There's just a month left before I return to Brescia University for my sophomore year, and I can't help but to think about all of the countless lessons I learned during my freshman year. Here are just a few of my favorite:
1. The "Freshman 15" is as real as the whole pizza you and your roommate just devoured.
If you're me, the "Freshman 30". If you're going to eat like a pig, try to throw in some physical activity, too. If you don't, then you might end up with a closet full of clothes that no longer fit you.
2. Missing class in college is not the same as missing class in high school.
Missing class in college is like willingly handing yourself the 'F'. Professors don't care that you stayed up all night watching Orange is the New Black and slept through your alarm.
3. Daily naps are an essential part of making it through the semester.
One a day is okay, but two is better.
4. You can buy an entire meal for under $5.
It probably won't be the healthiest thing you've ever ate, but dining halls close and kids gotta eat.
5. At some point, your friends at home may no longer be your "friends at home".
I lost most of my close friends from high school. Not because we didn't care or anything, but life gets busy and people move on.
6. There will be times when you work your ass off and have nothing to show for it. That's okay.
Don't do what I did and think your life is over just because you put sweat, blood, and tears into a project or an exam and make a 58%. Failure is okay sometimes (and I'm only a little salty about it.)
7. Study, study, study!!!!
If you want to have any kind of success in college, you have to crack those books open and take notes in class. You just have to.
8. Set yourself a laundry night and stick to it.
If you don't do laundry regularly, you might find yourself wearing pajama pants and the shirt you slept in to class. Try to get all of your laundry done once a week, that way you won't take up three washers and piss off the entire residence community.
9. Being involved with campus activities is an important part of college.
Attending campus activities is a great way to build up your social life, and an awesome way to get free t-shirts and food.
10. You don't have to be any different than you were in high school.
I went into college convinced that I was going to be a totally different person. I wanted to be dressed up all of the time and finally fit in with the "cool crowd". FYI, there really isn't a cool crowd in college and being yourself is 100% the best.
11. Always do the extra credit.
Extra credit in college is rare and doing it when your professor offers it could save your life.
12. Keep a copy of that week's dining hall menu on you.
The dining hall has good days and bad days. Keeping a menu on you will help you decide which days are good and which days you need to stay within 50 feet of. Plus, you'd be surprised just how much you're asked, "Do you know what the cafeteria is having today?".
13. Don't forget about your relationship with God.
I'm super guilty of this. I went from attending church every Sunday to rarely going at all, which is something I'm not proud of and plan on changing next semester. Just don't get too caught up in college and forget who you are and where you came from.
14. Alcohol is addicting.
Whoever said alcohol isn't fun was lying straight through their teeth, but it can also get you into trouble and cause problems. If you choose to drink, limit yourself. Remember: You cannot drink every weekend, you cannot drink every weekend, you cannot drink every weekend!! Be careful and always make sure you are with people who will take care of you.
15. Make sure you put money away for emergencies.
Opening a savings account is always a good idea. You never know when you'll need cash ASAP.
16. Netflix is life.
My roommate and I had cable that we rarely used. I can't tell you how many nights we spent binge-watching Netflix on our laptops, and those nights are some of my favorite freshman year memories.
17. Call your family, even if it's just to say goodnight.
I tried to talk to my parents and grandparents often, but sometimes I went all week without calling. They really do miss you...and you will definitely miss them. Plus, calling is a good way to ease the homesickness and stay informed with family information.
18. You will meet the greatest friends you have ever had.
I don't know what I would do without Brittanie, Judy, and Devonna. The amount of love and respect we all have for one another is amazing. They've all taught me so much, like how a mature, healthy friendship is supposed to be. I'm so very blessed to have such wonderful friends!