Freshman Year Takeaways

Adults often say that college is the best four years of a person’s life, and now that I have a year of experience under my belt, I wholeheartedly agree. It’s hard to believe how quickly my life has changed. I swear, I was graduating high school just last month, and now I’m almost done with my first year of college. Since I learned so much in such a short amount of time, I decided to make a list of takeaways from my freshman year.

1. It's okay to feel completely lost 

When I first moved into my dorm room, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know a single person at my new school. As soon as I said a tearful goodbye to my parents, I felt a deep wave of depression. I wanted nothing more than to call my mom and dad back into the room to ask them to take me home. I remember attempting to sleep the first night and thinking repeatedly “I want to drop out.” However, I gave myself time to process the change, and I am so glad I am at college today. 

(Photo courtesy of

2. Your parents will always be there for you 

If you ever need advice or words of wisdom, don’t hesitate to call your parents. No matter what time of the day it is, they will answer. We often take our parents for granted, and college makes us realize just how much they did for us. I always call my parents for advice because they know who I am and what I am capable of. Even if you don’t need anything, you should call your parents at least once a week. Their baby is away from home and they want to know what you’re up to.

3. Attend as many club meetings as possible 

During the first week of school, there will probably be some type of activity fair to let you know about all the clubs on campus. Sign up for as many as you want. Don’t worry about not having time or being too involved too soon. Once you go to the first meeting, you can typically decide then if you want to stick with it or not. Clubs are key to meeting new people with common interests.

4. The freshman 15 may or may not happen to you 

I’ve read countless articles about the dreaded freshman 15, and most of these articles talk about how very real it is. However, I don’t know if I fully trust that opinion. As long as you eat the way you normally do at home, you should be fine. Sure, some of the dining hall food may be extremely unhealthy, but there are plenty of other options available. If you want to avoid the freshman 15, just be conscious of what you put in your body.  

5. It's completely normal to overanalyze your life to find your purpose

I change my mind about my major and life at least two times a day. I think about my purpose in life and how I would be so much better at this or that. It’s normal to explore new majors and classes to get a feel for what you’re passionate about. Don’t be scared to change something like your major if you know you want to do something else.

(Photo courtesy of

6. Don't be afraid to try anything

If you are scared to join a club, sorority, class or anything else that scares you, step outside your comfort zone and go for it. Worry about yourself and what you want, instead of worrying about what others might think of you. Nothing will ever magically happen in life, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and make your mark.

7. Accept that you don't know how to make friends

I honestly don’t remember the last time I made a new friend before college. I was stuck around the same kids from my high school for years. When I got to college, I didn’t know how to go about making friends. It’s okay to be awkward and shy when you are around new people, they probably feel the same way, too. Let friendships happen organically and roll with the flow. 

8. Skipping class is pointless

I don’t understand people that skip class constantly. What else are you doing with your precious time? Wasting your tuition money? When you enroll in college, you are signing up to take classes to get an education. Not to mention, a lot of professors take off significant points if you skip more than one or two classes. 

9. Don't be afraid to cry

College is overwhelming 99.9% of the time. Sometimes, you have so many emotions pent up that you need a good ole cry. Crying allows you to get some of the sadness and anger out of your body in a safe way. If you decide to shed the waterworks, I recommend doing it alone because your roomie probably doesn’t want to see that because they are dealing with their own problems.

10. Always be yourself and forget the haters 

Never try to impress people that won’t accept you. It will be tempting to be fake at first to get some quick friends, but I urge you to be yourself. When you are yourself, you are more likely to find quality friends that like you no matter how weird, goofy, or awkward you are.

(Photo courtesy of

I can’t believe my freshman year is almost over. I’ve made friends and memories that I will cherish forever. It’s completely okay to have no idea what you are doing with your life, because I promise that you will find your way, just like I did.  





Kara is a sophomore studying advertising at The University of Georgia. She enjoys watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, shopping online knowing she can't afford anything, and writing posts on her blog: Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @karamckenna_

You Might Also Enjoy