got pushed to later time and time again. Now entering sophomore year, I already requested an availability change to no more than twenty-five hours a week, with three days set aside for school and extracurriculars. On top of that, I personally scheduled library time dedicated to studying, staying on top of assignments, writing and editing. And better yet, I will dip my feet in more extracurricular ventures. This time around, I plan on mentally putting school first — something that I didn’t quite do last year.
I don’t know about you, but the transition into freshman year didn’t go too well for me.
Still now, I have yet to actually make any friends. Well, friends simply from campus rather than work (shoutout to my couple of work buddies). Now, I must admit, I kind of fed the problem. I live in my headphones with the sole purpose of distraction and blocking out the outside world. I’m the type to walk into class with my buds in and not take them out until the professor begins the lecture. Definitely unapproachable. Even then, a part of me craved some friends. People of mine that I could vibe and hang with.
This year, I must (and will) make at least ONE good friend.
Just one. I’m not picky. I am a bit picky, though. Only in the sense that I want people who truly care for me — people who genuinely and wholesomely want to better me and have me a part of their life. Yes, I take friendship pretty seriously. But I think that I’m merited since I reciprocate in tenfold. So sue me. I’m that girl wanting some real deal human connection. I think maybe the loneliness played into my mental health, so this year I plan on going out and making some long-lasting relationships.
A total overthinker, this just grazes the surface of all the ways that I plan on leveling up for the upcoming year. So much to do in so little time, I’m actually ready for all this year throws at me.
Let’s go, sophomore year. 2020, get ready to become my b****.