I am out!

by Astrid Rangel

Recently I had to say goodbye to the place I called home for two full semesters. If you have read any of my other posts, you will know I am pretty blunt with what I write and I will say, I CRIED! I lived there for almost a year and I made some pretty good memories with the people there. I have made friendships that I hope last a lifetime. I am not disappointed at all of my first year of college. It was everything I had imagined and more. Texas State was more than good to me and for that I thank whatever higher power had to do with that. See, a lot of things happened in the course of two semesters and I know they have made me a better person in general.

First, DORM LIFE.  

Living in a dorm is not as bad as some people make it seem. I can say I enjoyed it more than I should have. Sterry Hall was a great place live in general. The community feel is amazing. The RAs were always there to help, and I got the best RESIDENCE DIRECTOR I could have asked for. I joined Hall Council and even though it was hard to balance everything I had to do, it was one of the best decisions I could have made. I got to meet a lot of interesting people and getting involved helped me open up to a lot of other opportunities. So if you are an incoming freshman and you are hesitant about living in a dorm, my advice would be get out there. DO NOT stay in your room for the first three days because you are afraid. That’s what I did, and I found out that when I opened that door great things happened. Go down to the lobby, make friends, talk to the RAs (they are actually really open to talking to their residents), just be yourself and go out there. You won’t regret it, I promise.

Second, CLASSES. 

Hold on to your seats, guys, because classes are a complete roller coaster.  Being responsible is a very important part of you now. You have to be on top of everything. THINGS DON’T GET EASY. But then again, anything that is easy is not worth the while. Your syllabus will be your best friend and believe me when I say you’re going to want to memorize that thing front and back. Studying will also become your life. You just have to. It’s not high school anymore. Your professors want you to pass, but they can’t help you out if you don’t put the necessary effort. So just be responsible, be aware of your work and you should be fine.

Third, HAVING FUN. 

I think one of the main things people think when they think of college is all the parties and the fun they will have. I won’t lie. I had my fair share of fun this past two semesters, yet BALANCE was very important. Knowing when to and when not to go out is major. I saw people get totally consumed by the party scene and things didn’t end well for them. Yes, HAVE FUN. Go out and meet people, try new things, open your mind, but at the same time be careful. You will get to learn your limits. College is not just about seriousness. Education is important but once in a while we all need to take a little stress off.

Fourth, BEING AWAY FROM HOME. 

Being away from home is a challenge all on its own. It can get lonely but if you go out there and make friends you will be fine. Make sure to always find a positive outlet to just let go of anything that may be bothering you. At times you will be feel alone, sad and nostalgic but don’t let it consume you. YOU are where you are for a reason. Never let go of that.

Another note I will give you is MAKE SURE YOU KNOW HOW TO DO LAUNDRY.  I saw some pretty funny things happen just because people didn’t know how to do it and you don’t want to be that person. Oh, and the freshman 15 is an actual thing, although at Texas State every day is leg day so be prepared for that. You may or may not get used to running up a hill at 9:05 in the morning when you are late to class. Being away from home was one of the best decisions I made so I hope that when you go through it, it’s as good as it was for me.

Fifth, FRIENDS, FRIENDS, FRIENDS. 

I think one of the best things that happened to me these last two semesters was meeting such amazing people. From my hall council E-Board members to meeting one of my best friends is just exactly what I needed. They are the best thing I had and I love them for that. I don’t think I could have made them out alive without them. So to everyone I got to know these last two semesters THANK YOU! You are the reason I made it through and I hope I made an equal impact on your life. See, over the course of the years I have found that it is not about where you are, it’s about who you are with that really counts. So when you decide to make friends, keep in mind that they can and will become a huge part of your experience and that hanging around toxic people can hurt you. Always be open to making new and different friendships because the more you know, the better you can be.

Sixth, FUTURE, FUTURE, FUTURE. 

When you go into college one of the main question you will encounter is WHAT IS YOUR MAJOR? or WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WHEN YOU FINISH COLLEGE? Now let me tell you something. When I was in high school I thought I knew exactly what I needed and wanted to do with the rest of my life. That changed my junior year when I fell in love with theatre.  See, before I used to be so set on doing my pre-med requirements and becoming a doctor, but I found that in a way that wasn’t for me. So I changed my major. It is one of the best decisions I have made for myself because I love what I am going into. Besides, I am currently 19 years old and I don’t think I should have my life figured out step by step just yet. If you are a junior or senior in high school or even if you’re in college already, think about it. I decided to change because I realized that my life was going in a different direction. In a few years from now, I have no idea what I will be doing and the thought is scary but at the same time comforting. I know that when I finish college I will be doing something I love and at that point it won’t be a job. It’s my passion, it’s my life, it’s theatre. As YOU make the big decision as to what you want to do with your life, look at everything. Picture yourself 20, maybe even 30 years from now and try to see if you can picture yourself doing what it is you are choosing. If that’s the case, then go ahead. No matter what people tell you, or what society tells you, DO IT.  It’s your life and as cliche as it sounds, following your dreams should be your main priority. If you are any bit like me then you will find that there is a certain beauty to the unknown.

I have done it. I did it. It might not have turned out exactly how I planned but I loved every step of the way. With this post I say goodbye to my freshman year of college. Yet, all the memories and the friendships I have made go with me and they will always remain. So as you go out there and start your first, second, etc. year of college I urge you to EXPLORE, LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE, HURT, EXPERIENCE, but most of all, LEARN. Make sure you learn everything that is put in front of you. Doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad, knowledge is power. I can promise you it will come in handy at some point. Now, always remember :

“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

I am proud to have become a BOBCAT because you know BOBCATS are pretty amazing.

Thank you for this first and awesome year,TEXAS STATE.

I look forward for rest of them because they can only get better from here.

Much love,

Astrid A. Rangel ❤🐾

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