The freshman year of college is a time of independence, a time of exploration, a time of discovery, and a time of complete and utter confusion. No matter how prepared you think that you are, there's bound to be a few slightly uncomfortable moments throughout the year. While these times are painful to endure in the moment, they're always fun to look back at for a quick laugh. So, without further ado, here are 10 unavoidable awkward college freshman moments.


1. You never know where anything is.

"Oh excuse me, could you tell me where ___ building is? And where the library is? And where my dorm is? And where campus is? And where I am right now?" The adjustment to a new location is definitely one of the hardest parts of freshman year, especially for those of us who are directionally challenged. Without a doubt, within your first week at school you approached at least three strangers on the street asking them to point you in the right direction. It was awkward and you forgot what they said as soon as they walked away, but it's all a part of the freshman experience.


2. You forget the name of that one person who you spent enough time with that it's rude to ask them their name.

You've studied with this person, they live on your floor, and you're in a class with them, but you could not remember their name if your life depended it. Here's hoping that they pop up on your Facebook as "people you may know," because there's only so many times that you can say, "Hey, you!" when you bump into them on the street.


3. You felt like you wore the wrong thing to every event.

You got the hang of it as the year went on, but you felt like you never had the right outfit during the first month or so of school. Whether it was class, a party, a football game, or even just dinner, it really felt like you stood out like a sore thumb. Obviously, this was mostly in your head, but getting the hang of what to wear took time and the help of most of your friends.


4. You are completely unfamiliar with the new lingo.

Why is everything all of a sudden "lit?" Also, why are the names for every single building/major/activity/thing ever shortened? Getting used to the new college vocabulary takes time and you undoubtedly spent some time on Urban Dictionary during your freshman year. Once you get it down, you start to have some fun with the new lingo, but not before you embarrass yourself by horribly misusing "fire" a few times down the road.


5. Confusion always arises when your professor first says that you can call them by his/her first name.

So we can call you Paul? Is it awkward to still call you professor? Or is this a trick and do you really want us to call you professor anyway? The awkwardness that you first feel when you realize that your teachers aren't Mr. and M(r)s. anymore is unparalleled and for the first few weeks and/or months of school, you probably avoid calling your professor any name whatsoever out of fear of screwing it up.


6. Nobody can call you out of class when you're sick.

Getting sick on your own is one of those moments in college when your independence really hits you. Especially when you realize that mom can't call the attendance office to bail you out of class anymore. Yup, it's now up to you to figure out how to cover your own sick butt and wrestling with that mess of emailing professors, trying (or not trying) to get missed notes, and actually going to the health center to get an excused absence definitely feels strange the first few times.


7. You run into that person who you hooked up with that one time everywhere.

Well, it turns out that you two actually do have a lot in common. Namely, that you go to the library, the bookstore, the dining hall, the local coffee shop, and basically everywhere on campus at the exact same time. Each time, you either pretend not to notice each other or, if you're the more mature type, you'll exchange an awkward wave or maybe even a smile. You always tell yourself that there's no way that these run-ins will keep happening, but, of course, they do.



8. You always re-introducing yourself to at least one person who you've already met.

Whether the person who you're talking to lets you know or you realize later that you already know each other, it's always awkward. The only thing that you can do is brush it off and move on. We all do it.


9. There's one upperclassman who you're secretly obsessed with and you have to play it cool when you see them.

You can deny it, but everyone has that one older person who they have a platonic crush on. When you see them in person you say, "Hey, what's up?" but on the inside you're doing everything that you can to seem cool and not let it show that they're your number one Facebook stalk.


10. Looking back on old wall posts and texts with the people that have since become your best friends is weird.

Like it or not, your old roommate-search posts and messages will resurface and some of them will have involved your friends. They will make fun of you and how uncomfortable you were, but the best part is that you've (hopefully) grown out of this old awkwardness and these people have become some of your favorite people and closest friends in college. That's always worth all of the weirdness that it took to get there.