Welcome to the next four years of your life, or as most people would call it, the best four years of your life. Welcome to college. Welcome to the first time that you have freedom.
College is a place where you can be whoever you want to be, and it is a lot different than what you’ve experienced over the past four years of high school. You can go wherever you want, stay up as late as you want, eat whatever you want, and you have no one there forcing you to go to class or work. Before losing control and going wild, this is the time to take a step back and think about what you really want these next four years to look like. Although I’m only a junior, I still have loads of advice I wish I could have been told and actually listened to when I was 18 and so eager to start college. So, although you’ve probably heard all of this advice 100 times before, this is your time to actually take it into consideration. Here are my 10 pieces of advice to you-- a college freshman.
1. Go to class.
Your mom isn’t here to wake you up and make you go to school. When you sleep through your alarm, she isn’t here to come force you to get up. Missing one class may not seem like a big deal, but eventually, you’ll keep skipping and your grades will suffer. Getting really bad grades is easy in college, so make sure you keep up with it. And when you get bad grades, you don’t just lower your GPA a little bit, you can be put on academic probation, lose scholarships, and get kicked out of any clubs that you may have joined.
2. The Freshman 15 is real.
Go to the gym. Even if it’s once a week, go to the gym. Don’t get in the habit of taking the bus or getting rides to class. Also, make sure your diet consists of more than just Doritos and beer.
3. Make friends.
Everywhere you go during your first year of college, make an effort to meet someone new. It’s so easy to cling to the people you know from your hometown, but you need to meet new people.
4. Don’t get out of control.
A huge part of your freshman year of college is going out to parties to mingle. You will be surrounded by guys and girls your age who are getting belligerently drunk and sleeping around 5 times a week. Have fun, but don’t forget to have self-respect and remember your morals and values.
5. Don’t sweat the little stuff with your roommate.
You and your roommate will argue. Whether it’s a random roommate or your best friend, you will get mad about the smallest things, but try not to. Don’t get mad at her for coming in late and waking you up. In the end, you’ll realize all the little things you got mad at them for, were actually really pointless.
6. Call your parents.
You are going to miss home, a lot. It doesn’t matter if you’re 10 minutes away or across the country you will miss them and they will miss you probably even more. Call them and keep them updated about what’s going on in your life.
7. Get your general education requirements out of the way.
College is finally a time when you get to study things that you actually choose to and enjoy, but you still have gen eds, which everyone hates. Try and finish them before you become a junior so you don’t have to take college algebra as a 20-year-old, like me. Once you get them out of the way, you can take classes that only go toward your major, and electives that you actually enjoy.
8. Use campus resources.
Every college campus has an abundance of offices that are there to help you. Go to the library, writing centers, tutors, career centers, and counselors. They are there to help you.
9. Get involved.
I know you’re tired of hearing this, but seriously, just do it. Join a club, a study group, greek life, study abroad, or start your own club. It’s a great way to meet friends and it looks great your resume.
10. Budget your money.
It’s a known fact that college kids are broke. Most of us don’t have jobs (especially not freshman year), or are interning and not getting paid for it. Wherever you’re getting your money from, don’t blow it all on pizza. Save it. Use your meal plan to eat, don’t go shop for new clothes unless it’s necessary, and save your money for the future, or for things like when you move out of your dorm and have to start paying rent and electric bills.
I not I’m not the wisest, all-knowing college advocate, and I’m sure that some recent college grads would have some advice to give me, but these are just a few things I wish I would have done when I was a freshman. If you do it right, you can sit back and enjoy what truly will be the best four years of your life.