Freshman year of college is amazing. The long anticipated wait is over. It is finally time to go to college. It is a rite of passage. It is finally your turn. By this point you are probably done with high school. When senioritis hits it hits hard. College is amazing. It is unlike any other experience. But with that in mind, it is very much a test as well. There are obviously tests and exams for classes, but this is more of a test for the real world. Somehow you have to figure out how to balance sleep, social, and academic schedules, and trust me it is hard than it seems. So to help all of you incoming freshman next year, I have some advice that I wish someone had given to me before I went to college. As cheesy as it seems, these are the most useful tips you will receive:
- Say hi to everyone. I know it sounds dumb and obnoxious. My friends made fun of me in the beginning of the year because I introduced myself to anyone and everyone, but now they make fun of me because I know everyone. It cannot hurt to say hi, and you never know, the person you are saying hi to ay become your new best friend.
- Make friends in classes. Asides from the obvious reasons that it is nice to have friends in your class, it is also very strategic. Having friends in class automatically give you a study buddy, and two brains are definitely better than one. This gives you someone to walk with to class, get food with after, do homework with, and of course, complain about the class with. It also gives you someone to verify with when there is homework you don’t remember or even to give you the notes when you miss class. It is especially great because if you have similar interests you may have classes together in the future.
- Be open minded. This not only applies to college students, but to everyone. You should try to do one new thing or one thing that scares you every single day. In addition to that, be open minded with people. College is a mix of so many new and different people from so many backgrounds, people that you probably wouldn’t have met otherwise.
- Accept change. A lot of things change in college in addition to the new school, new place, new life. A key aspect of this is accepting that people change. First of all, don’t ever change yourself for someone else. Secondly, you will not necessarily be friends with all the people you started out being friends with. You gain new friends and you lose some old ones. It is a way of life for everyone. The ones that matter are the ones that you will stay friends with. But with this in mind, friendship is a two-way street so always put in the effort for those that matter. And don’t forget about your home friends. It is so easy to brighten a day with a simple “how are you” or “I miss you” text.
- Enjoy it. Enjoy college while it lasts. After college, it is time to enter the real world and that is a very scary thought. Although there are a lot of responsibilities, it is one of the first times in your life that you are on your own. No parents, no real supervision. College is a lot of fun and it is important sometimes to just take a step back and enjoy it because it is easy to get caught up in the rush of everything.
- Remember why you are there. Priorities. College is all about getting your priorities straight. The primary reason you are at college is for school, to get a good education and a degree. Never put your studies second, and it is easier said than done. We have all done it. We all face the struggle of maintaining social life and studying. But in the end, one drunken night like all the others is not worth a bad grade.
The best piece of advice I have for you incoming freshman is simple: work hard play hard ;)