Freshman year of college is a once in a lifetime experience filled with one of a kind situations. You'll never have your first move in day again and you can't recreate the first time you meet your roommate(s). The memories that incoming freshman have been making as they prepare for classes and get to know their campus will stay with them in their hearts and minds for years to come. You'll laugh, you'll cry, finals week will roll around and you'll cry again. Every student won't approach college the same and just because things turn out one way for you or your friend doesn't mean it'd be that way for someone else, but some unique experiences are just inevitable as you set out on the path to becoming a successful adult.
1) You Will Document Your Move
Most of the time pictures of country sides and packed cars won't be a part of your newsfeed, but be prepared for that to be all you see move in weekend. This is one of the only times in your life that a significant number of your social media followers will truly care about your car selfies-take advantage.
2) You'll Ask Stupid Questions
It happens. There'll be tons of situations where you'll be able to make yourself look like an idiot freshman year. It happens. Accept it and embrace it. My first week freshman year I was so used to the free stuff that Oglethorpe University inundated me with starting from scholarship weekend that I saw a random girl drinking a soda can and asked her where she got it--thinking I might be missing some sort of event. Her response? She got it from her dorm. That was a sophomore who was past her idiot stage.
3) You'll Be Popular(?)
It's partially due to living on such a small campus but for me I met so many people during orientation--which started a few hours after moving in for me. At college you don't need reasons to know people. You don't have to be in a club or have a class together, because it makes sense just to meet. I got so many numbers in my phone during orientation weekend and I didn't recognize half the names associated with them by the time second semester was here.
4) You'll Make Lasting Friends
Whether it's your roommate(s) or various friends you make through casual encounters, by the time freshman year is over you'll have a significant amount of people that still thoroughly enjoy you by the time sophomore year is about to start. This is best cultivated by making memories. A lot of my fast friendships were from simply meeting people, but a lot are also fellow English majors and/or Communications majors in Literature courses. Taking a risk by going to an event someone told you about is a great way to cultivate a lasting friendship that'll be the difference between being remembered and being cherished. Don't stress out about this part though--it's inevitable that you won't be as lonely as you think are.
5) You Will Party
This could mean pre-gaming before your first frat party and it could also mean watching cartoon movies in a friend's dorm while others drink and embarrass themselves. Why not both? Mingling with groups of friends is an inevitable aspect of campus life, you will most likely be in some sort of party environment before first semester is over.
6) You'll Be Homesick
Then again-maybe not. I got horribly lonely throughout freshman year and developed depression and anxiety at times. While that's definitely not inevitable, and some freshman heavily end up preferring their new life away from home it's understandable to miss home at first. An adjustment period is what everyone else also has to go through don't feel ashamed or alone because of it.
7) You'll Start To Come Into Your Own
There's something special about being completely by yourself without close by family in a whole new area. You're forced to trust yourself and be the person that you are or that you're meant to be. Some people thrive without others breathing down their necks and others get bad reputations. It's inevitable that an entirely new population of people will have an image crafted of you that you create yourself so it's a good idea to not end up known years later as "the messy roommate".
8) You'll Be Overwhelmed By Food
Both of the free variety and from the dining hall. For me concerning the dining hall the biggest appeal was the guaranteed 3+ meals a day which was not my life in high school. That made it easy to get used to eating more than would be necessary during my first weeks first semester. By all means take advantage of what's available to you, but remember to treat your body well and don't take anything for granted.
9) You'll Get A Favorite Professor
Or maybe a couple of them will be your favorites. I knew my professors more personally freshman year because Oglethorpe is such a small school compared to other institutions, but I have a feeling even at a larger school during freshman year having a particular teacher catch your eye for one reason or another is unavoidable. Maybe you develop an intellectual crush or maybe you just find their lectures super stimulating. Even if you just find them attractive keep that in mind for networking when it comes to jobs and internships.
10) You Won't Want It To Be Over
You're only a freshman once. When you step off that campus in May you won't return the same. You'll be older and wiser when you stand in the same spots that freshman you did and when you picture packing up at the end of second semester you'll want campus life to last forever. The possibilities seem endless when you're a freshman and you're still discovering everything around you. There's something limiting about knowledge at times and once you're a sophomore you won't look at the campus through rose-colored glasses anymore. This is inevitable, but it doesn't mean that you'll have a bad experience the second time around as a student on or off campus. Different isn't always bad and change is a healthy part of life. Just remember that sophomore year will have its own set of quirky situations that seem inevitable and the time to reflect on them will be sooner than you think. Don't forget to stop and smell the roses.