Your freshman year of college is a crucial time in life that will undoubtedly teach you many important life lessons. These lessons may be simple ones, such as learning how to navigate an unfamiliar place, like your university's dining hall, to more important lessons like learning how to live on your own and be independent. Each and every lesson, no matter how small or large, will stick with you for a lifetime and you will be forever grateful for everything that you learned during your freshman year, both in and out of the classroom.
1. How to be independent.
You will have to learn how to do your own laundry and perhaps how to cook a meal for yourself when the walk across campus to the cafeteria just doesn't seem worth it after a long day of classes. You are responsible for getting out of bed every morning, getting to your classes on time and completing all of your school work without constant reminders from your parents.
2. How to meet new people.
It may have been years since you have been forced to make new friends and now you are starting all over. You will learn how to be yourself and find the people on your campus with whom you share similar interests and values. This may not happen within the first few days on campus and can even take a few weeks or months, but once you find your niche you will have made friends that will last a lifetime.
3. The freshman 15 is not a myth.
You trade your mom's home cooked meals for dining hall delicacies. Sure, it sounds great to be able to eat pizza and fries for every single meal, but choosing the salad or even the deli bar most of the time is probably a smart choice to stay healthy and get all of the nutrients you will need to succeed.
4. Time management.
Two exams and one quiz to study for and a lab report, two papers, online homework and a group project due next week? Challenge accepted. This may sound impossible, but you will most likely have times where every assignment and exam or quiz seems to be happening at once. Though it will be stressful, this time will teach you how to prioritize and complete all of your tasks before a deadline.
5. Caffeine is your best friend.
Whether it's a freshly brewed cup of coffee from your Keurig in the morning, a cup of tea with your lunch or chugging a 5-Hour Energy before your three-hour lecture or lab, you will find yourself relying on caffeine more than you ever have before.
6. How to study
You may have been able to get straight A's in high school without even opening a textbook, but college is a whole different world. You will need to study hard just to maintain a B average at best. Though it will take a lot of hard work, if you put the time and effort into your studies, it will pay off in the long run.
7. Respect others.
There will be countless people on campus with different opinions and beliefs than you, and other people who just simply get on your nerves. You may be forced to work in a group or even live in a dorm with these people. Even though you may not agree with them or be their best friend, you will learn how to respect them and cooperate with them.
8. Sleep is precious.
Whether you're up late cramming for an exam the next day or powering through an essay you have due in six-hours, you will definitely be slacking on your eight-hours of sleep at least a few times during your freshman year. Therefore, you will learn to cherish every minute of sleep you can get and will be excited for any chance you get to take a nap.
9. It's normal to worry.
Did I choose the right school? Am I in the right major? What am I going to do after graduation? It is totally normal to worry during your first year on your own, but don't waste all of your time worrying, because in the end you will make any necessary changes and figure out exactly what is the right thing to do for you.
10. Time flies.
You are packing up the place you called home for the past nine months, yet it feels like it was just yesterday that you walked into your dorm room for the first time. Despite all of the hard work, sleepless nights and stressful days of your freshman year, it will be over before you know it and you will wonder where the time has gone.
Your freshman year may be one of the greatest years of your life, or it may be a very challenging one that forces you to grow. No matter how your freshman year turns out, you are sure to learn a thing or two along the way and have some great memories to go along with it.