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Everything I Wish I Knew my First Semester of College

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Manhattan chapter.

By Emily Gianni

Going to college may be a really scary experience for many.  Entering a new school with completely different people can be very overwhelming.  You need to remember to put yourself out there and make different types of friends all throughout college.  College is a time for interaction between different students of all different ages, interests, and personalities.  This is the first glimpse into gaining true maturity for the real world, and that can take time.  Here are a few pieces of advice for things I wish I knew coming into college: making friends, getting sick, and buying textbooks.

Put yourself out there.  Everyone says this but you really have to be an open-minded person to meet other people.  To make other friends, you can leave your dorm room door open so people can pop in to say hello.  You can also join clubs based on your interests to meet other kids just like you.  It is important to keep in mind that everyone else wants to make friends too.  It is great to go out on weekends to meet new friends.  It is also okay to have multiple different friends or friend groups: try not to restrict yourself to certain friend groups

You may not be best friends with your roommate and that’s okay!  You meet so many different types of people that living with someone you aren’t best friends with for one year is not the end of the world.  You will meet other people and hopefully find someone else that you get along with better for the next year.  It is also known that you have a ‘freshman year’ of college friend group, especially the first semester of college, so your friend group is subject to change allowing you to meet more people.

College will get better.  If you do not like college after one semester, or even one year, know that most people say college got better after one year.  I’d recommend giving it one more year before you swear off the school you are in.  Try different things like going out and doing different activities to make your college life better.  You can make different friends if your first set of friends aren’t doing well for you.  You have to be the change in your own college life.

Don’t buy the textbooks right away.  Although teachers claim that you have required textbooks for the course, you may not use any of the textbooks.  I would wait until the school year starts to confirm if you need the textbooks, or wait until you get to that portion of the course when you need to get the book. I would also ask or look around for free textbooks online.  In college, you will spend a lot of money on textbooks if you buy all of them.  

Bring lots of medicine for colds and other illnesses.  At college, you will get sick A LOT.  Everyone catches the common cold for a few months and you are going to want medication or tissues on hand.  Even if you did not get sick often in the past, you will get sick now.  Between hanging out with friends on the weekends, living in close proximity with other people, and seeing different types of people everyday, you are bound to get sick.  

College is a completely different experience than high school.  It is just important for you to keep an open-mind towards the college, experiences you may have, and friends you make.  The college experience is different for everyone, but it is what you make of it.  Enjoy your freshman year!

Emily Gianni

Manhattan '24

Hi I'm Emily! I am in my Senior Year at Manhattan College, graduating in Spring 2024. I am studying Childhood Special Education with an upward extension to middle school with a double major in English. My goal in life is to teach elementary school and later on, teach middle school. Although I don't have a position in my Her Campus chapter, I am still an active writer for Her Campus! I write about all different topics for Her Campus, anything that interests me or that I believe other girls will find useful and informational. I am a team captain on the Manhattan College cheerleading team, so I may write about that sometimes. I also love sorority rush season so I have written about my sorority a few times. I believe that Her Campus is an amazing source for women to put their work out there and influence other girls. I love being a part of this organization and being able to write about whatever I love. This is the best outlet for me to learn more about my writing style, experiment with different topics that I would not be allowed to write about in a class, and grow as a writer.