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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

What I’ve Learned in College

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UMB logo displayed alongside the word “welcome” in other languages. 

I am a freshman here at the University of Massachusetts Boston, originally from Western Massachusetts. Although I haven’t been here long enough to really know what I’m talking about, there are a lot of things I have learned in college so far, beyond the typical classroom curriculum. The first thing I learned was in the classroom, however. My senioritis did not disappear over those few months post high-school graduation, before moving here. The lack of motivation hit hard this fall semester, and I have only just begun to get into a routine for the spring semester. I also had a harsh awakening that attendance really does matter in college, something I wasn’t used to after high school. I could miss a week of school when I was in high school, and be completely fine catching up on work, but now if I miss one class, it becomes my biggest headache of the week.
A huge difference I have noticed is a change in the social climate. No one knows anyone and so no one has a reputation. It’s like a fresh start. This is good if you’re in need of one, but it can be frustrating because you have no perception of anyone else. You don’t know if the guy in your class was notorious for getting girls drunk and taking advantage of them, or if the girl next to you will talk behind your back. It’s nice to begin again, but it has been a big struggle of mine: not knowing where you fit in, who you click with, and a number of other social pressures that are overall just very stressful. I don’t have a hard time getting along with anyone in general, but it can be hard to not have any background perception on someone.
Another difference in college is that everyone here is here for a reason. We all pay to go here, so we all care to learn and at least show up. Of course, there might be some odd balls who goof around because their parents foot the bill, but for the most part I think the average student is pretty serious about their studies. I like that about college, because it can be pretty distracting having everyone around you focusing on something else. Plus, I think it helps that we aren’t a party school like UMass Amherst, so there’s less going on to distract me from what I’m really here for.
Now, all of this may sound like just a freshman getting used to the way things go in college. And that’s true, I am still adjusting here. However, I think we all have had these thoughts and problems arise when we first began college. It is not easy, and it is definitely very different than anything (at least in my case) I have ever known. I know I will adapt to this new environment, but things sure have taken an alternate route than what I’m used to.

About the Contributor
Grace Smith, Editor-in-Chief