5 Mistakes I Made My Freshman Year of College

The thought of going away to college can be nerve racking, exciting and scary all at once. It’s the first time being away from home and all of a sudden we have to start doing things on our own. With all of the new responsibilities and expectations to balance schoolwork, extracurricular activities and a social life, it can be pretty tricky making all the right decisions. Making mistakes, especially during your first year of college seems inevitable, and maybe it is. But there are certain situations that can be avoided to save a lot of frustration, time, embarrassment and money. If anything maybe you can learn from my mistakes and make your transition into college just a little bit smoother.

1. Forcing a friendship because we were roommates

When I started my freshman year I decided to go random on who I roomed with. I chose to go to a school where I didn’t really know anyone and I ended up getting placed in a triple, meaning that I would have two roommates. Of course I was hoping that the two girls I would be living with for the next year would come to be my good friends. However, that just wasn't’ the case. One of my roommates and I just could not seem to get along or agree on just about anything. It started to become very hostile and uncomfortable when we were both in the room at the same time. I stressed out over the situation for such a long time and wondered what I could do to make it better. I often times would bite my tongue when I had a problem with something because I didn’t want to start any drama. It turns out biting my tongue was the problem. It just made our problems build up causing a huge fight later on.

Just because you are roommates with someone that does not mean you have to be best friends. Ideally, you should at least be civil. You should speak up if something is bothering you or things will just continue to get worse. At the end of the day, if your roommate and you do not get along at least you have learned to be just a little bit more tolerant.

2. Not telling my friend's if something was wrong

My freshman year I had a very tight circle of friends. We hung out almost everyday and did everything together. Most of us had other friends outside the friend group, but we were nowhere near as close with them as we were with each other. One member of the friend group didn’t come around as much as everyone else, and when they did it was usually to talk about their relationship problems or how they were stressed out over school. Over time it really started to bother everyone and we would talk about how it bothered us all the time. But, we never told the friend that what they were doing bothered us. Our friendship ended because we grew apart and it got really awkward when we were together. For the rest of the year when we would see the friend there would be awkward silence and uncomfortable tension.

All of this could have been avoided if we had just told the friend how we were feeling earlier on. We can’t expect people to know what we are thinking and assume they know what the problem is. It’s always better to talk out your problems instead of avoiding them and letting them awkwardly fizzle out. Who knows, maybe we could have still been friends if we had just spoken up.

3. Eating the cheapest option

We all have heard that a key part of a college student's diet is ramen, most likely because a package costs less than a dollar and money can be pretty scarce at school. At the same time, the lack of a kitchen in a dorm really limits the options of food you can make for yourself.

After a couple of months I was really sick of eating dining hall food and sometimes I wouldn’t make it before it closed. So, I needed food in my room that I could make specifically for dinner. Well, when I started to run out of money but still needed to eat I turned to ramen. Don't get me wrong, ramen is not the worst thing ever (I think),  but it definitely does not have a lot of nutritional value at all. It’s also loaded with a crazy amount of sodium, way more than any small package of noodles needs.

It’s okay to have ramen every now and then, but there are other cheaper options out there that can be a lot healthier than the salty noodles.

4. Not knowing my limits

It’s no surprise that a lot of freshmen college experiences consists of partying and drinking way more than what’s good for them. Similarly, I fell into a dark hole of always trying to see if I could drink more than I had the previous night out. A couple of weeks after the first semester had started, my group of friends and I had all started getting ready to go out. We all gathered in my dorm room and began to pregame. We made ridiculous claims about the amount of alcohol that we would consume that it should have been no surprise that the night laid out the way it did. Long story short, I woke up in the hospital with absolutely no recollection of how or what I did to get there. And if that wasn't bad enough, it turned out that an ambulance had to take me to my one night stay. Needless to say it was the most expensive night out of my life.

As cliche as it sounds, a lot of times we don’t think about the possible repercussions of our actions. The hour of “fun” I had that night was definitely not worth everything else that I went through. It’s important to know your limits and not push them to the extremes. It can save you a lot of trouble, and in my case money!

5. Expecting everything to go as planned

I'm the type of person that pictures and plans out everything in my head. I know how I would ideally like everything to go at all times, so when it came time for me to start my freshman year of college I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to happen when I got there. Of course, life doesn’t really work that way and could really care less about your plans. But just because life doesn’t go to planned that doesn’t mean that we can’t make the most out of it. There are so many blessings in disguise and lessons that unplanned events bring us. It’s better to take things as they come and see what you can do to make a seemingly unimportant/unwanted event turn into something meaningful.

If things don’t go the way you had intended for them to go, it's going to be okay. Who knows, whatever it is might be just what you needed and you didn’t even know it!