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

College is a new experience that often frightens all new students. Many students do not know what to expect and are afraid of making the wrong choices. Here is a list of things many students learn during their first year of college.


1. Be Yourself

This sounds cliché, but it is very true. In high school, we are often thrown into situations where we have to act like a different person to fit in with the few people that were in our class. In college, you get a fresh start! Nobody knows who you are and where you can truly feel like you can be yourself.

via photographer from Meijer Mania

2. It’s okay to not know what you want

This one can pertain to your emotions, where you want to be in life, or what you want to do. Many teachers in high school say you have to know by your senior year what you want to do for the rest of your life – that is not the case. Many first-year students do not know their career choice their first year. Your first year is about growing and learning about yourself as a person. Figuring out who you are as a person will help you decide on the rest of your life.


3. Make friends with your floormates

If you live in a dorm your first year, you will have floormates or “froomies” as they are commonly called, what are some of your first friends in college. You live next to them for the whole year and most likely share the same bathroom. Make friends with them! Leave your door open and invite others in or knock on someone else’s door. Many lifelong friends are met on the same dorm floor.

4. Professors DO want you to succeed

Okay, some professors are different than others, but many professors actually do want you to pass their class. Many professors offer opportunities for extra credit. Gen Eds are hard, not going to lie, but the professors are there to help in any way that they can.


5. Don’t live with someone from home

Some people can handle living with their childhood best friend, but others cannot. 90% of time friendships get tarnished because they are living with their best friend from home and they realize their best friend lives differently. Rooming with a complete stranger might sound scary, but social media is so relevant now so it is not hard to get in contact with your future roomie(s) before the school year starts.


6. Join things that interest you

In college, there is a club for EVERYTHING. Literally, there is a Quidditch club at Illinois State University! If that is something that interests you, join! If you get involved in things that you love, then it will help create a positive environment for you on campus. Also, you will meet some wicked cool people who also like the same things you do!


7. You will miss high school but will enjoy college

You will miss your friends from home. You will constantly see memories come up on your phone from the different sports seasons or dances. Seeing your underclassmen friends enjoying prom another year and playing another sport that you miss is sad especially for college freshmen. You will be okay! Everyone graduates and everyone moves on. When you get to college you realize how much fun you have here. Plus, the college also has sports to watch and dances too! Also, they have FREE concerts on campus!


That is just a small list of many of the things learned from your first year of college. You will make it. You will be great. We can’t wait to see you in the fall, Class of 2023!

Lot’s of Love,

Lil Boomer ♡

Jessica Hogeboom

Illinois State '22

ISU 2022 | Elementary Education Follow me on Instagram : @jesshogeboom
Mackie Kelleher

Illinois State '21

Mackie Kelleher is a sophomore at Illinois State and is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Writing. In her free time, she loves to watch Netflix, read, and work out. She is a huge Starbucks lover and you can always find her there studying!