10 Things to avoid your freshman year of college

10 Things to avoid your freshman year of college

Having this list as you enter college will be extremely valuable and beneficial to experiencing the best year of your life!

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Ahhh good ol' freshman year. The best times and the worst times. Going to college six hours from home was the best decision I had ever made for myself, but the transition would have been much smoother had I known the things I know now. You cannot take on this beast by yourself, so allow me to lend a hand and guide you through one of the most exciting and different years of your life thus far. I have compiled a list of 10 key things to avoid your freshman year of college in order to ensure a smooth, happy, and fun first year!

1. Chad from Sigma Why

There is no coincidence I put this as the number one thing to avoid your first year on campus. Nine out of 10 fraternity boys can and will make life messier and harder than it needs to be. Avoid the Brads in this world.

I recommend focusing this year on finding yourself and figuring out your place without adding ignorant sex-crazed boys to the mix. Sure they can be fun to party and spend time with, but if you give them too much of your time you may find yourself in a sticky situation. I promise you will not find your husband at your first fraternity party in college, so focus on yourself and living your best single life without getting involved with a Chad.

2. Accepting questionable solo cups from any male whatsoever

I don't care how hot Chad is, or how cute his friends are. If a boy offers you any open container, either say no thank you or take that cup and put that thing on the floor seconds later. Most college boys are super sketch, and I would only trust your close girls in the get-go. To be safe, stick to beer at parties or simply bring your own drink (unless you're down to wake up next to Chad having no clue what happened the night before).

3. Wasting all your dining dollars within the first two months of school

This one is sad but true. You don't want to be the one kid with zero money left when all your friends are chowing down on La Madeleine and Taco Bell the second month of school. I have too many friends who blew all of their dining dollars in the get-go and have to sit around sad and hungry for the remainder of the semester. Just be smart and frugal, and all will be well!

4. Going to the busiest library when you need to grind out a 15 page paper

At the University of Kentucky, Willy T. is the library of choice by most. It is large and beautiful, but it can be very busy and distracting at times. If you are only going to get one small assignment done and socialize, go for the "fun" library, but if you have to work on 6 hours of anatomy homework and write a 15 page essay, I recommend going to a smaller library on campus. It will be much quieter and 10 times easier to focus and be productive.

5. Skipping class frequently

I'm going to let you in on a secret. Going to every class every single day is, in theory, a great idea, but is it practical all the time? The answer is no. Here is my special recommendation:

1. Attend all your mandatory classes unless you are throwing up everywhere and or actually dying. Having to go to office hours and do a bunch of extra work for not attending out of laziness is big dumb.

2. Skip the less important classes when and if you feel you can. I was able to skip biology most days because our lectures were posted online daily. I also skipped philosophy and linguistics many times for the same reason! Be smart and don't forget exam dates and due dates if you decide to sleep through class for the 15th time.

3. Take your exams on time!!!! It is a hassle to reschedule the exam with your professor, so just take it when you're supposed to. Push through that hangover if needed, you will make it out alive I promise.

6. Avoiding taking the bus. You are never too cool to utilize campus transportation.

First semester I made the mistake of being that person who was "too good" to take the bus. Man was that stupid! Perks of taking the bus include:

1. Getting extra sleep. Wake up late? Hop on the bus and make it just before class starts.

2. Not having to bear scolding heat, blizzards, or monsoons.

3. Enabling the lazy person you are. Eliminate the extra walking you have to do for the day.

7. Stressing over assignment after assignment

My philosophy is stress is a choice when it comes to school. Stress is a natural thing and all of us encounter many stressors on a daily basis, but school is the one thing I believe you CAN control. Make the conscious decision to not allow anything to get to you. If you have a gigantic paper coming up, acknowledge the fact that you are going to have to write it and move on. Get it started and make some progress, and then get on with your life. Letting an assignment dictate your life and happiness is not something I am about, and I am a much happier person now that I accept everything that comes my way and do not allow it to stress me out.

8. Sitting in your dorm when everyone else is out having fun

Freshman year is the time to have fun and say yes as much as possible. Don't be picky about who you spend your time with, just try to experience as many things as possible. Do not limit yourself to the same three people. Expand your group and be as inclusive as possible! If some girls on your hall are going to lunch and invite you, go! If your guy friend from Communications class wants to study with you at the library, go for it! If your sorority sisters want Waffle House at 2 a.m. on a random Wednesday night, join them. Experience. Experience. Experience.

9. Staying in your comfort zone

You are not the same person you were in high school. Think of coming to college as a rebirth and a completely new beginning. If you were super shy in high school, but want to be more outgoing and social in college, do it and don't feel nervous about it. Nobody knows who you were in the past, so work toward creating the version of yourself you aim to become and roll with it

10. Being a douche to everyone

If you want people to like you, the only piece of advice I have is to not be mean to others. Sounds silly, but the people I like least in college are the ones who think they are too good to be nice to others and treat everyone with respect. Please include others and do not allow anyone to feel like an outsider (unless they're a douche bag and rude, let them be alone). If you can be a decent human and nice to everyone, I promise you will make so many friends and truly love your college experience.

Cover Image Credit:

Madison Morgan

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To All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.

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As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

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How You Can Make the World a Better Place Today

Let's talk about doing what's right; improving our world.

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What did you do to make the world a better place today?

Seriously, take thirty seconds to think about it.

Well… what did you do today to make the world a better place?

A woman I met during a family vacation was asked this question during her Spa visit. She had just experienced a deep tissue massage, something I haven't been brave enough to try, and she saw this question in a cute little book in the spa lobby.

She read the comments in the book before she "put in her own two cents." When she was talking to me, her eyes had that light in them people have when they have experienced something really positive.

As we talked about the question, someone else at the table said dejectedly, "I did nothing." It bothered me because I had been with this person for most of the day, and they had done many positive things that day. So I offered this small tidbit to her.

"Well, you could make the world a better place by helping someone smile, or even helping yourself smile." Commenting on this led to a more positive conversation than letting her think about herself negatively. Therefore, by helping her change her perspective on her day, I was able to make her world a better place.

We often forget the world doesn't always need a superman to make it a better place. Sometimes, it's as courageous to make the world a better place by choosing to do the laundry when you got in a fight with your spouse or reach out to a distant friend just because (for someone odd reason) you can't stop thinking about him. Sometimes, sticking close to someone while he/she is suffering is just as courageous as being a superhero.

I know there are so many ways to make the world a better place, but I have a few ideas. If you want, you can read them below:

Reaching out to someone going through a hard time

Doing your roommate's dishes

Smiling at a stranger

Helping carry the groceries inside

Sincerely apologizing for a past mistake

Paying your bills ahead of time

Telling your role model how much you appreciate him/her

Purchasing a stranger's meal/drink (in the fast food line, at a restaurant, at a coffee shop)

Volunteering at a local food kitchen


...and the list goes on and on.

It's up to you how you act in and react to the world. You won't get it right all the time, and that's okay. But when you get it wrong (or not all the way right), assess the moment kindly, forgive yourself for what was lacking about it, and try to do better the next time.

By intentionally committing ourselves to "just do the next right thing," we are living our lives with more virtue. By sacrificing our comfort to make someone else's life better, we are also practicing for future moments when we are called to sacrifice more. As a young lady, helping my friend while they are sick could prepare me for when I help my kids through their sicknesses in the future.

Let me just brag about my roommate for a bit. She bakes delicious cupcakes. These cupcakes have the perfect blend of gooey cake and creamy icing. She also has a super generous heart. This summer, for two weeks straight, she was up late baking and icing cupcakes every night of the week to give them away to her coworkers and friends.

When I saw her spend so much of her limited free time serving others… it helped me reflect on what it means to be sweet and kind. Seeing others sacrifice their time and resources to make someone else's life better inspires others to do the same.

Making the world a better place means making yourself a better person in the world. It means practicing patience, kindness, trustworthiness, and more when we tend to be impatient, mean, suspicious, and more.

I believe you can do what is right, even if it isn't easy. The world needs you to do what is right, especially when it isn't easy. That's how you become a hero not only to me but the people in your world. People think the world is a big place, and sure - it is. There are lots of continents and people out there. But your world - your coworkers, friends, family, and more - they need you to rise up and make the community you all live in a better place.

So... how are you going to help your world be a better place today?

Now get out there and do it.

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