I will be a junior in college this coming fall and it is so weird to think that I was a freshman two years ago. It was the most exciting thing because I was so happy for a new chapter in my life, but I had to learn a lot along the way. You’ll learn many things in your own journey as a freshman, but I figured a little help couldn’t hurt you. So, here is a list of lessons I have learned in my four semesters of college.
1) Don’t eat out for every meal
As a freshman, it can be hard to grocery shop because space is limited and you may not be able to go to the grocery store, but it is a lot cheaper and healthier for you. Campus restaurants are super expensive and very high in calories. So, make going out a limited thing.
2) Be neat
Dorm rooms are tiny and your sharing with another person, so that makes the room even tinier. Do yourself a favor and keep your room clean. You’ll be able to pass your room check and be able to study better with a clean space
3) Stay hydrated and always carry snacks with you
Always have a bottle of water and a snack on hand because it’s hard to concentrate when you're dehydrated and hangry.
4) Don’t procrastinate
College is completely different from high school. In high school, you could get away with procrastinating, but college is a whole different story. In high school, you only had to study one to two chapters for a test, but in college, you can have up to eight chapters or more just for one test. Do yourself a favor, create good habits from the beginning and get your work done early. You’ll thank me.
5) Take a break
It’s okay to take a break. Sometimes you’re studying for hours and you need a breather. So, watch YouTube or a Netflix show because you’ll feel a lot better when you have had time to cool off. Your brain and your grades will thank you.
6) Be honest with your roommate
As a freshman, you will be sharing a dorm room with another person. Make sure, to be honest, and open with that person. It’s hard work to live with someone and even harder work to share a room with someone. If something is bothering you or you are uncomfortable with a situation be an adult and talk about it.
7) Don’t be kicked out of your room
You pay a lot of money to stay in those dorms… a lot of money. Don’t let your roommate kick you out for any reason. Some people are okay with their roommate having sex or having boyfriends/ girlfriends stay over. Don’t let them do that because you don’t want to come home to an uncomfortable situation. You also want a place to go to after class and don't want to have to stear clear of the room because of a certain situation.
8) Alone time
In college, it’s hard to have alone time. You are constantly with someone at all hours of the day and it can be exhausting. So, if you have the room to yourself for a night, take it, because that doesn’t happen all the time.
You may not be the best of friends with your roommate and that can be stressful. Just try your best to get along with that person and if necessary you may be able to change rooms. Then other times you are the best of friends with your roommate/roommates. Just try to keep your head on your shoulders and remember some people are not nice
10) Roommate rules
Like I have said, be honest with your roommate. Make sure to tell your roommate what you are and are not comfortable with. Also, know that some things you can compromise with and others not so much. You can compromise over who buys the next roll of toilet paper. But if you don’t agree with smoking in the dorm than tell your roommate, that that’s not happening.
It’s okay to cry because college is hard. Have yourself a good cry and then get back to work.
12) Do your best
There is going to come a time where you get lazy, tired, and you think that it will be okay to not study for this one test. Sure, it’s just one test, but every test counts. Trust me, it sucks when you work hard and don’t get a good grade, but at least you can say you tried. It sucks, even more, knowing you deserve that bad grade. Always put in the effort and do your best because it creates good habits and will make you feel better.
13) Dress up or look like a hobo
In college, no one cares how you look. It’s okay to look nice, but it’s okay to look like a hobo too. It’s your face and your body, so do whatever you want with it. Also, when going to the library wear comfortable clothes. You’ll thank me when you’ve been at the library for eight hours.
14) Freshmen 15
Yes, it’s a thing because everything on campus is high calorie and greasy. I’m not telling you this because I think that you need to look a certain way. I’m saying this because you need to take care of yourself and having greasy, high calorie, fast food, is not taking care of yourself. It’s hard to pay attention to class and study when you feel like crap. So, make sure to keep eating out to a minimum and go out and exercise. While on campus you have a free gym member ship be sure to use it and take care of yourself.
15) Be safe
This means buddy system is always a must and never walk with head phones in especially at night. Also, make sure someone knows where you are at in case of an emergency. It’s never bad a thing to be too cautious.
It never hurts to have a relationship with your professors. Go introduce yourself to them the first day of class because it will help you in the future with recommendation letters and if you need help with the class. Professors are a lot more willing to help you if they know you and know how hard you are working.
I wish I would have known this and looking back on this it was dumb, but you need money for books. Some colleges add that into your charges, but the majority don’t. Also, make sure to compare prices on text books because they’re normally cheaper online then at the campus store.
18) Command hooks
You’re going to want to decorate your dorm and command strips are a great asset but know that they do break. I have never had a problem with them breaking while in use, but I have had problems with taking them off. If your command strip breaks, whatever you do don’t rip off the strip because it will pick up paint. Instead get floss and a hair dryer. Heat up the command strip with the hair dryer and then use the floss to saw off the strip. I had to learn this trick my freshmen year and it works like a charm. Just make sure to use string floss, not the flossers.
Buy your supplies in bulk. This may be razors, pads, tampons, and anything else. This way you only pay for these items one time and you never run out.
My school has free laundry, but most schools don’t. So, you’ll need a lot of quarters and don’t forget the detergent. Also, when picking out a laundry hamper, go for the one with wheels. It makes things so much easier to carry.
Get involved with your school. College can get lonely and stressful, but having an activity to keep your mind off it, helps a lot. Participating in class helps you to make friends as well.
22) Be independent
Try new things on your own. You’re going to have to make appointments by yourself and do your own grocery shopping. But make sure to give your mom a call too because she probably misses you and you miss her.
In college, you get to pick your own classes. You have the right to choose what you take and when you take it. So, do not let someone tell you to take three hard classes together when you are not comfortable with it because it ends badly… trust me. You are an adult and have the right to make your own choices. So, make wise choices.
Just like with everything you will sometimes fail a test and that’s okay. What’s not okay is giving up on yourself. If you fail, cry, eat chocolate, but then move on and do better the next time.
College is a new and scary adventure, but it’s not an impossible adventure. I have cried, laughed, and had many mental break downs in my four semesters of college, but I survived somehow. As long as you hold your head up high and push yourself, you will too. So, I wish you luck, incoming freshmen, because you’re going to need it.