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Second Semester of College: When Everything Suddenly Gets Easier

Second semester of college is in full swing! In fact, it’s practically half way done already. After a lovely, long winter break, I made the 30-some hour journey back to St. Andrews at the end of January. While it was definitely bittersweet saying goodbye to my family, it was nice to be back at school with my friends and with work to do after a five-week vacation.

I was surprised by how easy it was to get back into the groove as a second semester freshman. I had never “come back” to St. Andrews before because I had only ever been here for my first semester. But returning was much easier than starting fresh; I had everything set up already and knew where the good coffee shops were and what times the bus came.

My Second Semester In College

Pleasantly enough, all of my second semester classes have been even better than my classes last semester. I think a lot of this, though, is attributable to knowing what to expect and being more relaxed. And with my academic life in order, it was easier to get more involved.

So far, I’ve upped my commitment to the student newspaper, for which I love writing and copy-editing. After endless badgering from my dad, I signed up for golf lessons. While golf isn’t necessarily my calling in life, I’m sure it will be fun to tell people I learned to play at one of the world’s most famous courses.

And when a fellow Clevelander-in-St-Andrews asked if I would mind helping her out with a charity fashion show she was involved with, I jumped at the chance. None of my friends from home could believe it when I told them I would be working as a “dresser” for a male model. Officially, my job was to help him get dressed (and undressed) backstage on the night of the show.  Anything in the name of charity.

One downside of the second semester of college in the beautiful, idyllic, high-property-value town of St. Andrews is the search for housing. The university only guarantees accommodations for your first year, and most students spend each year after that in flats or homes in and around town. However, with thousands of students and limited properties, the housing hunt is real.

House Hunting Second Semester

The real estate market in St. Andrews is a thriving business, notorious for putting students at a disadvantage. Which, to be fair, isn’t entirely their fault. We are young, generally with little to no experience signing contracts and making deposits. We’re grouped with people we consider dear friends, but whom we have only known since September. We have to coordinate with parents thousands of miles and many hours removed from us. The stress and anxiety brought on by looking for housing can be challenging for new friendships.

Unfortunately, what seemed to be the perfect flat for next year fell through when my group of three split. However, it looks like I’ll be sharing a flat next year with four other second years – one of whom is my best friend here – in the same university complex as I am in now. While the 25-minute walk into town will be just as much of a pain next year as it was this year, we know we are all lucky to have our own rooms (and bathrooms).

And it’s hard to get too upset when spring break is upon us. With just two essays and visitors from Cleveland between me and Paris, I’m hard-pressed to complain. This semester is just flying by!

Emma Freer attended Ruffing Montessori and Laurel School in Cleveland, Ohio. Emma gave the senior speech at her high school graduation.

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