9 pieces of advise for current and future freshmen.
1. Friend groups change and that's normal
You meet so many new people when you come to college. When I started freshmen year, I didn't know a single person who went to CofC. My friend group pretty much stayed the same throughout high school so I expected college to be somewhat like that, but that was not the case. I became really close with my roommate really fast but she ended up moving out of our dorm at the end of the first semester. You're going to meet a lot of people and make a ton of new friends but it might take some time for you to find your true friends.
2. You don't have to love your roommate
A lot of people go into college thinking that their roommate is an automatic best friend but that's not always the case. It's great if you and your roommate have a good friendship but all that really matters is that the two of you can live together and get along. I've heard a lot of different roommate horror stories and all you need to remember is to respect each others boundaries and always be considerate of the other person.
3. Homesickness is normal
Whether you're going an hour away, or 10 hours away from home for college, we all experience homesickness sometimes. College is a totally new environment that takes time to adjust to. Feeling homesick one day does not mean you are not where you are supposed to be.
4. The freshmen 15 is a real thing
When you go from home cooked meals every day to nothing but trips to the dining hall, it can be really hard to eat healthy. That, plus not exercising enough, or at all, and before you know it, you've gained 15 or 20 pounds. Weight gain is not the end of the world but the routine of no exercise and eating unhealthy can effect your mood and overall wellness. Exercise is a great stress reliever which you will definitely need.
5. Don't buy textbooks before the first week of classes
I always wait to buy my textbooks because sometimes professors will say that the text is optional or out of the 3 textbooks listed in the syllabus, you only need 1 of them. Most professors don't expect you to have the book on the first day of class, they give you time to buy it.
6. Rate my professor is your friend
There are mixed opinions about rate my professor but I find it really helpful. There are some professors that you want to avoid at all costs just because they make the class harder than it has to be. If you see a professor has terrible reviews and everyone said they failed the class, you probably want to steer clear of that professor. Always research your professors and try to find one that you think you can succeed with.
7. It's okay to have alone time
There is always going to be social events going on on campus and in the dorms/ apartments. You do not have to go to all of them, alone time is good sometimes too. It can be hard to find some alone time if you're sharing your room but just remember that needing some time to yourself is perfectly normal.
8. You don't need to go to every party
The party scene in college is nothing like it was in high school. People go out on week nights, some people go out every night. Ya, parties can be fun, but you do not need to go out to every party. if you feel like staying in and watching Netflix, then do that! Not every Friday night needs to be spent at a party. If you don't like going out at all, then don't!
9. Get involved
The best way to meet people is to go out and join clubs and get involved on campus! Whether it's greek life or an academic club, put yourself out there to discover and explore your interests. College is all about finding yourself which can't be done if you stay in your dorm all day.
My last piece of advice would be to make sure you are having fun and enjoying the experience because freshmen year flies by!!