10 Tips For Incoming College Freshmen
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10 Tips For Incoming College Freshmen

To the crazy and amazing things I have learned my freshman year

10 Tips For Incoming College Freshmen

And just like that, it's all over.

I’m writing this on May 11, at precisely 1:59 am. It has been less than 24 hours since I officially ended my freshman year, and it has been exactly 365 days since I opened my student center to find out that I got off the waitlist for my dream school. Yes, I actually, somehow, magically, got off the waitlist on May 11, eleven days after committing to another University. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and I cannot even begin to touch on the fact that a year ago, today, my life path was changed forever and I could not be more grateful.

I’ve written articles before discussing the difficult transition from high school to college, and I have mentioned how the adaption process happened for me. It’s definitely a different experience for everyone, but I wanted to dedicate this specific article to the crazy and amazing things I have learned my freshman year.

1. You’re going to make different types of friends first semester. If you came into college basically knowing no one like I did, you’re going to float around a lot. It’s not a bad thing, it’s all a learning experience. You will find friends to tailgate with, to study with, to walk to class with, and it will be really exciting when you finally find that one friend that you click with. I promise you, you will make a group of friends, it often just takes time. Most importantly, everyones true colors come out second semester. If you have been in college before, I’m sure this happens all the time, but for me and the people I know, I definitely find this detail to be true. Don’t be afraid to find out some people aren’t supposed to be YOUR people. Like I said, we all learn from our mistakes and experiences. It makes us who we are.

2. You will most likely gain weight, most people will, and the best way to deal with it, is by embracing it. Learn to deal with it when it happens and don’t be so hard on yourself. It is one year for you to try all of the fried late night foods as often as you can and order as much pizza as you want. You will figure out your work out routine eventually and what restaurants are the most nutritious. We are all in this together!

3. Try to make as many friends as possible when living in your dorm. This is the one and only time you will live in such close quarters to people you may not have the chance to ever talk to again. If you get on the elevator with a stranger, start a conversation. If someone opens the door for you, say thank you and maybe walk out with them. If you see a group of girls/boys sitting together and you’re alone, be the one to sit with them and show them how amazing you are. These are opportunities disguised as everyday dilemmas. Sieze them.

4. The parties you go to will definitely be rowdy and sweaty. If you just remember everyone around you is also gross and damp, then you will learn to just have a good time even though you look like you just took a swim. Enjoy the music and dance with your friends and cherish these moments because before you know it, it will no longer be socially acceptable to attend these parties, or… you may even graduate.

5. Manage your time wisely because deadlines are real in college and asking for extensions are not. No matter what people say, it is not smart to cram for a test the night before, and it is not acceptable to ask for an extension for an assignment that has been on the syllabus since the first day of class. It’s frustrating I know, but these are the things people are referring to when they say that college is a lot about being “responsible for your own actions.”

6. College is full of surprises and when you put yourself out there, you will enjoy it more and have great stories to tell. Be spontaneous and take a different route on your way to class. Show up to rallies and meetings that you are interested in and you think are important. Stick up for the things you hold true to your beliefs and don’t just sit in your dorm room thinking about all of the events going on. Be proactive.

7. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT be lame and stay in on nights where you’re not feeling it because you may not like the people who are hosting the party or the place where everyone is going. It is so cliche, but you only live once, you only go to college once, you’re only a freshman once!! Take advantage of these times where you get to be around good music and good company. I promise, it will not let you down.

8. There will be days where you will miss home. You’re going to miss your family and your home friends, but you will be lucky and have amazing school friends who can help comfort you through it all. We all go through it, even if other people are not talking about it. It’s completely normal to miss home and miss the people you used to see everyday. I promise, it gets easier.

9. Since college is a lot more difficult than high school course work, you also have to be prepared for the potential grades you might receive. It does happen that you get a grade on a test or an assignment that you believe is unfair, and the TA or professor will refuse to change it. You also may get lucky and have it go the other way around. Either way, you need to be conscious of the fact that a 4.0 in college is much more difficult to attain than it was in high school. Hard work, however, will always go a long way.

10. Finally, it only gets better. I didn’t believe that my life post high school could get any better or any happier, but it did. College has definitely surpassed my expectations and I am eternally grateful for the people I met freshman year for making my experience so unforgettable. From the teachers I had that taught me so much in such a short amount of time to the friendly natives who make it so easy to love a place and call it home, I am so blessed. I promise you will get the hang of it, whether it be figuring out your major, what classes to take, who to room with, what job to apply to, things will start to make sense soon. I’m not there yet, but I’m definitely on the way and I’m excited for what’s to come. You have these four years to find out what you're good at, what you like, who you want to be, and to try new things... make the most out of it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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