In a few short weeks I will be heading off to my sophomore year of college. Looking back, there are some things I wish that I knew as freshman. I want to advise incoming freshman on a few things.
First of all, leave your door open in your dorm and talk to people. Go up to people and introduce yourselves. At the beginning of the year I hated my dorm because no one talked, but by the second semester, the entire floor was friends. Another interesting thing about friends that I would like to point out is that it is perfectly okay to attend a school where you know no one coming into it. If you do not hit things off with your roommate or anyone else for a while, that is okay, too. Give it time to see if things work out, but don't be afraid to request a room switch if things do not get better after a month or so. The first week I do not think I had said more than two sentences to anybody. After the first month of school, I had about two friends and by the end of the first semester I had about five. It wasn't until the second semester that I really started making a lot of friends. I am sure it is different fro everyone, but don't freak out or think you are alone if you have no friends right away. It will all be okay.
As if this isn't obvious enough, if there is anything free - clothing, food, mugs - GO! Take advantage of any and everything that is free, and be sure to get there early. If your parents offer to buy you groceries while they visit, take them up on that offer! Another thing to take advantage of is professor's office hours. If you are struggling, do not be ashamed to go into their office and ask for help. Forming a good friendship with a professor is always a plus, as well.
I may be a minority here but the first eighty-five percent of the year I spent all day Saturday doing homework. Here is the thing, there was definitely time for me to do it all on Friday afternoon or Sunday (except finals week). Give yourself a day to just relax. Seriously, you deserve it. You know you'll get that assignment done anyway.
A tip for you incoming freshman: find a friend who has the same study habits as you. I was fortunate enough to stumble across a friend who was also an insomniac and did not mind working on homework until three in the morning on a Thursday. Sometimes it helps to have someone to sit and complain with (or get distracted with) as you are doing your homework. Also, find that study spot that works best for you! Find that place that you can focus at when you need to study for a final or write out a fifteen page paper. Cherish this place; it is very important.
Be sure to explore your new home! I barely left the campus the first few months of school, and I feel that I really missed out on exploring places that I could go to, either in town or in surrounding towns.
Another tip that I would say is important is staying at your school on the weekends. I only went home for the school breaks and it worked out very well. Going home on the weekends takes away from new experiences and new people that you would have encountered if you had otherwise stayed.
When it comes to your friends back home, it will all be okay. I know it can be hard but true friends will still be able to pick up where they left off months later. It is alright to make new best friends. Now I can just say that I have a lot of best friends.
Good luck, freshman. Make it a great year.