As I begin my Sophomore year of college at UCLA, I can't help but reflect on all the good, bad, and hilarious times during my freshman year. From pulling back to back all-nighters, making spontaneous trips to Salt and Straw, to forgetting about homework assignments, I learned a lot about how to cope with college life. However, I also remember some fears and anxieties that I had to overcome. So, here's a list of seven moments of panic every person has during their freshman year of college along with some advice on how to get through them. I think we can all relate.
1. "Who are my roommates going to be and will we get along?"
The summer before my freshman year I was super nervous and excited to find out who my new roommates were going to be. I had all kinds of worries and anxieties about living with new people. "Are they going to be clean?" "Will we become best friends?" "What if I get one that's a complete psycho?" Luckily, I had AMAZING roommates who were really sweet and clean. Like in any relationship, make sure to communicate with your roommates about your expectations for the dorm room throughout the year in order to avoid conflict.
2. Signing up for an 8am class, then realizing that you will never wake up on time
I'm not a morning person. No matter how hard I try, I can never get up when my alarm goes off. Add an early morning class and it makes for the perfect storm. However, sometimes you have to bite the bullet. Before signing up for classes, make sure to take into account your sleep schedule in order to be the most alert and ready for your day.
3. Getting lost on your way to a new class
UCLA is an enormous campus with countless buildings filled with classrooms that more or less look exactly the same. I have vivid memories of running down hallways, frantically looking for my classroom on the first day, praying that I wouldn't be late. Sometimes we just have those days.
4. "I just got a bad grade and I'm never going to graduate!"
Take a deep breath. Getting a bad grade or struggling in a class happens to everyone at one point or another. Not succeeding right away does not define your worth or intelligence. My advice would be to go to your professor's office hours, join a study group, and take it one day at a time. Planning and studying in increments will help to ensure that you are keeping up with the class rather than waiting to cram during finals week.
5. "What am I going to major in?"
Picking a major can be stressful especially when everyone around you seems like they already have their entire life together. However, in reality, this is not true at all. It's totally fine to be unsure of what you want to do and try out different classes to see what sparks your interest. My advice would be to spend time really thinking about what you love to do rather than rushing into a major that you don't enjoy just because everyone else has already picked. More often than not people end up changing their majors and that's totally ok too. I changed mine halfway through the year and it was the best decision.
6. "Everyone is having more fun than I am"
I'll be the first to tell you that this is a lie! In the age of social media, everyone only posts the highlights of their life, making them appear to be having fun all of the time. This leads to everyone comparing their life to other people's lives. No one's life is exciting and happy all the time. I can guarantee you that everyone has moments of loneliness in college and that's ok. My advice would be to take a break from social media, join a club, and put yourself out there. Also, take advantage of having alone time in college; privacy and quiet can be really hard to come by.
7. "Am I cut out for college?"
During my first year, I definitely had moments of worry and anxiety about whether or not I was smart enough, responsible enough, or good enough to be at college. As the year went on, I learned that everyone feels this way at some point and adjusting to your new life will come with struggles. This is totally ok and normal. However, I can confidently say that by the time I finished my first year I was more than prepared—I just had to give it some time and be less judgmental of myself. Learning to work through my insecurities has helped me to learn so much more about myself and has made my college experience all the more worthwhile.
Despite all of these panic moments that you will have in college, I can assure you that you will get through them and make the best memories of your life. Just remember to keep your head up, stay true to yourself, surround yourself with uplifting people, and take a deep breath!