Freshman life from Baltimore, Maryland’s Goucher College
I am back home for the holiday break. Although, like many schools, Goucher does offer some courses over the break, I figured I would take the time off during my freshmen year and enjoy being home for the generous month the students are allotted. Only a week into my break, I’m pretty sure I have made a big mistake. Sure, I am thoroughly enjoying the warm weather, but sunny days only take me so far when life inside can be a bit cloudy, because having the freedom that college allows is restricted as parental rules and expectations revert back to pre-college time. Quite accustomed to coming and going without having to answer to anyone, these once-routine interrogations have become beyond annoying.
By no fault of their own, my parents are doing what they know best, continuing where they left off, still trying desperately to cram in life skills at every opportunity they get. Yet despite their efforts, these past few months do not easily allow for the continuation of the once-customary and expected drilling. As this seems to be an inevitable turn on the rocky and wonderful course of college adjustment, I do recognize how important it is that I realize I am not the only one confronting change. Parents, too, must adjust and work to achieve a balance so as not to cramp the student’s style, while still exercising some degree of authority that will last (or seem to) forever.
Besides working toward this happy parental medium, I have really enjoyed catching up and spending time with high school friends. Although most of us are at different schools, key college experiences in general seem to be the same from one school to the next, making it easy to relate to and relive each other’s dramas. Being back in the Miami bubble, I especially enjoy hearing from Goucher friends. Because the last time I really lived at home, I didn’t know the people I now consider friends and hear from regularly, receiving a phone call is a wonderful reminder of how far I have come. Although before college I may have questioned feeling comfortable after only one semester, three weeks at college is like three months in high school. Living with your friends and having no boundaries accelerates friendships and bonds. Although it may not be a plus to be tempted to visit friends rather than studying, living without the restrictions often imposed by families can (at times) be quite liberating (as I have obviously come to realize).
Now that the semester has come to a close, I have my grades for the first semester. Never before exposed to pluses and minuses, I have mixed feelings about the degree of my grade being so public. I used to enjoy the anonymity the solid grade offered. Although there may be more pressure to earn these extra points, I have found the report card itself is not such a big deal (as it was in high school). Done are the days of anxiously awaiting (and signing for) the highly confidential report card (and the teacher’s approving or disapproving glare). There does not seem to be surprise regarding college grades, as they are available on-line much sooner than Miami-Dade or Broward County could ever get their act together.
So although I may elect to take courses during next year’s holiday break, I cannot honestly say it would only be to avoid living at home. Sure, I have no problem complaining. But my complaining only goes so far when I enjoy a home cooked meal every night, I can listen to my music as loud as I want without disturbing anyone (my sister does not count), I do not share a bathroom with every other girl on my floor, and I have an entire month not to worry about pluses or minuses.