After two weeks of majoring in astrophysics, a week in vocal music, and the remainder of the first semester and the entirety of second semester majoring in English, I have survived my freshman year of college in one piece. It honestly seems like just last week I was moving in, but here I am, moved out and soaking up some sun before sophomore year comes rushing at me at full speed. Change is inevitable and I definitely experienced a lot of things and with those things came the inevitable change. With experience comes knowledge, so here are seven things I learned from my freshman year.
1. Discover yourself
As my first year of living on my own and having to 100% look after myself, I learned that with self-sufficiency comes self-discovery.
2. Try new things
This is a big one. Try new foods. I’ve found that some of the gnarliest looking chicken and dumplings that the school serves is the best thing that they serve other than fries when they’re straight out of the fryer, and the best looking baked potatoes turned out to be the blandest things I’ve ever had. Try new clothes. This is your time to try new styles because no one is really going to care if you look questionable because there’s probably someone who looks even more questionable than you, and if your new style looks good, you’ll probably get loads of compliments. Try out some new clubs from those you may or may not have participated in in high school. You may or may not find your niche, but at least you’ll meet new people, which leads to my next lesson.
3. Meet new people
I didn’t meet my best friends on campus until my second semester because I didn’t reach out very much my first semester. I went with what was comfortable, but that often didn’t give me the satisfaction that I was looking for. Your new best friend(s) may be the complete opposite of what you expected them.
4. Call and stay in contact with your loved ones
This is of the utmost importance. Make sure to call your parents or parental figures when you miss them, even a little bit. They’ll highly appreciate it and it will ease that nagging feeling inside. Message that aunt that’s been bugging you lately, or the cousin that you’ve been thinking about from your childhood. It will be a pleasant surprise for them and it will make you feel good. Make sure to visit your grandparents if you can while you’re home. They love it and you’ll enjoy the memories at some point down the road. If you have close friends from back home that you feel you should keep in touch with, keep in touch with them!! It’s good to talk on the phone for a while or have a long conversation over text to reminisce the good times every once in a while.
5. Take your academics seriously
You’re paying lots of money for your education, so make it worthwhile.
6. Don't take everything too seriously
It’s important to take time for yourself to just kick back and relax and do what you want, whether it be binge watching Rick & Morty all day because you have the time or taking midnight trips to Taco Bell or McDonald’s. It’s important for your mental health. As the great college guru, Van Wilder once said, “You shouldn’t take life too seriously; you’ll never get out alive.”
7. Be yourself
The most important thing I’ve learned is to just be myself. It takes too much energy to be something you’re not, and even more energy to keep up with a lie that just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Be who you want to be, but make sure that you’re being true to yourself.