Finally, you’re headed to college! The first year of college is said to be the hardest. There’s new friends, thoughts of picking the right major, relearning how to study, clubs/activities, and most of all, freedom. But, besides that, freshman year is a one-time experience that helps us to grow and find who we truly are as a person (cliche much?). However, I have some of my personal freshman tips and tricks to keep you from taking some unnecessary “L’s”.
Now let’s start with academics since I’m 99.89% sure that’s why you’re heading to University. I’m sure you’ve already heard to not buy textbooks from the campus bookstore and to actually go to class, but trust me, there’s more.
- Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize! Don’t jump into every club or attend every party because you feel obligated. Make sure you’re doing what YOU want to do and that all your important work, like school, is finished first.
- It’s completely okay if you feel unsure about what major or career path you want. It’s better to vocalize this early on rather than picking a major that you might not like! Speak to an adviser, go to the career center, and research before signing up for random courses that you won’t enjoy or accidentally killing your GPA.
- Visit your professor’s office hours, that could determine whether or not your final Calculus 1 grade stays at an 89.5 or gets bumped to a 90!
Squad goals is not just a trend! Most of us cannot get through college alone. There are going to be periods of time where you feel lonely, like no understands, or just stressed, but having a friend(s) by your side can help ease that pain.
- Remember to be selective about who you call a friend. At a university, there can be tens of thousands of students and not all of them can be your friend. Not everyone will stay in your life the entire 4 years, or even the first month. A friend is someone who supports you, cares about you, and respects you.
- Be open to meeting an array of people! Don’t always stick to people who are just like you. Find friends in class, the student center, the dining hall, people are everywhere on a college campus. College is the time to network and open yourself up to everyone.
- Just to be clear, you don’t need a “squad”. Sometimes 1-2 close friends is enough!
College dating is, interesting, to say the least. For me, I had absolutely no dating experience before college. And guess what, I’m a rising college sophomore who’s never had a boyfriend…and that’s okay. What I’ve learned is that, yes, dating can be fun, but it’s definitely not a priority during college.
- College dating comes with a lot of pressures and you must realize where your boundaries lie. Make it clear to whoever your are pursuing or who’s pursuing you what you want and do not want.
- We’re all broke! Going to see a movie at the student theater or hitting up a University activity is just as fun, even more fun than expecting your date to take you to Red Lobster.
- Be safe, but have fun. College students, especially girls, are very susceptible to rape and sexual assault. Tell your friends before heading out and know your campus emergency resources.
It’s time to party. Parties can be super fun, especially after tests, quizzes, and the abundance of “L’s” college students take on the daily. I’ll be honest, most of my party experiences have been limited to Black Greek functions, but they were fun nonetheless.
- Don’t spend a ton of money on a new outfit for a party, unless it happens to be a day party of some sort. Your outfit will only get sweaty, the room is usually packed, and no one will even be able to see your slay.
- If you choose to drink, do so safely and responsibly. Make sure you have a sober friend to look out for you. It is illegal to drink underage and if caught, you will be reprimanded by the law (I’ve seen it happen, folks!)
- Stick with your friends! It is very easy to get lost in a party and it will leave you feeling like the Mr. Krabs meme! Keep your phone charged and have an emergency meeting place, like the bathroom, if you do get split apart.
Dorm life can be an adjustment, especially if you’ve never had to share more than space on the couch. Even more so, living in a freshman dorm with a single shared space, community showers, and competing to get on the elevator can be, and was, overwhelming. But you will survive!
- Hygiene is key! Thousands of people come and go through college buildings. Be sure to always use shower shoes, bring a shower caddy, and use a robe on your trips to and from the bathroom.
- Pick a roommate that shares similar living traits. Do they stay up to 1 am while you’re hitting the sheets at 10pm? They may not work. Remember, you’re not picking a lifelong friend, but someone who will be compatible and relatively easy to live with.
- Don’t like your living arrangements? Join clubs, study in different areas, and ask your roommate for some alone time in the room every once in a while. Stay involved and you’ll only visit your room for sleep.
Lyndsey’s Big Tips
Now for the grand finale, the best of the best, my favorite tips that I will continue to use!
- Don’t become so involved in your new college life that you forget the people who love and care for you back home. Make time to visit and call.
- Mental and physical health is important. It’s easy to slip into depression due to the changes and stress of college. Take time to relax, participate in activities you enjoy, go to the gym, and do the things you love.
Any more questions or tips? Leave them in the comments, tweet, or email me!