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First-Year College Reflections: From Rainy Beginnings to Lasting Friendships

As I approach my second year at the University of Miami, I can't help but reflect on the significant academic experiences that have shaped my journey so far. From the excitement of move-in day, accompanied by my grandpa, to the challenges and triumphs in my classes, my time at the university has been a transformative learning experience.

The first day of classes brought a mix of anticipation and nervousness. As the rain poured outside, I was determined to make the most of my academic pursuits despite the overwhelming excitement that kept me up for just four hours the night before. Throughout the year, I encountered challenging moments, especially during certain exams. One memorable instance was an oral exam in Italian, which tested my language skills beyond my expectations. Despite putting in extra effort and pulling an all-nighter to memorize a script, I learned the hard way about the consequences of procrastination. However, such experiences taught me valuable lessons about time management and the importance of consistent dedication to my studies.

As a first-year student, I eagerly explored the various clubs and organizations hosted by the university. Striving to strike a balance between extracurricular involvement and my academic commitments, I joined the Criminology Club and First Generation Canes. These choices not only complimented my interests but also provided me with unique perspectives on criminal justice beyond the confines of the classroom. Engaging in their activities and discussions enriched my learning experience and allowed me to connect with like-minded peers who shared similar passions.

Studying at the University of Miami has demanded considerable dedication. On average, I find myself devoting around 4 to 6 hours each day to focused studying, supplemented by group discussions and research projects. This commitment has allowed me to immerse myself fully in the academic material and participate actively in classroom discussions, fostering a deeper understanding of the subjects.

Interestingly, the social scene, which I initially thought would be the primary source of friendships, led me to discover that most of my closest friends were actually made in my classes. Forming a study group with peers from my Government class not only helped us excel academically but also created lasting bonds based on shared interests and academic pursuits. These friendships have become an integral part of my college experience and have contributed to my growth both academically and personally.

Despite the challenges of dorm life, I cherish the meaningful memories created in that environment. From dimly lit showers to fluctuating water temperatures, these minor inconveniences pale in comparison to the sense of camaraderie and support that dorm living fosters.

Looking forward to my second year, I am excited to build upon the academic foundation I have laid during my first year. As I continue my studies at the University of Miami, I am committed to facing new challenges with determination and curiosity. The experiences and lessons from my first year have instilled in me a passion for learning and a drive to exceed my own expectations, making me eager to embrace the academic opportunities that lie ahead.

Written by Jazmin P.

(WayFinder Consulting's College Intern)

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