The end of my freshman year is looming, and I can't help but look back at everything I have learned and what I wish I knew when I began college. These are the 10 things I believe are the most critical to having a great freshman year!
1. 8 a.m.'s are not the moveGiphy
If you're like me, you love to get up early, have a productive start to your day, and believe that you can handle 8 a.m.s. Well don't be fooled, they suck the energy out of you. I took one my first semester of college, and it honestly wasn't that bad; that was, until three months in, when I realized my body crashed at 2 p.m. every day, and I constantly was knocked out until my alarm rang for tennis practice.
I learned for the spring semester and made sure that all of my classes started at 9 a.m. or later, and so far that has drastically improved my energy level.
2. Join everything you're interested inGiphy
One of the biggest regrets I had in high school was not joining enough clubs that I would've enjoyed. So when Temple Fest came around (Temple's events fair), I hopped in my big girl pants and signed up for every club I saw (literally). Realistically I couldn't join everything I signed up for, but this method provided me with many options that I could attend a meeting or two and decide if it was a good fit for me.
3. Know when to cut backGiphy
As important as it is to get involved, it's also crucial to understand your limits. You cannot do everything, which I discovered when trying to attend multiple meeting that overlapped. But you can narrow down how much you are overextending yourself, and find what best works for you and your limits.
4. Put yourself out there (TALK TO PEOPLE)Giphy
I know, I know, I shouldn't be lecturing on this considering the amount of time I spend sleeping. But still, putting yourself out there is so representative of your college career. People need friends, and coming into college everyone is looking to make some, so it really isn't as intimidating as it seems. I love my friends I've made so far, and don't know how I could do college without them.
5. Spend quality time with friendsGiphy
Now that you have friends (I hope), it makes the college experience better to spend time with them outside of class, dorm, or wherever you met them. Having people there for you makes you feel as if you aren't as alone in your experiences and struggles. This is a great way to bond, and form friendships that will last long after the hurricane we call freshman year.
6. Go to classGiphy
Everyone says this, and you know why, it's 'cause it's true. It may be the easiest class ever so you don't feel the need to go, but please go, because it helps you not just pass but learn which is what college is all about, as well as encouraging helpful practices for the future (i.e. going to a real job oooooooh scary SO PRACTICE).
7. Take care of your healthGiphy
College will be around five billion times harder if you disregard putting your health first (physical and mental), and make sure your body is well equipped to take on the school year ahead of you. I highly suggest doing some kind of physical exercise, whether you enjoy going to the gym or just take a casual stroll around campus once in a while.
This will not only make you feel better about your productivity but will better your health in the long run. People tend to forget about mental health, but this is honestly the key area that can drive you to or from success. If you do not feel as if you are in a good head space, you should prioritize discovering what will help make you feel better, and if that doesn't work than seek professional help (counseling and psychiatric services are provided free of cost on most college campuses).
8. Find a hobbyGiphy
Surprise! College is not only about school. This is also a perfect time to find a niche or something that you really enjoy to be able to turn to in times of boredom or stress. One of the things most people don't realize about college, is that even with everything you are involved in, there will still be a absurd amount of free time that you didn't anticipate. So discovering activities to do instead of constantly sleeping or binging Netflix, can really help make the college experience more enjoyable and allow you to unearth more about yourself.
9. Discover your passions/ talk to your professorsGiphy
The typical definition of college states that it is a place of higher education to lead to one down a specialized career path and/or to a profession. Not everyone has to know exactly where they want to be in ten years when they enter this kingdom of knowledge, but while you're in college it allows for endless opportunities to explore different routes.
You have the ability to take courses that may not directly pertain to your major, but interest you, and allow you to expand your scope of possible majors and careers. College professors can be instrumental in this process as well. They are typically highly educated professionals in their field and can provide great insight into where this study can lead you, and what your interests could mean for you.
Many of them are pleasant people, and if not, they are still paid to, and therefore required to, listen to you talk, so take advantage of the endless resources provided and find your passion!
10. How independent college makes youGiphy
College requires the student to put in a lot of effort to make sure they are maximizing their education and the money they put into it. This requires responsibility and independence. You may not realize it while it's occurring, but you change into a grown up and acquire these character traits as the year progresses.
Overall, this is definitely the best thing I have taken from my first year of college because I am able to accomplish way more than I ever thought possible and do it using my own merit and confidence. I am thankful for this skill, and look forward to developing more as an adult, and hope you have the same experience.