Things I Wish I Had Told Myself Freshman Year

As the oldest sibling in my family, I didn’t have someone to give me advice about what to expect or even what to do during my first year of college. Going into LMU, I was stressed, filled with uncertainty about what college had in store for me. Not only was I undeclared and trying to figure out my major (and still am), but I also had to juggle doing well academically, making friends, and, most importantly, taking care of myself both physically and mentally.

I reached out and asked some of my friends and fellow college students what they wish they had told themselves during their freshman year of college, and I’ve provided their advice, along with my own, down below!

“Get involved in things on campus early!” - Erin Hartung, LMU ‘20

“Meditate and do yoga! You will feel significantly less anxious and more confident in yourself!” - Madison Reynolds, LMU ‘21

“All bad things breed wonderful things if you wait long enough and are patient.” - Hannah Sidhom, Vanderbilt ‘22

“Anxieties and homesickness are normal, but things get so much better second semester.” - Hailey Hickey, Chico ‘22

“Things that are worth it take time, and don’t let fear stop you!” - Maddie Burns, UF ‘22

“It’s okay (and pretty likely) that your college journey won’t play out exactly how you had planned, and that’s okay. But be aware of your feelings and prioritize yourself and your mental health. Don’t make decisions based on how you think others will perceive you. People only post the best moments on social media, so don’t assume that everyone else’s lives are going perfect. Also, put less pressure to make [college] the ‘best four years of your life’... They probably won’t be, and that’s fine, just enjoy it for all the good that it is and know you have the power and freedom to create the best years ahead.” - Jennifer Walker, LMU ‘20


“Don’t stress about being best friends with your roommates. It’s not something that’s going to make or break your college experience. Most of the time, you won’t be in your room a lot anyway.” - Matt Johnson, TCU ‘22

“Get more involved, meet more people, and try weird things outside of your comfort zone.” - Katelyn Kam, LMU ‘21

“It’s okay to question your path. If you have other interests, indulge them, even if they don’t correspond with any previous ‘life plan.’ Don’t be afraid if everything you thought you wanted to do with your life changes, even in little ways. You are entitled to time to figure things out and you don’t need to panic about shifting interests. You are still young. You can afford to take a detour.” - Sydney Antill, LMU ‘22

“It’s totally okay to not want to go out all the time! No one really cares, just do you!” - Teva Groulx, LMU ‘22

“Don’t stress if it seems like other people are doing amazing things and you’re not! You will have amazing experiences too, but it takes time! It’s okay not to feel settled in right away, and don’t be ashamed of that! Things will come together!” - Genevieve Cassidy, UCSD ‘22

“Stop caring what other people think of you! This is a time to find your own identity and interests. Other people should not have any influence over you because at the end of the day, it’s your life.” - Jackie Days, LMU ‘22

“[Freshman year] goes by fast,  so appreciate every moment!” - Biana Trakhtenberg, SDSU ‘22


Although I’m still a freshman, I do think I have already learned a lot from my first year at LMU.  The main things that I have learned, and as many people have mentioned above, are that self-care is really important, and that it is okay to listen to your needs and prioritize yourself. It’s okay to say no to people. You don’t have to join every club on campus or go to every social outing. Being an introvert, this was a hard thing for me to learn and is something I am still working on. It can be so easy to compare yourself to other people in college and on social media sometimes, but you have to take those things with a grain of salt.

And yes, even though I have learned a lot freshman year, I still have so much more to learn, and things still aren’t always easy (which is just how life is), but I genuinely can’t wait for my next few years here at LMU. Whether you’re a freshman in college or not, I hope this advice helped you. And thank you so much to everyone who has supported me throughout my first year, and thanks to everyone who submitted advice as well!

Note: All photos were taken by me! Check out my VSCO @zoehecht if you’d like to see more!