Hello, readers! Since college move-in day is just around the corner, I figured I would write some words of advice for incoming freshman. These are things I personally learned or learned from observing others. I hope these bits of advice help you all out! Enjoy!
1. On move-in day, let your parents, grandparents, guardians, etc. be overbearing.
For a lot of you, this is going to be the first time you will be living on your own. They are going to miss you and worry about you. And let's be honest, you're going to miss them too. Let them fuss over you. Let them decorate your room with you. No matter how embarrassing you think they are in front of your roommate or new friends, there is always a good chance that their parents will be just as embarrassing.
2. You don't need to get drunk to have fun.
The first thing most people think of when dreaming of going to college are the parties and getting drunk. I survived my freshman year without getting drunk, and let me tell you, I had an awesome time.
3. Don't be pressured into doing anything.
This is pretty cut and dry here, folks. Don't be pressured into partying. Don't be pressured into drinking. Don't be pressured into smoking. If you feel unsure about something, don't do it.
The only thing you should be pressured into doing is your homework.
4. You need to learn how to take care of yourself.
Mom isn't there to schedule your doctor's appointments. Feel sick? Make an appointment with the health center. Most of the time, the cost of going there and getting checked out is covered by your tuition so its free. Even better! Also, once one person gets sick, the whole campus gets sick. Better nip your fever in the bud or you could miss class for a week!
5. Going along with #4, don't be afraid to visit the college counselor or therapist.
If you're feeling depressed, anxious, or if you just need to talk to a professional, go visit them. They are there for a reason. Your mental health is your responsibility so please take care of yourself and get help when you need it.
They are awesome. I wouldn't have passed my intro to accounting class without mine. Go to a tutoring session every now and then. No one will judge you and you may learn more from your tutor than your actual professor.
7. Join clubs.
Go out and meet all kinds of people. Make sure to get involved in clubs associated with your major as well as recreational clubs. At the beginning of the school year, there is usually an involvement fair of some kind to advertise all of your college's clubs. If there isn't a club you want to join... consider creating your own!
8. Be nice to everyone.
You never know who will be the president of your club, your Residential Assistant, Teaching Assistant, professor, boss, neighbor, or roommate. Being nice to everyone will help you in the long run.
9. Apply for leadership positions even if you don't think you will get hired.
Just showing you are willing and able to go above and beyond will put you ahead of the crowd. Don't be afraid to apply your freshman and sophomore years. I was absolutely terrified to apply and interview to become an RA for my sophomore year, but I got the job! It's not impossible to be a leader as an underclassmen. Don't forget that!
10. You may go into freshman year as skinny as a tooth pick, but there is a slim chance you will end freshman year as skinny as before.
Own it. Don't be ashamed of it.
11. Explore your campus.
Don't just go to class and go back to your room. Unlike in high school, you are free to explore and visit every building on campus. Go visit the biology labs even if you are not in a biology class. Visit the art building even if you don't have an artistic bone in your body. You are free to roam around so do it!
12. Put some fruits and veggies in your mini fridge!
Don't just eat ramen and pop tarts at midnight while you're studying. Your thighs will thank me.
13. Respect your professors.
This is one of the most important pieces of advice I can give you because you are in college to get good grades and eventually get a job related to your major. Sorry if I sounded like your mother for a second. Professors are your way of getting the skills and education you need in order to get a job. It would be wise to respect them because they will be more willing to give you extra help or more time on assignments. Use common sense. Is it wise to be an ass to the person deciding if you pass or fail? In case you have no common sense, the answer is no.
14. Respect your roommate.
You may not like them, but you still have to live with them. Make the best of the situation you're in. Besides, you never know when you'll lock yourself out of the room and need their key to get back in.
15. Get a part-time job.
If you get a part-time job on campus then your boss will be willing to work around your school and study schedule. Admissions, financial aid, book stores, dining halls, and the library are all awesome places to look for part time work. You never know who you'll meet while you're working there, too!
16. Are your parents doing your job for the rest of your life? No? Ok then, don't let them choose your major for you.
Major in what you want! Don't let them persuade you into doing something you don't want to do for the rest of your life.
17. Don't put off studying and homework until the afternoon.
As soon as you get back from class, just do your homework and get it over with. You don't want to be sitting all alone in your room writing a paper while everyone is having a late night Taco Bell run. Don't miss out on T-Bell. Do your homework.
18. Learn to do laundry before you move into your dorm.
Nothing is more embarrassing than standing over the machines with your over flowing bag of dirty clothes without a clue how to work them. And do your laundry regularly because if you don't then it will eat you alive. Professors will not accept the excuse that you got lost in your laundry as a viable reason why you didn't write your essay.
19. Don't be afraid to have high expectations.
There's a misconception that college is all about getting wasted and hooking up with strangers. If you're going to do these things, why not have some high expectations for the people you spend your time with? Have high expectations of your hook up, boyfriend/girlfriend, friends, class partners, and most importantly, yourself.
20. Take advantage of your meal plan.
Even if you're not hungry, mosey on down to the dining hall and stuff your pockets with random food. You're a college student, there's a good chance you'll be starving in an hour. If you don't use your meal plan as much as you can, then you're just wasting money.
21. Take advantage of free stuff.
Colleges love giving free stuff away at festivals, fairs, and opening parties. I went to the opening of a credit union on my college campus and I got a free cup, lanyard, smoothie, frisbee, bumper sticker, and I won a guessing game in which I was awarded 60-something dollars. It was a good day.
22. I really shouldn't have to tell ya'll this, but you would be surprised how many people don't do this. Observe proper hygiene.
Showering, shaving, deodorant, and brushing your teeth are still important even though mom isn't there to tell you otherwise. You're friends and roommates will appreciate it.
23. Don't talk badly about anyone.
You never know who is friends with who on campus. This may not be an issue on big campuses, but on small campuses this is a huge no-no. It is basically guaranteed that they will find out you said something and then you will have a target on your back.
24. Make sure to tell all your grandparents, family friends, neighbors, and anyone who will listen what your new address will be in college so they can send you stuff.
This is vital, people.
25. WARNING: Tacky advice ahead! Be yourself.
College is the place to learn who you truly are and express yourself. Decorate your side of the room how you would like it. Dress the way you want. Be friends with whoever you want. If you ever felt stifled by high school, this is your time. Personally, I barely recognize the girl I was before college because I finally found who I truly was my freshman year.
I hope all you college freshman readers have an amazing first year! I know you're all going to do great!