As the college semester is about to begin, college freshmen are getting anxious about what to expect. Here are a few words of advice for the incoming freshmen when you leave home for the first time.
1. Be prepared to be out of your comfort zone.
As a soon-to-be sophomore, take it from me: you will be drawn out of your comfort zone. Be prepared to answer questions in class that you do not know the complete answer to. It is OK to be uncomfortable -- everybody is for a little bit. You will get used to being expected to participate in class discussions. Make sure your voice is heard. People will take notice, and you never know -- you could give someone else the self-confidence to speak up as well.
2. You and your roommate may not always see eye to eye.
There are always going to be times when you and your roommate cannot agree on things. Make your preferences clear at the beginning of the semester: whether or not you like to sleep with lights on, what your schedule is and even what time you like to go to bed. Agree on music and movies as well -- maybe even try to find a common ground when it comes to television shows. I was lucky that my first year roommate enjoyed most of the television shows I did. We even introduced each other to a few new shows. She introduced me to “Supernatural,” which is now my favorite show, and I helped her love “Awkward.” a little more. It is very important that you both establish how you like the environment to be when you are studying, whether you like it silent or if you can deal with noise. You are at college to learn. Make sure you have the proper environment for you to be successful.
3. Make friends.
It is very important that you put yourself out there to find new friends and make connections with other people. Take it from somebody with some crazy anxiety issues: having someone you trust and are friends with will make it easier to get through the year, and they will help you make more friends. I made a handful of good friends in my first year. I could not imagine not having them as friends now. They helped me through my first year. Making friends is crucial, especially if you do not feel like you can talk to your roommate(s). They will be your confidantes. They will also help you try new things and go new places.
4. Try new things.
Get into clubs and ensembles. Try out for an intramural sport. Get out there. Even working out will help you find something to be involved in. Try something you have never been a part of before. Join a sorority/fraternity or an honor society. You never know -- you could absolutely love it.
As an incoming sophomore, I understand how hard freshman year can be for someone who has never really lived away from home. But following these four bits of advice will definitely help the transition go more smoothly.