9 Thoughts Of Every Incoming College Freshman

9 Thoughts Every Incoming Freshman is Having

Whether you knew you where you were going to college since birth, or since sometime in May, the prospect is still terrifying.

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1. Will I make friends at Orientation?

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I came to orientation knowing no one, only vaguely recognizing people from Instagram. Maybe you were active in the GroupMe and had found some pals to hang out with there, or maybe your friends from home were there, too. But for me, I had to go around and awkwardly insert myself and introduce myself. If being marched around campus wasn't exhausting enough, the emotional toll that the awkwardness took definitely did the trick.

In reality, you'll probably make a whole new group of friends once you get on campus. It won't be hard to find your niche, and the awkwardness will subside after a while.

2. I hope my roommate isn't a weirdo.

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We've all heard the horror stories. Roommates that prefer to live in squalor, don't shower, and don't contribute can make tensions rise between roommates. Luckily, this is usually the minority. As long as you're honest about your habits and preferences and communicate, things should go swimmingly.

I got to meet my roommate before orientation. I was so nervous! We got along great over text and seemed to be pretty similar, but what if I hated her in real life?! Thankfully, my fears were unfounded and we got along great! I can't wait to tackle the beast of living together with her!

3. My 4.0 in high school will make college a breeze.

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Wrong. As much as you hated hearing your high school teachers say it, college is a totally different ballgame. People who slacked off in high school can get 4.0's and people with straight A's in high school can end up failing out. It's all about the work that you put into it.

Most professors are pretty flexible and are willing to give you some wiggle room. However, you have to show that you're making an effort and are committed to doing well.

4. The Freshman 15 is a myth.

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NOT A MYTH. When I first started living on a college campus, I gained fifteen pounds. This quickly turned into the Freshman 40.

It's easy to overeat because people are going to eat literally all the time. It also doesn't help that most of the campus food is really bad for you. It's a fragile balance, but if you watch what you eat, maybe you can stave off the pounds.

5. I can do this all by myself.

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As strong and as independent as you'll feel when finally being out in the real world, you'll need some help.

Whether this be family, friends, professors, or counselors, you need someone who will be there for you, whether you need help or just someone to talk to. College and living on your own are stressful at times and if you don't vent, you'll eventually feel like you're going to explode. Make sure you have a support system.

6. I can totally skip class. No attendance!

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We've all skipped classes before, that's a given. But it isn't exactly the smartest move in college. Some professors do, in fact, take attendance. Some even grade you on it! But even if your professor doesn't care about attendance, it's still smart to go. You're missing lecture time that you paid for, and potentially things that could be on exams.

7. I don't know what I want to do.

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You're not alone in this feeling of uncertainty. College is the first step to beginning your career and the rest of your life. Not only do you have to pick a major, but there are so many other things you can do that it can become overwhelming.

It's best to prioritize things that you really care about doing, not just for the resume boost. In addition, you should pick a major that you fall in love with. College gives you the opportunity to explore fields you may not have even known existed. Don't sweat the indecisiveness too much, everyone has it.

8. I can totally handle an 8 A.M. class.

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This one definitely doesn't apply to everyone.

I am a habitual night owl. Going to sleep at 1 in the morning is early for me. However, in high school, I woke up every morning at 5:30 to catch the bus, so I thought 7:30 was going to be a breeze. I can't express how wrong I was. I honestly question how I was able to function my last semester when I was forced to take an 8 a.m. physics course.

If you value your sanity and have the option, don't take the 8 a.m.

9. Studying probably won't even be that different than in high school.

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WRONG.

Unless you have a photographic memory and/or are a flat-out genius, you will definitely need to set out a defined time for nothing but studying. Blowing off a few assignments can dig a hole that you likely will not be able to dig yourself out of.

In addition, many people have trouble with good study habits. A good rule of thumb I've learned is to study the material to the point where you can teach it to someone else.

Good luck to all in their freshman years!

Cover Image Credit:

Olivia Hawkins

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Dear Mom and Dad, You Don't Understand What College Is Actually Like In The 21st Century

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that.
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College is not what you think it is. I am not sitting in a classroom for six hours listening to a professor speak about Shakespeare and the WW2.

I am not given homework assignments every night and told to hand them in next class.

I do not know my daily grade for each of the five classes I am taking, and I don't know if my professor even knows my name.

College today is a ton different than how it was 20+ years ago.

I go to class for about maybe three hours a day. Most of my time working on "college" is spent outside of the classroom. I am the one responsible for remembering my homework and when my ten-page essay is due.

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that. I am a responsible person, even if you do not think I am.

I do get up every morning and drive myself to class. I do care about my assignments, grades, my degree, and my career.

I spend a lot of time on campus having conversations with my friends and relaxing outside.

I am sick of older generations thinking that us millennials are lazy, unmotivated, and ungrateful. While I am sure there are some who take things for granted, most of us paying to get a degree actually do give a s**t about our work ethic.

Dear mom and dad, I do care about my future and I am more than just a millennial looking to just get by.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlyn Moore

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How To Stay Mentally Healthy In College

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

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Staying healthy in college seems really, really hard to do. Classes, friends, clubs, and the whole fact of living by yourself can create a lot of stress and anxiety. Most students, and people in general, don't really know how to deal with stress or how to take care of themselves mentally, leading to unhealthy behaviors physically and mentally. If you don't take care of your mental health, your physical health will suffer eventually. Here are a few tips and tricks to help take care of your mental health:

1. Eat a well-balanced diet

Eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and other healthy foods will help you feel more energized and motivated. Most people associate eating a balanced diet as beneficial for your physical health, but it is just as important for your mental health.

2. Keep a journal and write in it daily

Writing can be one of the most relaxing and stress-relieving things you can do for yourself. Writing down the issues you are struggling with or the problems you are encountering in your life on a piece of paper can help you relax and take a step back from that stress.

3. Do something that brings you joy

Take some time to do something that brings you joy and happiness! It can be really easy to forget about this when you are running around with your busy schedule but make some time to do something you enjoy. Whether it be dancing, writing, coloring, or even running, make some time for yourself.

4. Give thanks

Keeping a gratitude log — writing what brings you joy and happiness — helps to keep you positively minded, which leads to you becoming mentally healthy. Try to write down three things that brought you joy or made you smile from your day.

5. Smile and laugh

Experts say that smiling and laughing help improve your mental health. Not only is it fun to laugh, but laughing also helps you burn calories! There's a reason why smiling and laughing are often associated with happiness and joyful thoughts.

6. Exercise

Staying active and doing exercises that energize your body will help release endorphins and serotonin, which both act as a natural antidepressant. Keeping an active lifestyle will help you stay happy!

7. Talk out your problems

All of us deal with stress and have problems from time to time. The easiest and probably most beneficial way to deal with this stress and anxiety is to talk it out with a close friend, family member, or even a counselor.

8. See a counselor, peer mentor, or psychologist

Just like it was stated in the previous point, it is beneficial to talk out your problems with a counselor. We all have issues, and it is OK to ask for help.

Keeping up your mental health in college can be a struggle, and it may be hard to even admit you are not mentally healthy. This is OK; you are not alone. If you want to see a psychologist or would like to learn more about mental health, there are resources. You can also take a self-assessment of your mental health. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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