10 Things to Love/Hate About Being a Freshman

Leaving the nest for your first year of college is one of the most exciting and horrifying experiences you’ll ever have. Soon enough, however, that initial excitement will turn into a regular lifestyle and you’ll quickly develop a college routine. Following this comfort, most students have a love/hate relationship with their first year away from home. No matter what year you are now, fellow mustangs should be able to relate to the highs and lows that come with freshman year at Cal Poly.

1) Dorm life

Living on campus means that during any point in the week, you’re only a 5 to 10 minute walk away from where you need to be. That makes the mornings that you slept through your alarm(s) super convenient when you can jump out of bed late and still be able to make it to class on time. It also means you’re way closer to the rec and have little to no excuse not to go. You should also be well aware that you won’t be getting any studying done in your dorm room. There’s Netflix to watch and fellow procrastinators to socialize with. Also, shower shoes give life an exponentially gloomier tone, so enjoy not wearing them over spring break, wowwies.


2) Getting yelled at for being a wowwie

A lot of freshmen get butt-hurt about being called a wowwie. Initially, freshmen may consider this term demeaning, but WOW week is by far one of the best weeks of your Cal Poly experience; so in reality, people driving by in their cars yelling “WOWIEESSSSS” are just jealous. Regardless, I can’t wait to yell at the incoming freshmen next fall.

3) Walking/Not having a car

Cal Poly is a campus filled with beautiful rolling hills – hills you’ll need to climb in a span of 10 minutes to make it to that next lab that you got stuck in because you got 12th rotation last quarter. If you’re looking to expand your horizons beyond campus boundaries, however, you’d better have one of three things:

1) A car/a best friend with a car

2) An awesome navigation of the bus system


3) A super sturdy pair of sneakers

4) Being on campus all the time

This is a blessing and a curse. It’s awesome feeling like a part of the Cal Poly community 24/7, but when families visit I find myself having forgotten what adults and children were. Also, I tend to find about current events when they’re no longer “current.” Shout out to yik-yak for keeping me up-to-date.

5) Constantly being surrounded by other freshmen

The wowwie community is an exiting one to be a part of, and it’s awesome running into people you’ve randomly met at WOW-O-RAMA, but it can be a struggle to look on top of your game all the time. Leaving the dorms without makeup on may seem liberating at first, but it can quickly turn into a regret once the door closes behind you and you realize EVERYONE else has put some effort into their appearance. Like, PLEASE tell me I won’t run into any campus cuties looking like this (but let’s be real, you know you will)

6) Meal Plans (aka monopoly money)

For me, plus dollars are just a quarterly $600 Jamba and Starbucks giftcard. Don’t even get me started on meals; never have I ever had a Metro meal that I would consider worthy of $10. Also, WHY is a cup of questionably fresh fruit worth $4? By the way, who decided that lunch should last from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.?

7) Someone is ALWAYS awake

This is fun for the first quarter, staying up all night with new groups of people just because you can. You can meet all kinds of cool crazy people late into the night at the dorms. Continue this habit into the school year, however, and exhaustion will catch up to you. Don’t fool yourself; napping will inevitably become part of your daily routine.

8) Planning for life off campus

A necessary part of being a freshman is the growing-up process, along with moving out of the dorms and off campus. You’re now assumed to be a somewhat intelligent adult who needs to move on with their life. Time to convince your parents that you’re an adult, while still getting their support on monthly utilities.

While life after the dorms is exciting, it can also be terrifying. It’s impossible not to meet new people when you live in the dorms. You basically have to interact with people 24/7 whether you like it or not. Am I going to have to go out of my way to meet people from now on? Yikes.

 Also, who am I going to live with, where are we going to live, and mom, can I PLEASE bring my car with me next year?

9) Responsibilities (OMG NO PARENTS WHAT)

One of the most widely appreciated aspects of your first year as a mustang is the liberating feeling of being miles away from nagging parents. This liberation, however, comes with serious responsibilities. You’re now expected to sort your own laundry and regulate your own bedtime. These may seem like somewhat mundane tasks, but you’d be surprised by how many first years struggle to figure out how exactly that laundry contraption works.

10) FOMO diagnosis (Fear of Missing Out)

Following WOW, FOMO becomes practically diagnosable. Things that you used to do on a regular basis back home seem pretty lame now. How am I expected to stay in and watch Netflix when people are running around and enjoying their lives outside my dorm window on full volume?

Overall, your freshman year at Cal Poly will be one you always remember. The good, the bad, and the ugly will stick with you through your years as a Mustang. I mean, who isn’t forever traumatized by Metro? Whether you’re a current freshman or a veteran of life on campus, being a wowwie is an experience every mustang can relate to. Also, if you’re an incoming freshman, just know that you’re in for the ride of your life this coming fall. Every school comes with it’s ups and downs, but honestly, I can’t speak highly enough of life at Cal Poly.