Your freshman year will be filled with joy and excitement and new experiences. Sadly, it will also be filled with stress, doubts and possibly tears. Here are some things to look out for going through your freshman year of college. Don't let these things mess up the amazing year you are bound to have!
1. Welcome Week
A necessary evil, but it will seem never-ending. It might be overwhelming and terrify you for actual classes to start, but believe me, things will slow down and you'll get to relax.
2. The size of campus
It's so scary trying to make sure you get to every class on time and don't get lost. I suggest taking a few hours before or during the first week to just map out your classes and walk them if possible. Makes all the stress fade away.
3. "Your" seat in class
Most teachers won't assign seats, but there will be a seat that you choose and it just becomes YOUR seat. At least once, halfway through the semester, someone will take your seat. Make sure you get to class super early the next day and show them who's boss.
4. The college party scene
Whether you become involved or not, it will affect your college experience. Maybe your roommate is a big partier, or maybe you just see some random girl stumbling up the stairs. Be kind and ready to help your peers if you don't participate, and if you do, BE SAFE. You're told so many times how much one offense can ruin a college career, and depending on your career path and the severity, that is incredibly true. Be safe for yourself and your friends.
5. The hookup culture
Tinder is a huge thing at colleges, and not everyone is clear with their intentions. Coming from someone who's been through it, don't doubt your gut feeling. If you don't think hookup culture would be healthy for you, don't do it. If you do, BE SAFE.
6. General dating
In college, you have a lot more time to spend with a significant other and a lot more alone time with them. This can sometimes make people get carried away and forget about other commitments and friends. Dating is great and fun, but remember what you're at college for.
7. Intense classes
There will be that one class that you're like, "This sounds really hard, but I can do it." Especially if it's not for your major, follow your guts and drop it if needed! Your GPA will thank you later.
8. The choice of 800+ student organizations
This was one of the most overwhelming things for me. Know that you don't need to do everything, and it really looks better if you're super involved in a few things than kinda involved in a ton of things.
9. Your mental health
For some, maybe this one is super unexpected, but it can sneak up on you quickly. Check in with yourself and get help if needed. It will be much easier to get through things earlier than later.
10. Exams and papers
If you're like me, you procrastinate almost constantly. It's really hard to get through college like this, but it is possible. Try not to procrastinate, but if you do, be prepared for late nights filled with caffeine.
11. Grades and your GPA
It is definitely important to get good grades, but overall, it's important to do your best and go for your goals. The timeline doesn't matter as much as reaching the goal, so don't worry if you've gotta retake a class or two. If you're really passionate about the end-goal, it will all turn out in the end.
My first year was scary and stressful and full of bad habits. Despite all of this, it was also life-changing, fun and filled with love and new experiences. Don't let the sub-par things ruin all the amazing things. If you love your school and find your calling, college will be the best time of your life.