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3 Things I Wish I Knew Before Freshman Year

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Marist chapter.

As much of a pro you are at school by now, college introduces a whole new world of people, experiences and a fair share of problems. Junior and senior year of high school are full of rumors and unwarranted advice from family members about what your college experience will be like. You’ll hear plenty of warnings about roommates, teachers and social life. But in all honesty, a lot of these things you really won’t know until you’re there, and most of this “advice” is kind of biased and frankly, pretty obvious. But there are a few things I learned this year that I wish I had understood beforehand.

  1. Chances are, your roommate will be somewhere in between your best friend and worst enemy. When I first got in contact with my roommate, her social media told me she was someone quite different from me and my likes. When we texted, she was blunt and only talked to me when we needed to sort something out. So needless to say, I was rather hesitant when I arrived. But as it turns out, my roommate is someone I get along well with, and we live together no problem. She tells me all her drama and I give her advice, but otherwise, outside the room, I don’t really see her or hang out with her. She has her friend group and I have mine. We do have good moments inside the dorm, where we’ve watched movies together and had jam sessions. But we aren’t best friends—and that’s perfectly fine. It’s a good mix, and I wouldn’t change my experience with her. But there are people on my floor that do everything with their roommates and also a number of people I know who switched theirs second semester because they just weren’t getting along. It’s a balance, and there’s really no way to know your experience until you have it.

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  1. The friends you make on the first day won’t always be the ones you stay friends with. Obviously this one is somewhat obvious and not always the case, but it is important to keep in mind. I hadn’t. The first three days you will meet so many people and get so many names and numbers that you forget most of them five minutes later, and the numbers go untouched in your phone. Some of them stick and some of them don’t. I was part of a friend group for a few months with some girls I’d met in the first days. For those months, we did everything together all the time. But after a while, I started to realize they weren’t the people I needed in my life, and so I stepped away from them and kind of floated around aimlessly for a while. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do, I’ll admit. But with all the free time I used to spend with them, I was able to get to know other people I’d met throughout the semester, and found a really good friend in a girl I’d—ironically so—met the first day in class. My other best friend, my roommate for next year, I actually met spontaneously a few months later while on a Broadway trip, even though I didn’t expect to see her again after that. You never know when you might meet someone who will be a great friend, so make sure you keep your options open and don’t sell yourself immediately only to your day one friends.

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  1. Adjusting to college is really, really hard. Again, this is something most people say beforehand, but it’s something I didn’t really allow to sink in before I arrived. Having switched schools quite a bit, I was sure college wouldn’t be the biggest difference. But it really was. It isn’t incredibly hard to get into a rhythm, but it’s one thing to absent-mindedly attend your school than to actually see it as your home for the next four years. I remember talking with my roommate first semester about how we kind of felt like we were just…here, floating around with no real purpose, like this was some sort of limbo. That first semester is super rough, no matter your situation with friends, schoolwork or homesickness (I barely had any, yet still couldn’t see this as my home). And it will absolutely and completely get better the second semester. Do whatever you can to make it feel more like home that first semester, but don’t be discouraged if it still feels strange. Given time, all will start to slot together by some point second semester.

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Amanda is a freshman at Marist College majoring in both Psychology and English with a concentration in Writing. She is a lover of the arts, having been a long time dancer, singer, musical lover, and currently learning to play guitar. She can always be found with a hot cup of black tea, singing along to Disney songs, and having a night in watching Netflix with her closest friends.