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Your freshman year is normally the pillar of how the rest of college will play out. It is so important to savor and really take in every moment of the first year of your undergraduate degree. Your classes will never be easier, your schedule will never be as flexible, and the moments will never feel the same as any other year. You’re entering a new world with nearly 15,000 other students in the exact same boat as you, and you get one chance to make this experience yours. Here are the do’s and don’ts of freshman year:

DO attend every event

You know exactly what I’m talking about. Those welcome week events that your CA/RA won’t stop spamming your email with? Those flyers you see all around campus? Those Instagram posts that flood your timeline? I know you’re tired of hearing about the athletic events, the icebreaker events with your floor, and  the concerts from music artists that aren’t normally part of your daily playlist. I know you feel like this is silly and that you don’t need to go, but you do. You need to attend these events. You need to roll your eyes stating your name, major, and fun fact during that icebreaker. You need to go to those events with the people from your major and your dorm.. You need to do this because you will find your people here. Freshman year can be so isolating, and especially now that classes are online, but attending these events will force you to have that human contact and form those connections that are so essential and special to the rest of your collegiate career. Some of us met our very best friends at Summerset Fest that first welcome weekend, at our first floor meetings, and at that office hour that only one other person attended. These events may seem meaningless when they’re promoted heavily in such silly, eye-catching ways, but they can lead to connections that will be your saving grace on the weekends from writing that lab report. Those friends that you go get ice cream with after you finish a long day of homework. These events will help you find your people; all you have to do is go. 

DON’T skip class

You’ve heard this a thousand times, but I’ll say it again. Do not skip your classes. It doesn’t matter if lecture is optional and they don’t take attendance, you need to go to your classes. I can promise you that every single one of us here at He rCampus knows the struggle of missing one class and being set back for the remainder of the semester n. You are paying tuition to attend, it is now up to you to hold yourself accountable and to get your money’s worth. Your professors are not high school teachers and will not check up on you if you choose to skip every single class. They will not hound you to complete your work. You need to attend class in order to succeed, and make every effort each day to do so. 

DO take steps out of your comfort zone

Have you ever wanted to try a new sport, instrument, or activity? Were you the shy kid in high school but want to meet more new people now that you’re in college? Are you from out of state and want to explore Arizona? Take steps out of your comfort zone and try these things. You won’t get this year back; once it’s gone, it’s gone. Leaving your comfort zone almost always guarantees that you will make mistakes or look silly trying something new, but that is part of your freshman year. You’re doing something new and different from something that has been ingrained in you for the last twelve years of schooling; this is the time to reinvent yourself and see what this world has to offer in your new home. Don’t stay put in your normal sense of familiarity. Take chances and try new things. If you end up not liking something, that’s fine, but you never regret putting yourself out there as much as you regret never having tried at all. 

DON’T stay in your room all day

With online classes, this is tough, but you need to make the effort to leave your room. The SDFC fields are open for different outdoor activities.There is outdoor seating outside of each dining hall and plenty of places in the library where you can socially distance yet socialize at the same table. By staying in your room with the same computer screen, roommate, and decorations day after day, you are staying dormant and not taking advantage of all that ASU  has to offer you. Our university has undoubtedly made efforts to cater to the students  and an unforgettable freshman year experience. It’s not the same as previous years, but this year is yours and your chance to change the stigma against] college that so many across the country feel. Leave your room and just try throwing a frisbee with that group outside. It’s the little things that make the most change. 

DO call your family

As you make your new friends, get into the swing of classes, and join activities, it’s easy to forget your loved ones at home who are living without you for the first time in their life. Your parents would definitely appreciate something as small as a text saying that your day was good, and your siblings would definitely appreciate a 30 minute FaceTime about how things are going at your new school. They are here for you, but chances are they are trying to let you be free and not be overbearing even though they miss you. Talk to them. It doesn’t have to be hours upon hours every day, but even the smallest gesture will make a world of difference.

We at Her Campus ASU hope your freshman year is going smoothly, and continues to do so.

Sarah Mathias is a sophomore at Arizona State University studying Biological Sciences with a minor in Music. In her free time, you can find her on the lookout for new sushi spots, indulging in reality shows, or exploring the Valley with friends.
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