17 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before Freshman Year
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17 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before Freshman Year

It's a different experience for everyone.

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17 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before Freshman Year
Rachele O'Loane

You have most likely seen an article similar to this before. But every single college student has a different experience their freshman year. It is one of the most new and exciting times in your life, and I'm sure those of you who are about to experience this magical time are eager to pack your bags and get going. Heading into my second year, I would never go close to calling myself some college guru who has all of the answers. But I think back on it often and wonder, what is it that I wish someone had told me before I left? You may have heard some of these before, and others may sound odd, but this is some of my best advice (in my humble opinion) to anyone beginning their first year away at college.

1. If you’re normal, you won’t find your group of best friends the first week of school.

Everyone around you during those first few days, even weeks, that school starts seems to have immediately clicked with the perfect group of friends. I guarantee a large majority of these people won't be friends come the end of the semester. This is not to say it doesn't happen, for some lucky bunches, that first person they meet becomes their life long best friend. But for the most part, don't sweat it, nothing is wrong with you, you will find friends. Oh, and that cute boy you met at orientation (sorry to break it to you) is probably not your soulmate.

2. Fear no class.

I went into college fearing the term statistics. I had heard horror stories of people talking about the subject (including a particular person I knew who left the final with a stress induced nose bleed). However, for whatever reason, the subject just clicked for me. Everyone is different in their class strengths and weaknesses, so just do your best and approach every class with confidence.

3. Be nice to your roommate(s).

It is so easy to feel frustrated toward the people you live with. No one, no matter how hard they try to convince you, has a perfect living situation their freshman year. I was lucky enough to get along well with my two roommates, but we had our moments. You have to remember, while you may be stressed, homesick, sad, and lonely, guess what ... they are too! And they probably have just as many things about you to complain about. Just be nice to everyone because you don't know what kind of crap people are dealing with. Even a small gesture like picking up a candy bar for them at the store or leaving sticky notes on their desk can mean much more than it seems.

4. Take your vitamins.

I'm not kidding. Even if you somehow manage to incorporate a salad into your everyday schedule that isn't going to cut it. Taking your vitamins makes a serious, serious difference in how your body feels through out the day.

5. You can say no to going out…

College is not like the movies. Every night does not consist of hard core ragers and giant parties. But the parties are out there! And if you had a hard week and the only thing that got you through was remembering you had a hot date with Netflix and microwavable popcorn planned for Friday night, then treat yourself to some Netflix and microwavable popcorn! No one is going to think you're lame or boring if you say no to a party.

6. … But don’t be afraid to say yes.

I can honestly say some of my best memories of freshman year were the nights I went out with my best friends. Going out does not make you a bad person. I feel like college parties have gotten a bad rap recently and as long as you know your intentions and stay safe (use the buddy system — seriously) then, please, enjoy yourself.

7. Call your mom.

And your dad ... and your siblings ... and even grandma! They miss you and you've been so gosh darn busy lately you may have forgotten how much you miss them too. Your mom especially always knows the right words to say that will make you feel better, so set a goal (at least once a week or so) and stick to it. Being independent is one of the greatest blessings in college, you are still going to need your mom.

8. Embrace the freshman 15 … or 25 …

It's a thing, ladies and gentlemen ... You may think you'll be able to get around it, but for the large majority, it's inevitable. A combination of no one monitoring your meals, being stressed out, not playing your high school sport anymore, possibly some party calories adding up, and lack of sleep will cause your body to put on a few extra "lbs." But don't resist or fear it. You will learn how to incorporate balance into your life — the secret blessing no one will tell you about the "freshman 15."

9. … But make use that beautiful recreation center.

Exercise because it's good for you. And chances are, your school has a beautiful gym just a five-minute walk away. Exercising is such an amazing outlet for stress. If you have hit a wall in terms of studying, hit the treadmill for a little while, your body and mind will thank you.

10. Everything is temporary.

Everything. Good and bad, happy or sad, all things pass at some point. I think this is something I forgot to realize towards the end of my freshman year. Classes were getting stressful and I was tired of dorm life. All I wanted was to be home. But guess what? It all eventually passed. And now that I'm home, I want nothing more than to get back to school.

11. You’ll get more homesick second semester.

First semester is such an excitingly busy time, you almost forget to be homesick. But after winter break, when you reconnect with your friends and family, you realize just how much you missed being home. You will probably take that with you more so during second semester. But remember what I said right before this, everything is temporary.

12. Take naps

My friends and I always joke around that in college, you don't actually sleep — some naps are just longer than others. But sleeping is so important. Even if it is just a 20 minute cat nap before class, let your body rest. Getting a good night's sleep is hard in college, and as much as I can admit I am addicted to coffee, you have to sleep. There are more problems than you'd think that can be fixed with drinking more water, and getting more sleep.

13. Don’t compare your school experiences to your friends back home.

I promise you, it will not be the same. And I promise you even more, they aren't having a better time than you. The toxicity of social media will have you comparing your "behind the scenes" with everybody else's "highlight reel." No one is going to advertise the bad, so please, please, please do not think you're the only person going through a tough time in college.

14. 8 a.m. classes aren't that bad.

Yes, if you can avoid them, you might want to, but they are not as bad as they sound. You have to be up and start your day early and it's actually really nice. It is far too easy to sleep in until noon when your first class begins at 1 p.m. But believe me, you won't wake up feeling too ready to start your day whether it's at 12 or 8, so getting it out of the way may be your best bet.

15. You have more time than you realize.

Prioritizing studying and going to class is crazy important. But don't skip sleep, pass up on a club, or avoid hanging out with friends because you are worried you won't have enough time. And don't tell your mom I'm telling you this, but you don't need to read every single piece of reading you are assigned. Studying does come first but don't convince yourself you need to be in the library all day and all night. Eventually you will hit a wall, and in the end (except maybe applying for grad school), no one is going to ask you what your college G.P.A. was.

16. You get to be kind of selfish.

College is honesty unreal. It's this glorious time in your life when you don't have to focus on anyone but yourself. Take advantage of this. Try new things, discover yourself, go on adventures. It's 4 years to basically think about you and only you. This includes doing things like studying abroad, five months to travel, kind of worry about classes, and explore the world for the same price you'd be paying to be on campus? That is a serious privilege.

17. Appreciate everything!

This, once again, includes the good and the bad, if not especially the bad. Some people forget to remember how blessed they are to have the ability to go out and get a degree. It will be all over before you know it, so appreciate every single day you have.


As I mentioned earlier, no two people have the same experience their first year or college. I have grown more in this past year than I have my whole entire life, so I know a little bit about the subject. I hope you first year students take my advice into consideration, and good luck out there!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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