5 Ways To Guarantee A Great First Year Of College

5 Ways To Guarantee A Great First Year Of College

Your key to freedom also opens the door to many possible complications.


Dear incoming Freshmen, you are about to embark on a crazy journey; a journey that will have twists and turns and more ups and downs than you can imagine. Starting college can be a stressful and nerve-wracking thing. You are given the freedom you have been dreaming of since you were a child, yet you are realizing that you will no longer have parents to rely on to do things for you. College life can be tricky, but it can also be a lot of fun. I know I made many mistakes when I started college, too many to list; however, I have made a list of some tips so that you will not make my mistakes.

1. Get an alarm and USE IT

You will not have your parents to wake you up in the morning. If you are a heavy sleeper, like me, you will need to have alarms set up every 5-10 minutes in order to wake up. Alarms on your phone are useful, but technology can malfunction, so I recommend getting a small alarm clock to put next to your bed. These are super cheap and will wake you up no matter what. I suggest getting one that is battery powered as well, because this way if the electricity goes out in the middle of the night, you'll still be woken up. Don't let yourself have a Home Alone situation and end up being late.

2. Plan time for commutes

If you are living off campus, you need to make sure that you plan out your commutes. You need to account for traffic, bus schedule times, or distance you need walk. Traffic can be awful sometimes and in some areas which can be a hassle when you are in a rush. Do not be like me and leave 10 minutes before something because the place is 5 minutes away on a good day, because on a bad traffic day, the place is around 30 minutes away. Always plan for these things and make sure to leave as early as you can so that you won't be stressed trying to arrive on time!

3. Eat healthy

Please make sure you are having balanced meals. There is nothing worse that you can do for your body than feeding it badly. I know that college campuses have tons of eating options on or around campus, and that they are convenient and tasty, but these options may not always be good for you. Try cooking your own meals if you have a kitchen space, or make healthy choices in the dining halls. Also, drink a ton of water! Continuously eating greasy fast food will most likely lead your to having health problems and to weight gain. The freshman 15 can easily be avoided if you avoid these places. So don't be like me, and start out right. It took me an entire year at college to realize that eating fast food most of the time was awful for me. But I finally did and am here to tell you that nothing is better for you and your metabolism than making healthy choices.

4. Check your emails avidly

Your school email is a place that you should visit everyday, as much as you can. Turn on notifications for it and make sure you are always tuned into the email and to canvas. You never know when your professors might cancel class, or extend a deadline. This will save you a lot of time and will allow you to get more sleep in some instances. Don't forget about this email because it will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

5. Exercise

Make time! I already know that most of you will read this and say that you don't have the time to work out, but there is always time for things that matter. Your health is more important than anything, and working out even a few days a week can make a world of difference for your body. Most universities have gyms that you are paying to use with your tuition money, so take advantage of that and use them! If you don't like going to gyms, you can workout in your room while watching workout videos on Youtube (I highly recommend LSF!) Time is always able to be made. Don't waste your time doing nothing when you could be helping your body. Also, don't make plans to work out and then cancel; you wouldn't cancel plans with a good friend for no reason, so treat your workout times like this and always show up when possible!

I hope these tips will help someone out there who is trying to find their way through their first year of college. It's tricky and confusing; balancing everything is hard, but very possible. I highly recommend that you do all the things I have listed here so that you can have a great first year.

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A Letter To My Freshman Dorm Room As I Pack Up My Things

Somehow a 15' x 12' room became a home.


Dear Geary 411,

With your creaky beds, concrete walls, and mismatched tile floors, you are easily overlooked as just another room we were randomly assigned to— but you were different. Inside your old walls, I have made some of the best memories of my life that I will hold on to forever.

Thank you for welcoming my neighbors in with open arms who quickly became friends who didn't knock and walked in like you were their own.

I feel like an apology is needed.

We're sorry for blaring the music so loud while getting ready and acting like we can actually sing when, in reality, we know we can't. Sorry for the dance parties that got a bit out of control and ended with us standing on the desks. Sorry for the cases of the late-night giggles that came out of nowhere and just would not go away. Sorry for the homesick cries and the "I failed my test" cries and the "I'm dropping out" cries. We're sorry for hating you at first. All we saw was a tiny and insanely hot room, we had no idea what you would bring to us.

Thank you for providing me with memories of my first college friends and college experiences.

As I stand at the door looking at the bare room that I first walked into nine months ago I see so much more than just a room. I see lots and lots of dinners being eaten at the desks filled with stories of our days. I see three girls sitting on the floor laughing at God knows what. I see late night ice cream runs and dance battles. I see long nights of homework and much-needed naps. Most importantly, I look at the bed and see a girl who sat and watched her parents leave in August and was absolutely terrified, and as I lock you up for the last time today, I am so proud of who that terrified girl is now and how much she has grown.

Thank you for being a space where I could grow, where I was tested physically, mentally and emotionally and for being my home for a year.


A girl who is sad to go

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What I Wish I Knew About Life After High School Before I Had To Live It

Life after high school isn't always what you expected it to be.


So you're about to graduate high school and you think you have it all figured out. You and your best friends are going to stay close throughout college and you're going to take those long road trips in college to see each other. Think again.

Life after high school isn't always what you want it to be. You think you'll miss high school, you'll always be close with your high school besties, and you'll have all this free time in college. That's just not entirely true. I personally do not miss high school. I don't really talk to anyone I went to high school with on a regular basis, and I'm totally OK with that. I have friends in college that I believe will be my lifelong friends whereas my friends in high school didn't make an effort to keep in contact with me after high school.

I haven't had all the free time I've dreamed of in college, because I'm busy with school and meetings. When I'm not doing homework, I'm making sure the rest of my life is in order and all my stuff for school is in line. I'm not the crazy party girl that people think I am because of where I go to school. I'd rather sit in bed and watch Netflix than go out with my friends. I'm not a 4.0 student, but I work so hard in my classes just to make sure that I'm passing. I study a week before tests and still don't always make A's. And that's OK. It's not what I expected during my college years, but it's what's happening, and most of my friends are the same way.

Anne Marie Bonadio

Just know that life in college isn't all easy, breezy, and beautiful like Covergirl. It's hard and you will struggle whether it be in school or with your friends. College isn't always complete freedom. You'll be tied down with school and life and you won't have the free time that you always imagined. You won't always be best friends with your high school friends. You won't be taking those road trips because you won't be able to afford them, and if you're like me, your parents won't let you.

College won't be exactly what you dreamed it'll be, but it'll be some of the best years of your life.

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