15 Things I Wish I Knew Freshman Year

With an incoming freshmen class of massive proportions and a new school year at our fingertips, here’s a few things we wish we knew at the start of freshmen year.


1. Your roommate/suitemate doesn’t have to be your BFF.

…but she also might be. I grew really close to my roommate, but I know plenty of other girls who couldn’t wait to escape the clinging grasp of their's. Just try not to worry too much about it. If you become besties, you do, if you don't, you don't.


2 .Slugbooks.com is life.

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Let’s take a moment to be honest: books are stinking expensive. And while the bookstore is a wonderfully reliable place to find your books…slugbooks.com takes the book you need and compares the prices of renting or buying, used or new, on different book-selling websites. So if you don't want to keep your book from that religon class you're never going to need again, why not rent it online for 60% cheaper than the bookstore?


3. Go to office hours… the first time.

Some professors might seem a little intimidating or like they don’t care about you, but a lot of them are really kind people. Having your professor know your name is such an important thing (epsecially if you're looking for a recommendation letter in the future). Office hours not only give you a chance to improve your grade, but it also improves your connection to the professor. You could get the inside scoop on a cool research opportunity, or you might get a little hint about the essay question on your upcoming test. Either way, office hours are like the secret passageway to success.


4. Working at the Hall’s Front Desk/ the Library is a way to almost get paid to do homework.

Did I just say that? No. I didn’t. But, yes, actually I did. Don’t quote me on it. These are both great campus jobs that require dedicated hard working students…but really? They are also the best on-campus jobs if you want some down-time to catch up on some class reading.


5. Signing up for/staying in 4-to-finish is EXTREMELY important.

Number one: It’s becoming rarer and rarer for us college kids to be able to graduate in the regular four-year-quota. So, if a school is offering to PAY YOU MONEY for not finishing in four years—you better take it.

Number Two: It gets you priority registration. Trying to get into pottery can be a pain in the you-know-what. But being in four-to-finish bumps you up a few spots so that you might…MIGHT be able to get into that class.


6. Don’t be afraid to look up the tutoring hours.

This goes for the writing center as well. A ton of the student tutors are awesome, so why not take this small-school-advantage and get one-on-one help in your classes? It's a serious lifesaver (espeically with science classes), and if you plan time in your schedule to go to tutoring hours, it forces you to do your homework and not procrastinate!


7. Ratemyprofessor.com is a must.

Yes, most of the CalLu professors ROCK, but sometimes it’s a little more fun to take a class that gives no quizzes or tests (am I right, or am I right?) So go on Ratemyprofessor.com and look up the available professors before making your schedule, because Religion 100 with discussions for a grade is just that much better that Religion 100 with weekly quizzes.

Want a quick guide for the top rated professors at Cal Lu in each department? Check out Our Favorite Professors at Cal Lu!


8. Sign up for cpostings.

You are literally handed a weekly list of paid and unpaid jobs in your field of study from career services. There’s so many crazy Cal Lutheran connections that can land you an amazing internship or summer job. So seriously, check it out.


9. Getting up for an 8am is NOT the same as waking up for high school.

Oh yeah? High school started at 7:30am? THAT MEANS NOTHING NOW. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND EVIL: DO NOT DO IT. Yeah, your classes are assigned to you first semester, but second semester, you have the power. Waking up for an 8am is just an unnecessary hardship you should definitely try and avoid.


10. Keep making friends throughout the year.

There seems to be this huge rush right at the start of school to find your best friend for life. Society tells us we find our BFFs are in college, that our high school friends fall to the wayside. This isn’t 100% true. Don’t think that the people you meet the first week should be your friends for the next four years. Don’t be afraid to let some friendships fade and others bloom. True best friends aren’t made in a day.


11. Don’t expect to get the same grades you got in high school.

College is not the same. Not.the.same. The class atmosphere is different, the professors’ forgiveness is limited, and most classes aren't going to hand you a study guide. You have to quickly learn how to manage your time when you literally LIVE with your friends. Distractions are ever-present, but the classes aren't getting easier. So be wise, be ready to make some changes to your study schedule, and be productive.


12. The Freshman 15 is as real as you make it.

The campus gym is BEAUTIFUL. Don’t worry about people judging, because the fact that you went to the gym puts you one step ahead of everyone who skipped it. If you buy a ton of junky snacks for your dorm and don't ever excercise, yes, you will gain weight, but if you try to mimic in the commons what you might eat at home and get a little jog in here-and-there, you should be fine.


13. Make a few friends with cars.

This is a pretty easy thing to do. A LOT of people have cars on campus, and most likely, you will befriend at least one, but the key here is to find MULTIPLE people with cars. The same person doesn’t want to be asked over and over to take you to Target or to the airport. So a little variety spices up life and gives you a higher probablilty of a willing "yes."


14. Study in the library.

Yes, I know it's a long walk, but the library is like this magical place where your homework seems to get done faster. There’s essentially no distractions, and you can’t sit and gab with your friends or get distracted by the television. Something to remember though, leave your phone turned-off and in your bag. That is your ultimate enemy in the library. If you do this, your walk over will be totally worth it, especially when you finish that essay or study guide in 30 minutes instead of two hours.


15. Get Involved!

This is probably the most obvious and important thing: GET INVOLVED! Join clubs, cheer on our Regals/Kingsmen, or go to events just to eat the food. Any involvement is involvement, and involvement is social interaction, and social interaction is friendship. Okay, maybe that’s stretching it, but seriously, you chose this school for a reason. You’re going to be here the next four years, might as well get to know it and the people in it.

Plus, getting involved makes you meet people that you never would have known before, and it’s really awesome to have a variety of friends besides the two you made in freshmen seminar or the person that sits next to you in Religion 100.

Looking for a way to get involved? Join Her Campus Cal Lutheran! Contact Dani Kluss ([email protected]) for more details on how to join.


And just in case that wasn’t enough, here’s a few wise words from our friends who recently lived through freshmen year:

“I wish I would have known to be more confident as a freshmen. I was constantly looking up to the upper classmen. But now that I am an upper classmen, I realize how much fun college can be if I just focus on myself and not worrying bout how others are viewing me.”

--Lauren Chrislu (‘17)


“Use Tapingo—it saves a lot of time…and, also, use the library.”

--Kelsey Dahlin (’18)


“Get involved on campus, join clubs! Don’t procrastinate! Explore the campus and find comfortable places to study. Go to the gym, yoga, and other physical activities to help reduce stress. Be yourself and have fun!”

--Xavier Galsim (‘18)


“If your major is undeclared or you’re not quite sure what you want to major in, don’t worry. Other people may have opinions about what you should do with your life, but just keep an open mind, try new things, and trust yourself.”

--Mary Jarjour (‘18)


"Get a planner and try to be organized. You don't want to be the one person who doesn't turn in a huge term paper because you thought it was due next class instead...it's a lifesaver to your sanity and your grades."

--Dani Kluss('18)


“Buy twinkle lights!”

--Jewel Soiland (‘18)