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22 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Freshman Self

We all make mistakes our first year of college. Actually, we all mistakes in general. But had someone mentioned these tips to me my freshman year, I would’ve spent a lot less time worrying or stressing out, or holding on to things that really weren’t all that healthy. So take the advice, or leave it, but it would be really be better to take it. It might lead to less nights stress shopping on Amazon.com and it might stop you from crying in your advisors office once a week because everything seems like the end of the world.

1) Registration Time is not the end all be all.  Not getting into those “required” or “top” classes will not mean you won’t graduate on time. So stop crying about it.

2) Always have backup classes. So if you don’t magically get those courses you really really need (no one actually does their first semester unless you’re blessed by the academia gods of ridiculous luck) you will have a backup without stressing about it.

3) The freshman fifteen is not a myth. But it’s also not the end of the world. Just pay attention to what you eat and fall into healthy habits. Just because there’s unlimited access to food doesn’t mean you have to be taking over advantage of it.

4) Remember to sleep. But not too much. Just because classes don’t start until eleven, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to stay up until two every night just because. A regulated sleep schedule will keep you healthy and more alert during the day.

5) Be on time. No one likes the girl who shows up twenty minutes late into an hour long class. No one. Don’t be that girl. Seriously.

6) Take classes seriously. For real. At the end of the day, the whole point of paying for tuition is to become educated. Missing one class means virtually throwing away hundreds of dollars.

7) Be easy on yourself. We all fall down sometimes. Fail a test, fall through on a project. Bomb a presentation to the point where it seems like the girl from “The Breakfast Club” who doesn’t speak would be a better presenter. Those moments will happen. Use them as building blocks to make the next thing that much better and prove to everyone else how great you really are.

8) Say no. Don’t let yourself take on too much. Whether it’s clubs or responsibilities or even other peoples problems, it’s more than okay to take a step back and say “I need a break”. It’s your life. You should be your first priority.

9) Branch out. Don’t limit yourself to just the people that immediately surround you in your building or classes. Meet new people, it’s how friends are made.

10) Explore. Check out the surroundings of Newton and of Boston. It’s in our backyard. The experiences are out there to take advantage of. The music, the culture, the everything that is right there may seem very far away when you’re cooped up on campus 24/7, but it’s not. So get out there!

11) Believe that everything happens for a reason. Just because something seems like a failed attempt right now, doesn’t mean it is. As corny as it sounds, there’s a new opportunity just around the corner. So never stop trying or applying yourself.

12) Pay for experiences, not things. Odds are you’re going to remember your first House of Blues concert a hell of a lot more than that body con dress you just can’t seem to live without. Experience builds memories. Things buy clutter.


13) It’s okay to fall for the wrong person. They will teach you lessons that will guide to a better future. It will hurt for a while, but that pain grows into strength and will show you what you truly deserve.

14) Don’t hold on to people just because. Hold on to the people that matter. Who are actively involved in your life as much as you are in theirs. Think of it like a play. Some people are meant to have supporting roles in your life from beginning to end. Some have cameos, popping in at the least expected moments. Some will be the short or long term antagonists and others will say a word and disappear completely after the first act.

15) You are completely weird. And that’s an amazing thing. Anyone who’s completely normal, well that’s a little weird too. Learn not only to live with it, but to enjoy it. Every show tune singing, color outside the lines, mother earth worshipping second of it. Or you know, however your weirdness presents itself.

16) Learn to accept that you are different. Everyone thinks differently and has a different story. Start with accepting yourself and then you will be able to accept others.

17) Understand that everyone is going through something. Everyone has a battle past, present or unknown that is frankly, none of your business. So be kind. To everyone. Even if it hurts.

18) Believe in yourself. You are your strongest ally and most honesty critic. So utilize your strengths, never stop turning those weaknesses into strengths and go make great things happen.

19) You never know whose going to fall into your life. So don’t try to plan things out. You don’t need a soul mate, best friend, mentor, anyone right at this moment. They will come when they come. Forcing someone into that role when it’s not right isn’t fair to them or to you. So stop looking for something that will appear on it’s own. In the right timing.

20) Get closure. Stop holding on to that one thing that has now started to hold you back from your own happiness. It’s about being an adult and coming forward to end something that isn’t healthy for your state of mind or your heart. It’ll save you stress and worry and give you the ability to move forward with your life to bigger and better things. It’s not a cliché. It’s truth.

21) Always say goodbye on good terms. No one knows what will happen next month, next week or even the next minute. So regardless of any anger, annoyance, or anything, say goodbye with affection and respect. Always. No exceptions.

22) Do what you love. That is where you will meet those who are meant to love you in return.

This isn’t meant to be the bible of the freshman year. But looking back, the decisions most people make in their first year could be seriously improved if they had this knowledge in the first place. So take it or leave it. And remember that after the first year, it gets better. But only you have the power to make it better. And for goodness sake, take that lanyard off your neck. 

Best of luck.


Haleigh West is an Honor's Student majoring in Fashion Design with a double minor in Environmental Studies and Studio Art. Her articles are centered around sexual awareness and relationship advice, with the occasional piece focusing on social justice from a feminist perspective. Outside of HerCampus, she runs Lasell's chapter of Active Minds, an organization dedicated to ending the stigma of mental illness on campus, and is an avid hiker who never stops exploring.As a self proclaimed "equalist" she is determined to live in a world where all are created equal. Free of sexism, free of racism, free of all stigma. A truly free world. 
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