College is full of twists and turns but sometimes it feels like it's ripped straight from your favorite sitcoms.
1. To find my best friends
One of the things I was most nervous about going into college was having a blank slate when it came to friendships. It is extremely daunting to enter an environment where you have no close friends. However, over the course of my freshman year, I was fortunate enough to meet people who I know that I will call my friends for life.
My advice for freshmen: look for friends everywhere you go: your residence hall, on-campus clubs, sports games, the dining hall, classes. You never know when striking up a conversation with a stranger can transform into the start of a lifelong friendship.
2. To fall more and more in love with my school every day
I loved my school long before I committed to it, but I did have periods of doubting my decision. After arriving on campus, each passing day made my school feel more and more like home. There are endless facets to each school and you will never stop learning new things about your school that will continue to surprise you in the best possible way.
My advice to freshmen: stay curious! Explore campus and the surrounding area, try new things, go to campus events, and most of all, have as much fun as you can!
3. To grow academically
There is no way anyone could have explained to me just how much college would transform my mind. College classes are so different from high school courses, but in the best way possible. They will push you mentally and sometimes you will feel like giving up altogether, but at the end of the semester I am always surprised by how much I have learned.
My advice to freshmen: go to office hours! Your professors and TAs are there to help you as well as any additional tutoring services offered by your school. Also, make a few friends in each class that you can study with or bounce ideas off of. If you feel like you're struggling with the material, remember that you are not the only one.
4. To expand my horizons
College has introduced me to people from all walks of life. I never would have imagined having friends who live on the opposite side of the country! Take advantage of this opportunity to open sincere lines of dialogue so that you can learn and grow with your peers. They may open your eyes to all sorts of new things that are normally outside of your comfort zone.
My advice to freshmen: keep an open mind! College is an experience like no other so stay open to meeting new people and having new experiences.
5. To become more independent
Going away to college was the first time I had ever lived away from my parents. It's a really scary step and put me way outside my comfort zone, but I soon realized that I could live on my own. It helps to realize that every other freshman is in the same boat as you, so never hesitate to reach out for help if you're homesick or struggling to adjust to college life.
My advice to freshmen: be responsible! Hold yourself accountable and perfect those time management skills. College is more than going to class but it's not a non-stop party. Take care of yourself first and foremost.
6. To manage my money more efficiently
The broke college student stereotype is not that far from reality. Many students, myself included, can feel stretched thin throughout the semester especially if you do not have an on-campus job, a constant flow of money from home, or have to pay your own way for textbooks and other materials. Take advantage of free things on campus and learn how to maximize your meal plan and on-campus payment system in order to avoid unnecessary spending.
My advice to freshmen: set a budget for yourself! Check your bank account often and do not get lured into dining out and going to the mall all the time. It's okay to spend some money now and then but do not make spending a habit.
7. To master the art of finessing
College is overwhelming and you may find yourself feeling like you have no free time. While you should do your best to be prepared for every class and event, sometimes you have no option but to ~finesse~ your way through it. You will get really good at completing assignments fast but efficiently.
My advice to freshmen: prioritize your tasks! Do not leave that paper until the last possible minute, procrastinating only adds to the stress. Keep your notes/class material neat and try to compile study guides throughout the semester, you will thank yourself come midterms and finals season.