First Semester Reflection

First Semester Reflection.

Wow. Just typing that out feels significant.

I did it. I have successfully completed my first semester of college. As I write to you now I am sitting in my bed, putting off going to the dining hall for lunch (because it’s cold out, and also because it’s not even 11:00 and I can’t remember if lunch will be running right now or if they changed the schedule for today), and basking in the glory of knowing that I have three and a half weeks of break ahead of me!

It’s mind blowing to think that there were times this summer that I wasn’t even sure if I would make it to college this year, and not only did I make it, I finished an entire semester and I did well too. I’m proud of myself, in case you couldn’t tell.

To mark this accomplishment I wanted to share with you a bit of a reflection on everything that went down this semester. Let’s get started!

First Semester by the Numbers:

Length of semester: 16 weeks

Courses taken: 4

Times I went to midnight breakfast: 3

Sports games attended: 1

Times I was carried back to my room bc POTS was just not having it: at least 4

Non-medical related times off campus: 4

Times I tried to study in the library: 1

Unwarranted ER trips: 1

Times it Snowed: 3

Blog posts published: not nearly as many as I would have liked (aka 7, click here for September, here for October, here for November, and here for December!)

Other Happenings This Semester (in no particular order):

I left my key in my room once when I took Peggy out at one am. As a result, I had to knock on my suitemates door until they woke up and let me in. Don’t worry though, I’ve done it for them too.

I once had a dinner that consisted of soup, a banana, and some maraschino cherries.

Peggy was fed French toast sticks and got really sick, and I had to miss class the next day to take her to the vet.

I went on a class trip and was served a completely raw burger… twice, because I sent it back and they made me a new one that was exactly the same.

I passed out in a hallway, and an hour later a classmate found me on the ground still unable to stand or walk steadily. He dragged me to class in an Amazon box so I wouldn’t miss our lab.

My neighbors invited me to come over and watch movies with them, and a room of 8 college age kids spent their Saturday night watching the Lion King and Moana.

I wrote a five page paper in three hours, and received an A on it.

The very first day of fall welcome weekend I had to miss a session to take a nap. My body had just had enough and needed a break. Though I had told those in charge of me where I was going and why, I was somehow reported as a missing person. The police came to my door and woke me up a couple hours into my nap. They thought the whole situation was quite funny and were thankfully amused. In the end it makes for quite a fun story!

I went to my friend’s room on the other side of campus at eleven at night one Friday. To make soup.

My first assignment was identical to one I had completed for AP English 11. I emailed my teacher from that year and thanked him for preparation he didn’t realize he was providing.

I spent a Friday night messing around in the VR lab (because I found out that my school has a VR lab), and was entertained by my friends trying to figure out the games. And look like absolute fools while doing it.

I earned a 100% on my first exam.

There is a “Danger: Do Not Enter” sign in our library, which I found when following the instructions I was given to the screening room… turns out she meant to tell me to make a right and then a left, not just to go left. But it was quite a fun little adventure.

I was invited to go to Target (and said yes, because Target), and met a group of super fun and kind girls who I am happy to now call my friends.

I used an entire container of pink Himalayan salt, and started on a second one. As a result, the people I usually eat with are no longer phased by the obscene amounts of salt I consume. Carrying around my own salt shaker on the other hand can still get some strange looks.

Tater tot Tuesday’s became something to look forward to every week.

One of my best friend’s from high school came to visit and we had a spontaneous photo shoot on campus.


Taking care of myself and my pup wasn’t easy. I missed more classes than I can recall due mainly to migraines and being so exhausted I was physically unable to get out of bed. Not a lot, but a lot more than I would like. Despite this I was very successful this semester, and I owe it to my diligence when it came to my courses and being sure that I completed everything assigned to me. If I was able to physically make it to class, no matter how I may have been feeling, I went. I did my homework, and I studied for my exams. I completed work when it was assigned, and did my best to have as much done as soon as possible.

At the end of the day, I tried to be the best student possible, and that is where I focused my energy.

While other students had the luxuries of not having to care for themselves and a service dog, or not having to manage an illness, I didn’t. I wouldn’t say I’ve had the “typical” college experience thus far, but is there really anything typical about anyone’s college experience? I had my ups and downs. There were moments of frustration; it’s inevitable when you live in a body that likes to put up a fight even when all you’re trying to do is sleep.

But I did it. Making it to this point where I can sit down and type the words “First Semester Reflection” was no small feat. I was able to take some time to enjoy myself now and then. I completed all four of my courses (14 credits), and I did well in them too! Staying on top of managing my health wasn’t a breeze, but I didn’t let it stop me from being a successful student. No matter what happened, I found a way. Now I can’t wait to see what next semester has in store!

A look behind the scenes at my first semester of college.


  1. Brava, Peyton! (or, as they say in Wales, Llongyfarchiadau!)


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