A Girls Guide to Freshman Year

Let me start off by saying I did not have a perfect freshman year. There were definitely a lot more lows than highs and because of that, I’m here to tell you everything I wish I would've done. 

This summer I was an orientation leader at Manhattan College and I definitely learned a lot about the mentality most girls have going into college. While each individual I met was different in many ways, most of them were all alike in one way. They were extremely vulnerable. Most of them were stressing about what to wear during the day or if their makeup would last. I was thinking the same thing when I was a freshman. I was wondering if I was going to be liked by my peers but I didn’t have confidence in my inner self so I just hoped that my outer appearance would compensate. I had it all wrong. 

As an orientation leader, I found that the girls who came to orientation only focusing on their personality and character to make friends often got the most out of the two days because they were genuinely happy. They found people that believed in the same things as them or liked the same things. That is what cultivates a good friendship. 

Academically, freshman year can be a struggle, especially if you are afraid to ask questions. There are so many resources that are strategically put in place for freshmen to understand the inner workings of college. Orientation itself had so many academic sessions and information that would have really helped me during freshman year if I had taken them more seriously. A whole year of planning goes into making sure the freshmen feel like the transition is seamless, so I promise you if you have a question, someone will really appreciate it. It's important to go to career fairs or club fairs so that you can find something academically challenging that could give you motivation to pay attention in your classes. I always recommend getting involved on campus because when you throw yourself into roles, you are forced to learn skills like responsibility, organization and multitasking. Those are all skills you can apply to your classes. If you hold yourself at a higher standard you’re more likely to succeed. 

All of the pressures of freshman year can kind of get to you. Sometimes you might be around people so much it feels weird to be alone. Everywhere you go there are people. Whether that's the dining hall, library or your dorm hall. Even if you feel that is the case, it's important to have alone time. You could even stay in one night and just watch your favorite show or sit in Jasper backyard with book. Either way it's important to be okay with being by yourself and evaluating the person you are becoming. Are you not accepting people for being different? Are you not hopeful anymore? Are you not interested in new ideas? Ask yourself questions and remember what is important to you.

All of this is important but it’s also important to have fun in a safe way because you are only a freshman once. That said, I wish all the freshmen a great first year! You girls got this!