How To Make The Most Of Your Freshman Year

How To Make The Most Of Your Freshman Year

This year is for you, and you only! Take advantage of that.
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As the campuses are getting full and the sidewalks are becoming cluttered, school is officially in session. Continuing on my journey, I am now a sophomore! Freshman year is the year to start new, learn the impossible, and make memories that will last you a lifetime.

1. Enjoy living on your own

Sharing a room can be frustrating and missing your family can be hard, but make the most out of it. This is the first time you are dependent on only yourself, chose how you spend your nights and what you eat for dinner...(be careful with that though).

2. Create amazing playlists

These playlists can take you class to class, help your long study sessions, or slowly put you to sleep. Music is a great way to have fun, be quiet, and everything in between.

3. Enjoy the outdoors

Sitting in classes for several hours and cramming at your desk is obviously necessary, but just enjoying the outdoors and taking time to relax is sometimes the best medicine. I found clarity in my hammock, outside on coffee shop patios, or even walking to class. Getting fresh air and enjoying the campus you are a part of is a great way to remind you of all the greatness that surrounds you!

4. Get involved

Yes, I am sure you have been told this 100x. Sure it will help you make friends and feel more comfortable on campus, but more so, it helped me find my niche. Learning more about yourself and what you enjoy is what college is for. We are here to guide a light to our futures and trying out new clubs and activities can be a great way to start.

5. Join Greek life

No, it is not the stereotypical movies you have seen and are scared of. I have found my very best friends in my sorority. Being in a Greek community allows you to get involved, enjoy college to the fullest, and meet so many people. When I say meet a lot of people, I mean it. Getting to know people who enjoy service, volunteering, academics, fun and share the same morals is life changing. There is a house that is waiting for your arrival and that arrival might just change your life.

6. Call your family

Being away from home is great. It is wonderful making our own memories and creating a life we have always been waiting for. But, who can we thank for that? The people that have always been there for us. I remember hearing, "You should only call your family once a month." Talking to your family weekly is important to keep you grounded, feel love, relieve stress, and share things with. They are just as excited as you and want to hear all about it. Don't forget about them.

7. Focus on YOU

In college, it might be very easy for you to get caught up in different types of relationships. Just remember that the next four years are for YOU and YOU only. Learn how to get coffee and study alone, make decisions for you and that will benefit you and no one else. Easier said than done, but this time is for you to create your future and grow up as a better person and individual.

Cover Image Credit: Grace Rigdon

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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My First Year Of College Wasn’t Great And That’s Okay

I didn’t adjust as well as I thought I would, but I made it.

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Everyone always raves about how much they loved their freshman year of college. The independence, the parties, meeting all these new people from different places. It's a big milestone in your life. But not everyone has an amazing first year. And I'm one of those people.

Don't get me wrong. I was so excited about college. Finally getting to be on my own, experiencing all these new things. I even met people in my class before we moved in. And the first month was a blast...but then it wasn't anymore.

Eventually, I slid into this “funk", you could say. I was depressed. I never wanted to leave my bed. Some nights, I didn't even wanna eat dinner. And soon, my friends noticed but soon just stopped inviting me out.

At first, they still would, even though the answer was always no. But I guess they got bored and tired of me always saying no.

Soon, I didn't feel like I even had any friends and at one point, I even found myself debating going home to avoid being alone in my room all weekend. I would force myself to make plans, but found myself not wanting to go out because I got ignored every time I did. It wasn't worth it.

I was homesick, isolated, and just wanted to fit in.

When the year finally came to an end, I couldn't be happier. But now that it is over and I'm home, I realize how much I miss the people that were there for me. The people that came into my life unexpectedly, but it was hard for me to really recognize they care about me.

I absolutely hated my freshman year of college. Yeah, it started out good and I found my sorority, but I never felt like I was wanted anywhere. I felt so alone. I became so incredibly isolated and distant and it took a drastic toll on me as a person.

But in spite of all that, I realize that maybe that's how it was supposed to happen. Because I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and it will all play out.

This being said, my first year might not have been what I thought or hoped for. But I can truly say I am excited to see what my next year holds.

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