21 Things I Wish I Knew As A Freshmen
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21 Things I Wish I Knew As A Freshmen

Reminiscing on the things I wish I could have done differently, had I known better.

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21 Things I Wish I Knew As A Freshmen
Huffington Post

As I’m starting my senior year and seeing all of the new fresh-faced first years on campus, I can’t help but feel nostalgic. It’s forced me to reminiscence on how much I’ve grown and learned, and all the things I wish someone would have told me as a freshman. I’ve definitely learned a lot throughout the course of undergrad, and realized the things I should have done differently (had I known better). So I've decided to embark some of that wisdom and break down the key lessons I’ve learned:

1. Do not wear your name tag or lanyard around your neck.

This is like a huge sign that screams “FRESHMAN,” and lets people know that you are unfamiliar with the territory and have no idea what you’re doing. It also makes people think you’re a dork. Just don’t do it.

2. ALWAYS remember your keys!

There were a few people I know of that got locked out after showering and had to hunt down their RA’s in their towel. You do not want to be that person! Plus there’s no guarantee your RA will even be in their room which could cause you to have to wander around for a while looking for them or another RA.

3. DO NOT give yourself a bunch of early morning classes.

Logically you’re going to be thinking that you’ve been going to school at 7am for years and can handle it…you can’t. You will hate yourself and regret your decision- I promise you. It will end with you skipping a lot of classes.

4. Self-care is so important

I CANNOT stress this one enough!! It’s so important to take care of yourself. You no longer have your parents around to monitor you and remind you to take care of yourself. Do your laundry, clean your room, eat, shower, go to the gym, drink water, SLEEP. Seriously! Your future self will thank you. The sooner you learn how to practice self-care the happier you will be!

5. Don’t be the student that calls their parents whenever there’s a problem.

You do not want to be that person that calls your mom about how unfair your professor is being or about how your roommate keeps bringing too many people home, or anything like that. If it’s something serious and you’ve tried talking to the appropriate people in administration without any solution, then I would say it’s the time to call the parents. But your professors and roommates will hate you if you call and tattletale to your parents about them, I promise. You’re an adult now you need to learn to fix your problems by yourself. I’m not saying you can’t vent to your parents about the stress, but don’t call and beg them to fix it for you.

6. Don’t let your GPA plummet right when you get there.

Most people go a little crazy when they first get to college, and learn the hard way about how important time management is, don’t let that be you. The first semester is your building block, your foundation, so it’s important to try and keep your GPA strong. As the semesters go by, classes get harder, and if you’re already starting out with a strong GPA you have more leeway later on if your GPA needs to take a hit.

7. Enjoy free time while you can.

Seriously!! Freshmen year is the time that you will have the most free-time and I suggest you take full advantage of it or you will regret it! Get out and try new things, as many new things as possible. Meet as many people as you can. Do crazy, adventurous things that you’ll talk about for years. Make the most of the thousands of dollars you’re dropping for the college experience.

8. Your roommate does not need to be your best friend.

Many people have this belief that they need to be best friends with their roommate, and that’s not true. If you hit it off, great. But it can also make things easier when you aren’t best friends because there’s more space, privacy, and boundaries with someone you’re sharing the same space with. There’s nothing wrong with either of you if you’re not instant best friends, I promise.

9. Understand boundaries.

College is a little weird because there’s no parents or family around and you basically have free reign, but don’t get too carried away. Understand boundaries between you, your roommates, and your friends. Even with yourself. Once you cross boundaries with someone, it can be hard to reverse the damage.

10. Take a class (or a few) that you never would have expected to take.

I know that sounds nuts, but do it and see what happens. I did this a few times and they ended up being some of my favorite classes and I learned a lot about topics I knew nothing about. Who knows you could find a new passion of yours.

11. Save some of your Gen Eds.

Most people try to bang them all out at once and get them out of the way, but you’ll end up regretting this if you take this approach. Your classes are going to get harder so you’ll welcome an easy break in your schedule that you’ll get from a 101 class. Plus, as you get older most of your peers are going to be upperclassmen, so taking an intro course as an upperclassmen gives you a connection to the underclassmen you probably aren’t going to get anywhere else.

12. Take advantage of your school’s opportunities.

You are paying thousands of dollars so take full use of it. Take advantage of the free gym, free events, free food, free condoms, free advice. If you don’t, you’ll get to the end of your undergrad career and regret not taking full advantage of the resources and getting your money’s worth out of the experience.

13. Connect with faculty.

I know it can be intimidating to connect with professors, administration, staff, etc., but they’re people too, and most of them love talking to and helping students! They’ve got years of wisdom that can help guide you with things. And having connections with faculty when you’re experiencing a problem makes things so much better and less stressful because you’ve got someone on your side.

14. MAKE AS MANY CONNECTIONS AS POSSIBLE.

This is so so important. You are surrounded by so many different bright individuals with so many different backgrounds and perspectives. Make friends, meet new people, step outside your comfort zone. These friendships and connections can last and help you throughout your life time. This is one of the last times you will be surrounded with your peers in an intellectual setting, take advantage of that. Don’t take the intellectual conversations you’re having with these people for granted.

15. You probably won’t keep the same friends in college and that’s fine.

I swear it’s totally normal to be graduating college without the same friends you came in with. I’ve definitely lost a lot of friends and friend groups, and I don’t regret it. It’s a sign of growing and changing. The friends you make in the beginning are usually made through convenience or minor commonalities, but as time goes on you all grow and change in different directions and realize that this person isn’t the right friend for you anymore, and that’s OKAY. It means you’ve learned from that person as much as you could and now it’s time to move on.

16. Be okay with letting go.

You will have to let go of a lot of things over these years. Your friends from high school that you’ve outgrown and just don’t click with. The traditions you had with your family or friends in your hometown that you’re no longer around for. And even the friends you make in college. But that’s okay, change is good, letting go is healthy. Don’t resent these changes, or live in the past, let go and focus on the present. Your future self will thank you.

17. Balance is key to success.

I am so serious. You have to learn to balance your time between your different classes, and free time. Learn to balance between different activities and different friends. You have to learn to balance with your life back home and your life at school. It can be rough at first, and you usually learn it the hard way. But once you learn how to balance all the aspects of your life it makes things so much smoother.

18. Learn when enough is enough.

This is what one of my professors told me and it’s stuck with me over the years. There will be times where you have worked for hours on something and you don’t have any more time to work on it, and you’re still not done. You just have to accept that you gave it your best and move on. It’s not the end of the world. You need to learn when to walk away from something and be happy knowing that you tried. In five years that one homework assignment won’t matter to you at all.

19. There is no perfect college experience.

Seriously. Not everyone is partying and drinking and doing drugs, so if that’s not for you that’s fine. You don’t need to do that to have a great experience. And for the people that do like to participate in those things that’s also fine, it doesn’t mean you’re not as hardworking or getting as much out of the college experience either. Your college experience is what you make of it, and it’s different for everyone.

20. Embrace change.

You're no longer in your hometown with your parents and long-time best friends. Your friendships in college are so very different than your high school ones, and you have to adjust to that change. Your parents aren’t always checking up on you and involved in everything you’re doing, or there to take you to get groceries and to your appointments, which takes time to adjust to. You’re in a new environment, with new people, learning new things. Don’t shy away from that, embrace it. This is what you came here for, a new start, a change, a new perspective. And that’s exactly what you’re going to get.

21. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Seriously, undergrad flies by so quickly. It’s like one minute you’re trying to figure out where the gym is during orientation, and the next minute you’re in the gym prepping for graduation. College is a time for growth, change, and exposure to new things. You’re spending thousands of dollars to regain a good experience, so you might as well soak it up as much as you can for as long as you can.


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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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