A Letter To Incoming Freshmen

A Letter To Incoming Freshmen

Everything you need to know to make it through your first year.
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Dear College Freshmen,

College is one of the biggest transitions of your life. It's the first time you'll be living on your own and making your own decisions 24/7. It's a time of study hours, frat parties and game days. It's where you learn the importance of separating your laundry, and also the importance of an alarm. Or five. It's where you learn to balance and grow. It's a huge change, and there's some things you ought to know.

First of all, please buy a planner. I'm not even a planner person, but believe me when I say you are going to need it. Your schedule will be crazy, trust me. You don't wanna be that person who gets to class and cries when there's a test on your desk (definitely not speaking from experience...).

Second, let your mom cry it out. It's hard for her; she's "losing" her baby. So let her make decoration suggestions, and introduce herself to everyone on your hall. Let her show you how to get a stain out of your T-shirts and hug you a little tighter. Just enjoy those moments, because you will miss her constantly.

Don't get too carried away. You don't have to go to every single party, there will always be more. Have fun, but remember why you are there. College is so much harder than you can even imagine. Studying is a necessity. Make sure you find a balance.

Go to class! Seriously, just go. It makes such a difference, and when you think about how much money you're spending per class, it's plenty of motivation. You need to soak in all you can, it goes by faster than you think. You wanna be the best in your field, so go to class.

Try not to let stress consume you. It's difficult, and some days you're going to want to give up; but don't. Push through the stress, take everything one step at a time and focus on the task at hand. Know you are shaping your future and it will all be worth it. Surround yourself with a great support system and try to be as organized as possible, it helps. Also, sometimes you just need to eat ice cream and cry. That's ok, do that too. Your roommate may want to join you.

Most importantly, get out of your comfort zone. Go to that event in the middle of campus. Knock on your neighbors door and see if they want to have a movie night. Introduce yourself to the people around you in your history class! This is the time to find yourself, and find your lifelong friends. Don't let fear keep you from venturing out. You will never regret memories made with people you love.

To all the college freshman, I wish you the best. You're going to kill it this year. Soak it all in, and remember that the nervous breakdowns will be worth it. College, as stressful as it is, is one of the greatest adventures of your life.

Cover Image Credit: google.com

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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6 Ways To Save Money As A Broke College Student

Money saving tips so you can afford adult life while also paying for an expensive tuition.

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It is difficult to work, attend college, and make all your payments on rent, tuition, and bills, (not to mention finding a little money to spare on yourself). These are six ways to save that have helped me in this money stressful time and that you should use too in order to reduce the expenses of adulting.

1. Saving money on rent.

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Apartments are cheaper than houses because most include some of the bills in the rent cost. Make sure to check what amenities apartments offer such as free wi-fi, trash removal, or water included. When choosing roommates the more the better for cost. You should get at least one roommate because it is difficult to afford even a studio apartment living on your own. If you want pets you should choose a place that doesn't have pet rent because even if you have a large non-refundable pet fee it is cheaper in the long run then paying twenty a month per animal.

2. Saving money on bills.

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If you choose to live in an apartment complex, having an apartment on a higher floor will make your electric bill cheaper in the winter because heat rises. Even though your electric bill will be higher in the summer you can afford to work more because classes won't be in session. When purchasing light bulbs get ones that are energy efficient and use lights with batteries to help save on the electric bill. Also make sure to turn off all lights when you aren't in the room. You can save water by not running the faucet when you brush your teeth. Anyway you can think to conserve water and energy use that to your advantage.

3. Saving money on food.

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Your best friend is buying in bulk when you go to get groceries. I personally buy ten pound ground beef logs, cut them up, and place them in the freezer to use later. Everything is cheaper when you buy in bulk and you save time grocery shopping. If you don't know how to cook now is the time to learn because frozen and fast food eats up your money. You should also go to your local food bank if you are really struggling because everyone has to eat. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it! Going without food to pay your rent is not something anyone should have to do.

4. Saving money on furniture.

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You should buy used if at all possible when finding furniture for your apartment or house. Living in a college town has its perks because people are constantly moving you can find great deals at garage sales or on craigslist. For instance I got my couch for free, I just had to move it out of a graduating students apartment. You can also check out thrift stores and consignment shops in your town.

5. Saving money on entertainment.

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There are a lot of deals and discounts for college students so take advantage of that for entertainment.. For example movie theaters usually offer a student discount and if you go to a matinee showing, tickets are even cheaper. Find out when your local bar's happy hour is and use it. Also see what meal deals are offered by restaurants around you, such as 3 items for 10 or specials on Thursday nights. You can also use apps to find coupons, my personal favorite being pocket points because it rewards you for studying.

6. Saving money and side hustles.

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Put back money during the summer in order to have a backup fund for when things get crazy busy during the school year. Scope out banks and find out what interests they offer on savings accounts in order to increase the amount of money you have saved over the years. If you need extra money you can get paid for donating plasma and you can sometimes find research studies that will offer participants cash for things as simple as just an opinion. There are also baby sitting and pet sitting apps you can download to get one time gigs if you are low on funds for the month.

These are all great tips that I have been taught or have learned living as a broke college student. It isn't easy living life in the adult world and pursuing a degree at the same time. I hope these tips will help you save money and keep you out of hard times.

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