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Everything I Wish I Knew as a Freshman in College

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

When I consider the memories I have from my first year of college, it’s a bittersweet feeling. As I reminisce about my freshman year, there are a few things that I wish I had known prior that would have helped the newly-turned eighteen-year-old girl now four hours away from home. The difficulties I encountered as a first-generation college student helped me become more independent. As a twenty-year-old, I now greatly admire the teenager who decided to continue her education despite her fears of college. Here is a list of just a few of the things I wish I could have told my freshman self.

You don’t have to go through life by yourself.

It’s okay to seek help. Every college student should take advantage of the many available services on campus, whether it be academic assistance through tutoring or mental health counseling. There are a variety of options that are accessible to everyone!





Don’t schedule early classes if you are NOT a morning person.

When I added 8 a.m. classes to my schedule, I definitely faced the repercussions. I frequently slept through my alarm and missed class as a result because I was too exhausted. Do not sign up for that early class if you’re a night owl who stays up until two in the morning! Our bodies require between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. My advice is to take that 11 a.m. class if possible. Do not cause yourself that misery because you will despise yourself for the rest of the semester. 

Don’t stress about The Freshman 15.

It is completely normal for our bodies to change as we get older. We aren’t going to weigh the same that we once did in high school. Go on that late-night Taco Bell run with your girlfriends. 

It is okay not to know what you’re doing.

Changing your major is not a big deal! I started college as a nursing major since it was what I wanted to be since I was a little girl. It took me a while to accept that nursing wasn’t for me. I am now a junior majoring in political science and communications, which are very different fields from what I started with. That is completely fine with me. Take classes outside of your major if you are unsure of what you want to do because you might completely change your career path. To find out what interests you, check out the various clubs that are presented at the involvement fair on campus.

make a friend in class and exchange numbers.

You never know if you’re going to miss class one day and need to make up the notes. In addition, you two can motivate one another and be study partners for upcoming tests. It is also crucial to make those connections with people in the same field as you now because they will be valuable in the future! 

Check online before purchasing that expensive textbook.

School can be expensive, so before purchasing a textbook from the bookstore, explore whether there are any free copies available online. Check if you can rent a copy of the textbook to save some money!

prioritize yourself!

If you go to a university with a big party scene, you can feel a lot of pressure to go out every night with friends. Put your mental health first before making decisions. If you do want to go to a party or club, be sure you attend with a group of people you feel safe and comfortable with. Make sure everyone arrives together, leaves together and watches out for one another. Do not go out the night before a huge test, even if your closest friend begs you to because the cute guy she sees at the dining hall will be there. It is alright to say no and as a people pleaser, it took me a long time to realize this. It’s fine to say no to going out if you’d rather stay in bed and eat a container of ice cream while watching Netflix. Put yourself and your health first!

Most importantly, be true to yourself! College is what you make of it. Continue your education while still having fun! You’ll remember those enjoyable nights with your friends more than the days you spent studying (still study and attend classes, but don’t let that be your entire college experience). Make new friends and be whoever you want to be. Don’t strive to be someone you’re not to impress others because you’ll lose yourself in the process. Do what makes you happy, and you will remember your college years fondly.

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Hello, my name is Cynthia, and I am a senior studying politics and sociology. I love to write and aspire to work as a political reporter.