1. You’re going to be homesick at one point or another. When your parents are done helping you move into your new dorm or apartment, give them the biggest hug you can. Thank them for everything. You might go home to visit in a month or two, but think about it – this is your first time on your own. It’s going to be just as weird for your family as it is for you, if not more – and they’re going to be thinking about you every single day. Show them you care.
2. Moving to a new town with new people and places can be scary, but use this opportunity to explore your surroundings, especially your campus. Being lost and confused on your very first day is just another source of stress that you definitely don’t need! Keep a map of your campus saved on your phone and always keep your class schedule on hand for a week at the very least. I promise it will come in handy more than you think.
3. Whenever a chance to meet new people comes up, take it. You’ll meet different people everyday, and there’s a big chance that a lot of the people you do meet your freshman year will drift away as years go on. Once you find those people who you just know will be in your life for a long time, don’t ever let them go. You’ll realize how important it is to have a strong group of friends when you realize that they’re actually your second family.
4. Go to class. Going out is always a good time (obviously) but don’t lose track of why you’re there in the first place. The fact that you’re able to receive a higher education is a privilege that many aren’t able to have. Plus, we all know it’s a ridiculous amount of money…don’t let that or your opportunity to learn go to waste.
5. You’re going to fall in love with someone different every week. It’s all a part of the growing up process, but it’s an essential one. You’ll learn what it’s like to have your heart broken (maybe multiple times), what you like, and what you don’t like. If you want to hook up with that person, do it (but be safe), because you’re the only one that’s in control of your body. You’re going to learn a lot about yourself and about other people and that’s okay. In fact, all of the times something doesn’t work out even when you thought it would? That’s just preparing you for the right person. A broken heart is never permanent – always remember that.
6. You most likely aren’t going to know what you’re going to do for the rest of your life, but neither does anyone else. Some people way older than you don’t even know what they want to do. Take classes that look interesting to you and go from there – you’ll be surprised about how many interests you really have.
7. Exercise and eat healthy. The Freshman 15 (or 20, or 30…) is REAL, and it’s a pain in the a**. Developing good eating habits along with a consistent exercising schedule is seriously important – not only for right now, but for the rest of your life.
8. There are going to be times where you just don’t feel like going to class. There are going to be times where you want to lay in bed, eat pizza, and watch Netflix all day with that guy you met a few weeks ago. There are times where you’re going to go off-track, but that’s just part of being human. You’re going to have a whole new set of responsibilities and it may seem completely overwhelming at times, but these are going to be some of the best and most fulfilling years of your life – so enjoy them as much as you can. J