how to survive as a freshman in college
Student Life

8 Ways To Make Your Freshman Year Your Best Year Yet

How I, a once angsty freshman, made the most of my first year experience.

Brenna Doyle

In the months leading up to my first day of college, I buried my head in my laptop, scouring the internet for articles like this. Articles which would essentially teach me how to be a college freshman without being in college yet. I read through "Freshman Year Survival Guides" religiously, hoping that my first year of college would not stray from the information provided to me. What became clear to me quickly was these articles compiled helpful information about academics or dorm decor, but they did not touch on how to live your best life while struggling through your first year. This is where I come in. I am here to tell you eight ways to make the most out of your first year, so that you can walk away from your university CERTAIN that you made the right choice.

1. Bedroom dance parties (this is a requirement, not an option)

Britney Spears Circa 2010? Blaring. Lights? Off. Roommate? Gone. Your fantastic moves? Ready to be busted. Every day, dedicate a portion of time to dancing to your favorite music in your dorm room. Whether you are a solo act or you invite some friends to join, dancing every day is proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. I challenge you to try this at least once, and I guarantee that you will be smiling the entire time. If anything, you can take this opportunity to perfect your moves for a night on the town.

2. Get out of the dorms

The dorms: a new home in which there is no one to tell you not to sit on your bed and watch soap cutting videos for 6+ hours. In your dorm room, there are infinite numbers of excuses that you will come up with to stay in bed and do absolutely nothing. This new-found sense of freedom is quite enticing and fairly dangerous. It is your job as a freshman to make a conscious effort to leave your dorm room as much as possible and explore your campus. Whether it be to study or to grab a snack, its almost impossible to be inefficient when you're away from your bed.

3. Make time for yourself

It's easy to get caught up in studying, drama, or partying (pick your poison), so it is crucial that you take some time to be alone and relax. Watching your favorite Netflix show or getting that extra hour of sleep can help reset your brain and help you function at your maximum efficiency when you're doing the more important things. So do a face mask, meditate, buy yourself a nice meal, and treat yo self for putting in the hard work.

4. Pursue your passions

Whether it be painting, singing, volleyball, video games, or underwater basketweaving, dedicate a little bit of time each week to activities that purely make you happy. The majority of college students enter college dead set on a career path and slowly realize that it is not quite what they expected. If this happens to you, you can fall back on your passions, which can potentially turn into your career. You'll never know if you don't pursue them.

5. Travel

Jump on any opportunity to travel. Coming from across the country, I used my first semester of freshman year as an opportunity to explore 5 different states in the midwest and explore the land up north. Obviously, never let travel get in the way of academics, but why not explore new areas and dabble in new cultures while you have the chance? Whether it be a road trip, a plane or a train, use an adventure to escape any school-related stress.

6. Trust your gut

That uneasy feeling you have when you enter a new situation? Trust it. When it comes to classes, friendships, love life, or anything in between, TRUST YOUR GUT. Don't doubt yourself because you are in a new environment. At this point in your life more than ever, you have the power to make decisions based on how you, and only you, feel.

7. Do something that makes you uncomfortable

As a freshman, you are constantly told to join groups that are similar to stuff you did in high school. Although this is a great way to facilitate the transition from high school to college, it solely surrounds you with people with similar interests. Universities are flooded with people of different states, countries, cultures, and backgrounds, so use this opportunity to meet people and do things that are completely out of your comfort-zone. You only have one shot at making your freshman year count. Take advantage of every opportunity presented to you, and remember to appreciate every moment.

8. Put yourself first

For almost every student, college is the first time that people gain absolute control over their own lives. One day, you are living under your parents household, and the next, you are making life decisions on your own that can change the course of your future. Gaining this responsibility means that you have to always put yourself first. Make decisions that will benefit you and your future, and never think that any opportunity is out of reach.

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

These 11 Face Masks On Etsy Support Small Businesses While Fighting The Spread Of Coronavirus

We're staying safe as states start lifting lockdown guidelines.

I, like most people who have had the luxury of being able to stay at home during this time, haven't spent much time outdoors at all. But when I do brave the great outdoors for a walk or to get to the grocery store, you won't find me without a mask.

My family and I were lucky enough to have family friends who were sewing some and had extras to give to us, but most of my friends and loved ones outside my immediate family have had to order some (or make a makeshift one out of scarves or bandanas).

Keep Reading... Show less

13 Reasons We're Using Quarantine As The Ultimate Excuse For Online Shopping This Month

The one thing we haven't distanced from is our bank account.

Throughout quarantine, I've been FaceTiming most of my friends in a full turtleneck or the go-to cozy sweater I keep wrapped around the chair in my room. Either way, I always have tea in my hands to keep myself warm — till this past week.

For most of the country who hasn't had the luck of quarantining in 90-degree weather on their family's lake house or with a backyard pool, things began to change this month. Our favorite shows came out with summer seasons, the sun came out, and we started spending more time outside.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Sat Down (Virtually) With Morgan Wooten To Talk About Coronavirus's Impact On The Wellness Industry

Just because coronavirus has greatly impacted the wellness industry doesn't mean wellness stops.

Morgan Wooten

If you're anything like me, your weekly fitness classes are a huge part of your routine. They keep me fit, healthy, and sane. Honestly, these classes help my mental health stay in tip-top shape just as much as they help my physical health.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, gyms and fitness studios are facing temporary closure. Yes, this means my personal routine is thrown a curveball, but this also means the wellness industry is one of many that is looking at unemployment and hardship. Do I miss my Monday spin class? Of course. But do the wellness professionals whose worlds were flipped upside down have a lot more to overcome than a slight change of routine? Absolutely. Thankfully, if anyone can prove the ultimate flexibility, it's the wellness industry.

Keep Reading... Show less

If you are a normal person who spends most of their time streaming TV shows, you'll know that "Friends" was taken off Netflix early in 2020. Given that a global pandemic followed shortly after, many diehard fans of the show stuck in quarantine have been experiencing significant Central Perk withdrawal.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

How To Interview A Class Of 2020 Graduate

What they've been through is truly unprecedented.


No matter how you want to spin it, the Class of 2020 will be the first class graduating amidst a global pandemic.

Keep Reading... Show less

By now, it is safe to declare "Outer Banks" on Netflix as THE TV Show of quarantine.

"Tiger King" got out to an early lead, but since, the Pogues and the Kooks have owned pop culture conversations while everyone has been couped up this spring amidst a global pandemic. And if you are one of the very few people out there in the world that has not heard about "Outer Banks" and or haven't binged it yet, well...

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Spoke To A California ER Doctor About COVID-19, And Y'all, Our Healthcare Workers Know What's Up

In light of what's going on in the world, it's time to get some front-line perspective.

It seems like the only thing I do these days is scroll through social media in a desperate attempt to gain information. My phone has called me out on my screen time more than once, and I just continue to ignore it. You're probably in the same boat — stuck at home, scrolling deeper and deeper into a hole of conspiracy theories and possible "back to normalcy" dates, hungry for information.

While we know that the news is not our mental health's friend these days, getting reliable information is helpful and necessary.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments