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Four Years at the Mount

Freshman year

Part 2 - College Dorm Life

Samantha Strub

The anticipation was there! Driving toward Maryland with my parents to move into Mount St Mary's. It seemed to take so long. Why? The one day that I would like go quickly became the longest. I was shaking as we moved closer to my new home.

Pulling up to campus with the cars packed with the important supplies that all college students need. Unreal! I couldn't believe this was actually happening! I went to sign in and get my key, and when I got back to my car, almost all of my things were out. The peer mentors were so nice moving almost all of my heavy stuff, making me feel right at home.

Walking up to my dorm was the scariest thing that I have ever done. Sure I was excited to meet my roommate. We had been talking on face book, that wonderful network, to get to know each other and figure out what we were each going to bring. She is from Maryland, and it was nice to be paired with someone who was from close by.

Still I had this sick feeling in my gut as I climbed those stairs. Turns out that I had nothing to fear, and Erin and I have gotten to be great friends, helping each other with homework, getting up on time, overriding parents, and of course handling the all important guy problems. Yes, we do have our days when we make each other mad; but then we explain it to each other and are good. It's nice to have that constant friend in your roommate, who is always there when you need a helping hand or just want to gossip about the newest guy, along with everything else.

Adjusting to college wasn't as hard as I expected. Yeah, the space is small; people are loud and communal bathrooms--so nasty! Besides that it's really a lot of fun. You become very close with the other girls in your hall. Sometimes you're even in the same classes as them, which is a huge help when you have no idea what the homework is or just don't understand something. I don't know how often I have run down the hall to get much needed, hurried help-- or someone storms into my room pleading for help. It's in these moments that true friends are made. My hall mates and I have all kinds of memorable moments helping each other or just goofing around. One such time was when my friend, M. C. needed something nice to wear for her field placement. We had been looking for something for about a half hour and found nothing. We went around and asked pretty much everyone in our hall to see if they had anything. We talked to people we had never talked to before. Our hall bonded just to help us find an outfit. After about two hours ewe had success!

College isn't all about having fun and making friends, a huge part of it is those all important grades. You go to college to get an education, and to achieve that goal you have to work hard. There always seems to be some kind of homework or studying to be done. I thought I had a lot of homework in high school. I couldn't have been more wrong. High school was a cakewalk compared to college. Now we only have a few classes a day but then you have hours upon hours of homework! There are many nights when I'm up till two or later, still plugging away. I do bring those nights upon myself because hanging out with friends is such a great temptation that you procrastinate until the last minute. You soon learn to adequately manage your time so everything gets done and you get to bed at a decent hour. Once you have mastered that you are good to go!

One challenge that comes from studying in a dorm room is the noise. Someone is always screaming, talking loudly, playing music, and so on. A lot of times you have to learn how to work though the noise. You really don't have much of a choice. It's either find a way to deal with the distractions or you fail. A lot of time you can go to the library to have some peace and quiet, move into the hallway, or listen to music. Listen to music, you say. How does that help you to focus? For me having that background noise helps me to focus. Crazy I know.

The music can't be new because then I want to learn the song instead of doing the homework. However, if I know the song it causes me to focus better and I actually do better work. It's very surprising that my work comes out better when I'm jamming, but I have found something that works so I'm going to stick to it. In college, you learn how to adapt to your new environment, and you learn new things about yourself in the process. You learn the ways that you study best, how much you need to do it.

I knew from high school that I do better work in math when I have music on, but I didn't know that I need music to write papers as well. It's very important that when you start college you figure out how best to study--whether it's alone, in groups, or little bit of both. College is an unreal experience, full of hard work and fun that turns into an exciting journey. Within four years you will figure out who you are, and what kind of person you want to be. It gives you the education you need to make something with your life, along with lessons that you will have with you forever. Everyone will have challenges and bad days when they want to give up. That's all part of life. In the end, though, the hardships will seem like nothing because of all the good that will come out of preserving and chasing your dreams.

Samantha Strub is a Freshman at Mt. St. Mary's majoring in English. Samantha will be authoring an on-going column as she progressed from being a Freshman to Mount graduate.

Read past editions of Samantha Strub's Four Years at the Mount

Samantha Strub is a Freshman at Mt. St. Mary's majoring in English with a Secondary Education minor. Samantha will be authoring an on-going column sharing her thoughts, achievements, thrills and yes disappointments as she progressed from being a Freshman to Mount graduate.