For my last blog post I’ve decided to share the ten lessons I wish I knew coming in as a freshman in the hopes that they’ll help to enlighten future freshman Hoyas for years to come.
1. The single most important thing I wish I knew before my freshman year is that everyone’s freshman experience is different. I came to college with certain expectations and preconceived ideas about how I would make friends, what clubs I would join, the way I would achieve academic success, etc. All of this was based on what I had heard from friends, siblings, and others. Yet, many, if not most of these expectations weren’t met. I discovered that everyone adjusts and adapts to college life in their own individual way. Some make friends within the first week, others take time. Some jump into hundreds of different activities, others need to focus on academics. Some immediately click with their roommates, others have to resolve issues. Some have the time of their lives, others struggle. At first I was disappointed when things weren’t panning out the way I had expected them to, but I eventually realized that there isn’t a formula for the perfect freshman year. There’s no handbook telling you exactly what to do and how to do it. In the end, it’s up to you to focus on finding your own happiness in your own way.
2. It’s okay to fail. Freshman year is all about making mistakes. No one expects you to be perfect. We live and we learn. We get knocked down and we get up again. This is the one year when you get to use the freshman free pass so take advantage of it!
3. Trust yourself. Sometimes you’ll find yourself in situations that will challenge you both academically and socially. Whether it’s questioning the need to call GERMs for a friend, or struggling with an academic assignment, I’ve found that the best thing you can do is be confident in your instincts. They’ve gotten you this far and will help guide you to make the right choices.
4. Boys. As I’m coming from an all-girls catholic high school this might not surprise many of you, but I wish I had understood that not all boys are Prince Charming and more importantly that not everyone finds their soul mate freshman year of college. It’s okay to be single your freshman year, in fact, embrace it! You are single and ready to mingle. Boys will be boys. Especially when they’re freshmen so just have fun!
5. Be open. One of the worst you can do is close yourself off to new experiences because it’s unfamiliar, scary, or different. College is a whole new ballgame so leave behind all your hesitations and preconceived ideas in high school. Take a chance; try something new, meet different types of people, and you just might be surprised at what you discover.
6. Remember to breathe. Simple, but invaluable advice.
7. Balance. Easier said than done I know, but important to keep in mind. Become involved in activities you’re passionate about, be dedicated to your studies, and make time for fun. Tipping the scale and spending all your energy on just one aspect of college life won’t help you get the most out of your freshman year.
8. Cherish it. One of the best memories that I will carry with me of my freshman year was during my first week. I was walking to my Ignatius Seminar class across Copley lawn, a coffee in hand, my books in the other, and it suddenly hit me. I’m a student at Georgetown University. There’s nothing better than that feeling so make sure you appreciate it.
9. Make an effort to keep in touch with your high school friends. It’s harder than you think to find time to reach out to your old friends, especially when you’re concerned about making new ones! However, it’s important to maintain those friendships. So send a care package, Skype, or text once in a while to keep updated on how they’re doing.
10. Have fun! You just spent the last four years of high school working extremely hard. You poured your heart into endless applications and you’re finally here. This is the payoff so make sure to reward yourself! Yes, your priority is academics, however, that doesn’t dominate your entire life. The best memories you have of freshman year won’t be the grade you got on your first International Relations exam, but the moments you shared having fun with friends. #YOLO
There you have it future freshman Hoyas. Hopefully with this in mind you’ll have an incredible freshman year. Give it time and I promise that in the process you fall in love with Georgetown and being a freshman Hoya just like I did.
From one Freshman Hoya to the next…
Georgetown Freshman Survival Tip #12: Read my previous blogs to learn about how to make the most of your Georgetown experience
Freshman Diaries: 10 Things I Learned My Freshman Year
Posted Apr 24 2012 - 5:18pm
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