How to Make Freshman Year a Little Easier

Freshman year of college is hard for everyone, no matter how prepared you may be for college.

 

After my first semester at Miami, I thought I was going to transfer. I was so unhappy and thought that if I went to a different school it might be different. If you are a freshman and feel similarly, know that you are not alone. In fact, you are a part of the majority. My second semester was better after going through recruitment and changing my major. Now as a sophomore, I absolutely love going to Miami and I have made awesome friends and built up a great life in Oxford. But regardless of this, my first semester was still one of the hardest times of my life so far. I was lonely, not doing great in school, and did not feel like I was making great friends. I have some thoughts that I think if someone had shared with me as a freshman, it would have made the entire situation so much better. Here are some of my tips on making your first year at Miami a little better.

 

  1. Reset your expectations: Leading up to college, people romanticize the experience and have thoughts about it being amazing and perfect. It’s important to understand that your first year and any year following will not be perfect, and there will be failure, success, sadness, and happiness. Understand that your first year will be extremely challenging and that college is not just what it looks like on social media.

  2. Create a schedule: College is hard enough when you are organized, so don’t let a lack of organization get in the way of your success! I try to treat college days like a work day, from 9 until 5 I am productive with school or work, and then I give myself time in the evenings to relax. “Me” time in college includes going to the gym even if it’s for thirty minutes, or even just getting to bed early!

  3. Don’t force yourself to go out: I did not make a lot of close friends during my first semester at Miami. I thought the way I would get closer would be by going out with them every time they went out. But half the time I would not enjoy myself, and it would only make me dislike Miami more. Yes, it’s good to be social, but listen to yourself. If you are not enjoying yourself, don’t repeatedly put yourself through something because it’s what college kids look like they do on social media.

  4. Get involved: This advice is the most important and the most common advice given to first-year students. Whether getting involved means joining a club, going greek, joining a team, or getting a job, filling your schedule is so important. The busier you are, the more productive you are. Adding commitments into your schedule will make every other aspect of college easier to handle, even if that sounds crazy.

 

Hopefully, these ideas are helpful to someone. But even if they are not, please know that freshman year is hard for everyone, it’s just that nobody talks about it. You are not alone, and it is so likely that each semester will keep getting better and better.