5 Things I Wish I Knew as a College Freshman

This upcoming week is my final week of college, and saying it hits hard. It’ll be weird to not be a student anymore. College saw my worst moments—from early-morning anxiety attacks to horrific, sugary diets. A huge part of me feels relieved to finally end this chapter of my life. Another part, however, wishes I could go back and make the most of what I didn’t. If you’re an incoming freshman, I hope you stay excited about entering college despite all of the barriers and negativity right now. Here are 5 things I wish I knew coming in. 

1. You aren’t always going to be best friends with your roommate, and that’s fine. 

Your freshman roommate is the first person you meet in college, and you are banking on them being the best friend you’ll have throughout your four years. Sometimes, that’s not the case. Sometimes, you just won’t click, and sometimes, their daily habits will push you past annoyance. Don’t feel discouraged if you and your roommate aren’t as close as you’d like— you’ll meet many new people in just the first few weeks. 

2. You don’t have to go to parties if you don’t want to. 

Parties, alcohol, drugs, and sex seem to all come with the territory, but honestly, that’s not the case. You don’t have to go out every weekend to party if you don’t want to, and you shouldn’t feel bad about it. There are so many other people that feel the same way you do. Concentrate on the things you do find fun. 

3. Look out for class materials you can avoid buying. 

Make sure you’ve exhausted every possible outlet before purchasing or renting a textbook, supplies, or equipment for a class. Emerson has a reserve section where professors put their required materials on hold for their students to access— see if your textbook is available there. Sometimes, textbooks are even available online for free. Also pay attention to how much you will actually be needing it. I spent $80 on a hard drive I never used; I also have brand new SD cards and a calculator just stored in my closet. 

4. It’s perfectly okay to eat alone. 

Who cares if none of your friends can eat with you at the dining hall? Just go by yourself if you really want to do it. I honestly doubt anyone is judging you eating solo. Grab your food, pull up a book, your homework, or your phone, and take comfort in knowing that everyone’s minding their own business. 

5. Don’t ever get a job as a “telephone outreach caller” for any organization.  

If you see an organization tabling looking for “outreach callers” please don’t do it! Sitting down and calling people for money seems like an easy job, but trust me, it’s not when you’re asking them for money to donate and how much money they give determines whether or not you keep your job.