Freshman year could arguably be one of the most intimidating years of college, hands down. For starters, you are (for the most part) completely on your own especially if you went hours from home or out of state. You don’t have a routine, a niche, and hell, you don’t even know who you are.

All you know is that you want to be the best you can be and have the “college experience” that everyone talks about. You know the “college is the best four years” and the “if I could go back I so would” ideas that people put into your head. One thing that makes or breaks your college experience is finding your group of friends.

I was fortunate enough to find my squad within the walls of my residence hall suite, 305 to be exact. I was supposed to live with seven other girls but with life being as unpredictable as it is I only ended up living with six by second semester. We were all under the impression that you don’t have to be best friends with your roommates, you don’t even have to like them, but we all got along really well.

We lived in a never-ending honeymoon phase right up until Christmas break and once we got back we still fared pretty well with each other. Don’t get me wrong we had our fights and not everyone was each other’s best friends, though it seemed that way on the outside. We each within the group had our people and to me, that’s just how it goes. You get closer and relate better with some more than others.

Regardless of that, we still lucked out better than any other suite we knew because most of them had had someone move out to another dorm. I heard horror stories from others and looking back now I know that I had it better than most. That being said when you live amongst six girls with different styles and personalities you learn a lot about yourself and life. Here are a few things I learned:

  1. There’s no time like the present to be who you want to be. You can continue to mold yourself you’re not stuck being one person your whole life.
  2. A bad day does not have to result in a bad week or a bad life.
  3. Not everyone is going to like, some people might hate you, and either way that’s none of your business.
  4. Even if someone does hate you, you should still be kind to them because you don’t know what they’re actually feeling inside.
  5. We’ve all made our fair share of mistakes, you don’t have to call them regrets.
  6. Having alone time is necessary and good for the soul. The earlier you learn this the fewer arguments you will get in.
  7. If you don’t want to go do something, then don’t. If this means you don’t go to parties and everyone else does, who cares? Be happy.
  8. Movie nights in the common room are always a fun idea.
  9. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, there’s a whole world of people being themselves so go join them!
  10. Homework is important but you can always find time to do it, don’t forget to make the unforgettable memories along the way because you don’t get these four years back.
  11. To get respect, you have to give it.
  12. Don’t listen just to answer someone. Listen to understand someone.
  13. Not everyone thinks/believes/feels the same as you. That is life and it’s okay.
  14. Just because you think/believe/feel differently than your friends doesn’t make either of you wrong.
  15. Give a little grace to your friends and yourself.