Freshman year seems like a long time ago to everyone that’s not a freshman anymore; whether you’re a sophomore, junior, senior, or an alumni. Sometimes I look back and I wish I was smart enough to invent a time machine so I could go tell my Freshie-self some advice that I learned the hard way. Here’s a list of that advice, and if you are the little fish in the big pond now, take heed.
1. You’re not going to walk out of this school the same person you were on move in day.
College changes you, it’s a fact. It’s a place where you can begin again in a place where almost knows your past and who you used to be. Don’t be alarmed if you find yourself changing, because it might be for the better.
2. However, it’s easy to get caught in the crowd.
I often found myself being swept up by all of my new friends, and sometimes I didn’t always want to do what they wanted to do. While friendships might seem hard to come by in the new environment that is college, stay true to yourself. No “friends” would ever want you to be who you’re not.
3. I would give myself a list of names.
I wish I could go back in time and give myself a list of names of people that I would soon be unable to imagine life without, and I wish that we could start those friendships long before I actually met them, sometimes with only a semester left to get to know each other.
4. I would tell myself that it’s going to be rough.
If only had someone had warned me how much harder college is than high school. Maybe then I wouldn’t have gotten that D on my transcript first semester. I came into school not knowing how to study and it showed.
5. But also that it’s okay to leave the library once in awhile.
While studying is super important (it is what we came here to do after all) I should’ve lived a little more my freshman year. I was intimidated by the college culture and didn’t really start coming out of my shell until halfway through the year.
6. Don’t trust anyone with your safety except yourself.
If I could, I would prevent my own rape by telling myself to watch my number of drinks more closely, and to never spend the night with a “friend,” who might not have entirely honorable intentions.
7. You don’t have to be involved with everything.
You have four years ahead of you, don’t over do it.
8. You’re going to fail, a lot.
You won’t pass every test, and you’re going to get under the mean on occasion. You might walk into the wrong classroom on the first day, and you might cry (more than you want to admit). You’re going to get rejected from jobs, internships, lab positions, a capella groups, and everything else you can imagine, but don’t give up! College isn’t about being perfect, it’s about figuring it all out.
9. Your grade is just a number.
A grade doesn’t always reflect how many hours you spent studying, how many notes you took, how many notecards you made, how ready you felt before the exam. A grade is simply a grade. While grades do matter, remember to take care of yourself.
10. You’re going to appreciate your success a lot more.
During high school, getting an A on a test may have been mildly rewarding or even NBD, during college you’re going to want to scream to the world that your hard work finally paid off .
11. Pulling an all nighter will become almost “easy” and procrastination is your middle name.
Who knew that college could make you not want to do something so badly?
12. “Broke” will have a new definition.
Treasure the memories of free textbooks, because that’s a thing of the past.
13. Your body is going to change.
The freshman 15 is no joke, but by eating healthy, trying to get healthy amounts of sleep, not drinking your body weight in beer, and exercising, you can stay on track with your personal health goals.
14. Your heart will be broken (more than once probably).
College is a great place to meet people, and it can go great, and sometimes it won’t. Remember that you have a lot of time left on campus and that everything will work out in the end.
15. You will become more confident.
When you walk across the stage in four years, you will look back at freshman year and see how far you’ve come since then. You will realize that you have overcome so much, and that the beginning of college is one of the best parts of it.
Even if I did invent a time machine, I don’t think I would use it. Even though I could warn myself of so much to come, I wouldn’t be the same person I am today if I had all the answers from day one.