The Freshmen Year Survival Guide

There are tons of things I wish someone had told me when I was a freshman. My freshman year was full of constant culture shock: everything from frat parties to horrible professors. There is so much to unpack and just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, ten more things hit you at once. But don’t stress it! This is my official Freshman Survival Guide. 

  1. 1. Hoover Doesn't Suck

    Hoover can definitely be a hit or miss (but more often than not, a miss). However, Hoover has little hidden gems that can actually make your food edible. Discovering the DIY pasta bar was one of the highlights of my freshman year. You can choose whatever ingredients you want and the chef makes it for you. If you want to spice it up, head over to the seasoning bar and experiment with different seasonings. The salad bar is also a great healthy choice. Sometimes I take grilled chicken, dice it up, and create my own Caesar salad. 

  2. 2. Prioritize Your Homework

    One of my teachers said to me, “Partying feels so much better when all your work is done” and she is so right! It’s so easy to want to go out and leave that five page paper and study guide till the day before. My advice? Don’t do it. FOMO is real and you’re always going to want to go party with your friends but there will always be more parties. Finish that essay first!

  3. 3. College Can Be Just Like High School

    Small colleges like DePauw can be just like high school. We come into college thinking it’s going to be a whole different ball game but in reality, college is just like high school. Sororities and fraternities are giant cliques, gossip spreads like a virus and the worst part is: we don’t get to go home. In high school, you were able to leave the gossip at school but at DePauw, we’re all stuck living with each other. The best advice I could give is: stay out of it. Stay lowkey and focus on your work. Drama doesn’t help your GPA!

  4. 4. You Don't Have to Join Everything

    We all want to build up our resumes so that they look good when we graduate but joining every club and committee DePauw has to offer isn’t necessary your freshmen year. There’s no rush to join everything. Also, make sure you’re joining clubs because you want to be in them, not because they’ll look good on your resume. Committing to multiple clubs is a serious commitment and they take up large amounts of time. Don’t waste time doing things you don’t enjoy. You excel when you do what you love. 

  5. 5. Have Fun

    There is beauty in the simple moments. Whether it is finally nailing a perfect Blend smoothie combination, sitting in a brown chair on the lawn or completing a hard workout at Lilly, enjoy every moment. Freshman year really does fly by, make the most of it. Like one of my favorite movies, Ferris Bueller says: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”