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19 Things I Learned My Freshman Year of College

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Belmont chapter.
  1. How to be a good roommate. Learning to live with roommates is one of the first biggest challenges faced in college. Learn how to be respectful, learn how to live together but be separate and most importantly, learn how to be your roommate’s family when they need it.

  2. Time management is a necessity. Everything in college is so new, and all at once. Learning how to manage a new and seemingly unbearable amount of schoolwork with internships, extracurriculars and a social life can be scary, but it is so important. Learn how to study the right way and learn how to balance as best as you can.

  3. Stress management is more of a necessity. While balancing your time and focusing on academics is important, remember that your stress levels are even more important! Take an hour break to catch up with friends or treat yourself to your favorite coffeeshop. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to stop studying, go to bed and wake up in the morning to get a fresh mind studying while you get breakfast.

  4. How to go out. College is really fun, and most people you ask will tell you that! Don’t forget that these are your ‘glory days’ you’ll talk about one day. Be social, go out, be safe, and dance.

  5. It’s okay to stay in. Going out can be fun, but sometimes nothing beats staying in and having a movie or spa night. Don’t be afraid to stay in when you’re feeling like you need it and don’t feel like you’re missing out!

  6. How to be independent. For most of us, freshman year of college is the first time we’ve ever had to do this much for ourselves. I’ve learned that it’s truly okay to be alone sometimes. Walk to class alone. Be your own study date in your favorite coffee shop. Just because you like being social doesn’t mean it’s wrong to do something alone every once in awhile.

  7. How to make $20 last a whole month. Okay I might not have completely learned this one yet, but I’ve gotten better. The sad truth of college is that it is very expensive. Tickets to concerts, coffee funds, student loans, buying your own toiletries – it all adds up. Learn to save and learn to budget, it will help you in the long run.

  8. How to dress business casual. This skill is easily an essential to tons of different future career paths. I remember the first time I had to dress business casual in college, I panicked. Nowadays, I have mastered the art of creating a business casual outfit, without risking my personal style, which will no doubt be useful in the future.

  9. How to appreciate my parents. After living my whole life alongside my parents, college has taught me how to truly miss and appreciate them. Once you have to do everything for yourself, you realize how much of their time they spend on you. You also realize how much you’ll miss little things with them like eating dinner or them asking you about your day. Give your parents a call at least once a week and tell thank you.

  10. Say yes. Don’t be afraid to say yes to new opportunities. Even though things can be scary, taking a risk and saying yes can expose you to something which could make an impact you never even imagined possible. You can only regret the chances you didn’t take.

  11. How much I love my home town. If I’m being honest, I was the girl who always talked badly about my hometown in High School. Going to college reminded me of how much I love it. Whether it’s missing the familiarity of the place you grew up in, your best friends from home or that specific order from your favorite coffeeshop, missing your town is extremely real.

  12. It’s okay to change friend groups. Understand and be okay with the fact that your friend group will switch around your freshman year. As you’re exposing yourself to so many new things, people and places, you will be growing as a person. Don’t let yourself feel sad if you grow apart from some people and closer to others.

  13. How to be outgoing. Don’t be afraid to sit next to someone new in class and make conversation. College is all about reaching out and meeting new people; say hi to the cute boy in class, tell that girl you like her outfit and sit next to someone new in class.

  14. How to network. Never stop networking. Remember that you are constantly surrounded by people who are either in the workforce or will be in the future. Go to office hours and go the extra mile at your internship because it will benefit you with internships and your career in the future.

  15. How to be myself. Allow yourself to unapologetically be yourself! Wear the outfit you were too afraid to wear in High School and embrace your passions. Live boldly and don’t bother what anyone else thinks.

  16. How to be open to all people. As you are officially out of your high school bubble, take the opportunity to reach out to types people you might not be used to or gravitate towards. Always be kind to everyone you meet- it never hurts, and you may learn something.

  17. How to get involved. Now’s your opportunity to get involved. Join the club you have the slightest bit of interest in, serve the community, join a sorority or student organization. You’ll meet new people and maybe even get to find your little home in a big school.

  18. How to be there for others. Learn how to be there for your friends, roommates and people you might not even know that well. College can be some of the hardest and most stressful times people have faced yet, so reach out and be supportive, and maybe you’ll recieve the same in return.

  19. How to not take a single day for granted. Don’t forget to live when you’re caught up in the stresses of school and college life. Remember, you only have around four years, so make the most out of them before they’re gone, so that you have some amazing memories to look back on.

I am a freshman journalism major at Belmont University, but was born and raised on the East Coast in Boston, MA. I am obsessed with all things fashion and beauty, my sorority Alpha Gamma Delta - Theta Tau, binge watching the show Friends, traveling to different places, listening to acoustic music, and drinking lattés from Nashville coffee shops. I also adore New York City and dream of working in the fashion industry there after college. Follow Hannah on Instagram @hannahbertolino