10 Things You Learn From Your First Year in College

WOOHOO! From Summer C to Spring 2018, freshman year is almost officially over! For the first time in my life, I have lived semi-independently and I have enjoyed it probably a little too much. As I start packing to go back home, I realize I have learned from my time here at FSU, and I don’t mean just from my academic classes. Here are 10 things you learn during your first year in college.

1. Learning how to laundry

While it isn’t rocket science, it’s definitely one of the most important things I have learned in college and is just one step in becoming self-sufficient. A very big shout out to Zoe Gholson, who patiently sat there with me as I nervously poured washing machine fluid in for the first time.

2. What to do on Saturdays

Colleges are known for their party culture and FSU is no exception. Some nights, it’s great to go out with your friends and let loose. But other nights, I have learned that sometimes it just isn’t worth it. Some nights are just best spent curling up with your friends and watching movies. The important thing is learning that no matter what you can always have a good time doing whatever you want.

3. Everyone is just a FaceTime away

Whether you are homesick or miss your high school friends, it’s important to remember everyone is just a FaceTime away. I personally miss my pets a lot, so I am constantly FaceTiming my mom to see them.

4. Where to study

There is a 1/10th chance that if I stay in my dorm, I’ll study. Thusly, I have found some places where I can get work done. My personal favorite is those booths on the first floor of Strozier in Starbucks. Going with friends is always good too, because if you ever find yourself stressed out over a class they are there to help you out.

5. Actually try

Sure, some of your classes don’t require attendance, but you should always go. You never know what you’ll miss, which can include extra credit opportunities and/or a review for your next exam. Some nights you may want to go to purge, but always remember that it will be there next week, and your time may be better spent studying. And sometimes you may study for an exam for 5 hours and not receive the grade you want… and that’s ok. In the grand scheme of things, as long as you know you gave it your best shot you can’t get upset.

6. Getting involved

The number one thing you hear as a freshman is “Get involved!” and while it may seem redundant, it is something that has really changed my first year. Personally, I am involved in Greek life, and it has been great to find a community of women who love and support me and are also involved around campus. In fact, it was my sorority sister Hannah Messinger who got me involved in Her Campus, and I can’t even imagine my semester without weekly Monday meetings and writing articles. As someone who is pursuing a career in journalism and has friends who are almost all exclusively science majors, it was amazing not only to get experience, but to also meet people who were interested in the same subjects as me. Overall, I have learned that getting involved opens you up to opportunities in both meeting people and experiencing new things, and having this my freshman year has really made my year better.

7. What to wear

If you wear something out other than workout clothes or norts, you stand out like a sore thumb. In high school, I wouldn’t be caught dead going to school in Nikes but now I just wear whatever I’m comfortable in. If I know I am going to be at Strozier super late, I’ll wear Nikes so I can just roll into bed when I get home. Or if I have to present something in a class, I’ll wear something nicer to give me a little bit more confidence. And you know what the best part of this is? NO ONE ELSE CARES! I’ve learned to start dressing for me and not for anyone else.

8. Sleeping

In high school, I was able to go to sleep at 10 p.m. and wake up at 6 a.m. with no problems. Now it’s an accomplishment if I wake up before 10 a.m. and go to bed before 1 a.m. A word of advice: don’t take an 8 a.m. your first semester. Figure out what your new sleep schedule is, and then decide.

9. Free swag

I’ve learned to always check my fellow Noles’ Snapchat stories, to see where the free swag is. The motto is, you can never have enough T-shirts.

10. Branching out

The scariest part of college is that you are thrown into this new environment all alone. Before I arrived, I was scared I wouldn’t connect with anyone. After all, I had gone to school with basically the same people since elementary school and had the same consistent friends. Once I got here and realized that everyone else was also trying to branch out, a lot of the stress and nervousness faded. Instead of putting up a front and acting like a toned-down version of myself, I found friends that will last a lifetime. Here’s to another 3 years with y’all!

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