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7 College Lessons – Amanda Arvay

A little over four months ago, I anxiously boarded a plane, with four suitcases in tow, to begin the 1500-mile journey to Jamestown. Being from Pittsburgh, I am slightly out of my element having only visited the Midwest a handful of times and only in short increments of time before my move.

Thus, the transition into college was also coupled by a transition into a different culture. The colloquial expressions that are used, the way people are always super friendly to strangers, the way they expected people they had never met before to have at least one mutual friend — it all was very strange to me.

However, I feel as though my college experience at a school that’s so far away from home has been unique, but also a constant learning experience. Rarely being able to go home during my first semester has taught me a few important things on how to handle the stress of college, the reality of being 20 hours away from home, and what it means to live in North Dakota.

Here are some of the lessons I have learned:

1. Get out of your room.

As tempting as it may be to watch Netflix every day, go participate in the school activities, sporting events, or simply go to someone else’s room. The fondest memories that I have are when I’ve gone to hockey games and been able to teach my roommate, Emily, about the sport or when we went to a freshmen event and made goofy magnets with our friends from both Watson and Kroeze.

2. Sometimes it’s okay to take a break from studying to watch multiple meme videos.

If it’s all work all the time, your brain gets fried, and so I’ve learned that sometimes the best remedy for being over worked is to watch Bee Movie or Let It Grow meme videos on YouTube until you laugh so hard you’re crying.

3. Don’t under estimate the power of naps.

Seriously. Take that one-hour nap in between classes because you stayed up till 4 a.m. working on a paper.

4. In North Dakota, it snows a lot and it piles up very quickly.

Sure it does snow in Pittsburgh, but winter here is something else. The first large snow of the season hit so quickly that I barely had a chance to be excited for every single second of it. But believe me, I tried.

5. Learn to deal with the fact that will you never agree on how to say bag, flag, milk, or whether it’s dinner or supper.

For the record, it’s bāg, flāg, mĭlk, and most definitely dinner.

6. It’s okay to call home and sit on the phone for hours with your parents.

No matter what I’m feeling or what my day has been like, there’s nothing more comforting than knowing I can call home and someone will be there to listen to me vent, laugh, and talk on and on.

7. Pray. Pray. Pray.

When you move out, whether it is 5 or 500 miles, there is nothing more important than growing in your spiritual life. It can be hard to make time for God because there are so many other things that vie for your time and energy; however, if you ground yourself in Christ, everything else will follow.

Overall, I know that I have so much more to learn in this semester, let alone in the next three years. But for now, I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned, the friends I’ve made, and the endless memories I’ve created here at the University of Jamestown.

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Posted:February 3, 2017


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