5 Things All Incoming First Semester Freshman Should Know

5 Things All Incoming First Semester Freshman Should Know

What I wish I had been told before coming to college

Jessica Cooper-Vastola

Coming into college, I had such high expectations for what it would really be like. I pictured myself going to crazy Project X type parties every weekend, finding immediate bff’s and being involved in every club on campus. I imagined this was all very possible while also keeping up my perfect GPA. How hard could it be, right?

By week one, I knew my first semester was definitely not what I had envisioned it to be.

Here are 10 things I had wished someone would have told me about being a first-semester freshman.

1. Frat parties really are not what they seem.

To be completely honest with you, I got over frat parties pretty quickly. To be fair, I was never the biggest partier, but things got old pretty quickly. I started enjoying staying in and watching movies with some friends much more than I did going out.

I’m not saying going out isn’t fun, but sometimes being in bed wearing your coziest pj’s with your favorite episode of "Friends" playing on your computer seems so much better than being squished against a wall in a hot and crowded room.

2. Don’t beat yourself up over not meeting people you click with immediately.

Although I am an incredibly extroverted person, the first few weeks of my first semester felt incredibly lonely. I felt like I didn’t fit in and that it was my fault for not having a ton of best friends by the end of September. But, it’s completely normal to feel this way. Ask yourself this: did your best friends become your best friends after just one day? True friendships take time to develop, and you’ll meet those people soon, just not the first week of college.

3. Snapchat stories are not always truthful.

Seeing my friends from home on their Snapchat stories always made me question my experiences at college. They always looked like they were having so much more fun than I was, and it definitely made me feel like they were moving on without me.

But when I came home for my first break in October, I realized that they had felt exactly the same way as I did. Don’t let Snapchat stories mislead you into thinking that you're missing out, you’d be surprised as to how many other people feel the same way you do!

4. FOMO is real, but it shouldn’t stop you from doing what you want to do.

FOMO really got to me the first few weeks of college. I was trying to keep up with going out with all my new “friends,” but all I really wanted to do was watch movies in bed or Facetime my boyfriend. I had always hated being left out in high school, and the thought of my new group of friends having fun without me would make me feel so jealous.

When I finally decided to not go out one Saturday night last semester, I asked my friends how the night had gone. “You really didn’t miss out,” was the response I’d get almost every time. Keep in mind that you have FOUR YEARS to go out! One night of staying in will not change anything.

5. It’s okay to feel like you don’t fit in.

First semester is all about trying to settle into this new place you’re expected to call home. It’s totally okay to feel like you don’t quite fit in at first! For weeks, I was even considering transferring because I just felt so out of place.

It’s really hard when you come from a place where you grew up knowing everyone to suddenly being thrown into this completely new environment. But, everything takes time to adjust! And believe me, everyone is in the same boat. You’d be surprised how many people feel the same way that you do.

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