A Look Back on My First College Semester

As I am writing this post, my Fall 2017 semester is beginning to wrap up. I only have a few finals left, a jury (something I know other music majors are cringing about, too), and a large essay to finish before I’m home for the Holidays.

It’s weird to think that just a few months ago, I was unpacking my dorm room. I look around my room now, and it feels like a true home away from home. In fact, I use the term “I’m going home” more often than “I’m heading back to my dorm” nowadays. Yet, when I first stepped into my room back in August, I took one look at the empty bed and blank white walls and wondered how on earth I would ever get used to such a different living space.

This semester has shaped me into a new and better person, and for that I am grateful. When I arrived on campus, I only knew 4 people (one of them being my roommate), and now I look forward to going to lectures and to the dining halls so I can see my School of Music and Marching Illini friends.

I thought college academics were going to be like high school. However, learning that college academics were a lot more challenging helped me become a better person, too. I’ve learned how to be more independent, how to manage my time wisely, and how to prioritize things in a healthy manner.

A year ago today, I had no idea if I would even be accepted into the University of Illinois. I knew it was my dream school, and I knew I was working hard on my college audition and application to get me here, but it was only a dream. University of Illinois was something I had only seen in brief glimpses on a band trip and heard about through word of mouth. A year later, I live here, I enjoy classes here, and I have friends here that I know will last a lifetime.

If you’re a senior in high school getting ready for your new college adventure next year, know that college will be much different than you think. I thought I would be prepared, with my long packing list in one hand and new textbooks in the other. But college is a new adventure. Be excited, be scared, but most of all be ready to feel like you never have before after only your first semester. Life gets faster, school gets harder, but you won’t want to trade it for anything.

I’m so thankful for my first semester here at the University of Illinois. With many more semesters left to go and more adventures at every turn, I know life will never get dull over the next four years. I’m ready for every second of it.


Thanks for reading! Until next time, I-L-L!



Class of 2021
My major is Instrumental Music Education within the College of Fine and Applied Arts. I'm also part of the Marching Illini! Before moving to Urbana, I lived in Collinsville, Illinois, where we are known for some killer Italian food and the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle.