Congrats on surviving the first few weeks of freshman year! There’s still a lot to accomplish, a lot of things to learn, a lot of moments to celebrate and a lot of mistakes to be made. Here’s a list of things for you to learn from a few of mine and my friends’ mistakes when we were freshmen:
1. Eating Ramen three days in a row will give you killer heartburn
2. Don’t be too shy to ask for advice from anyone. Professors, upperclassmen and that style guru across the hall will be happy to share a bit of their knowledge.
3. Go home for a visit if you’re able. Don’t feel weak because you need to see your mom before Thanksgiving.
4. Dawn dish soap will remove almost any stain.
5. Crying is okay! Everyone cracks sometimes and it’s better to not keep it bottled up.
6. Take a class that isn’t related to your major just because it sounds interesting. You’ll learn a lot more than you think, and maybe uncover a hidden talent. I took Creative Writing just for kicks and loved it so much I made it my minor!
7. Sleep is essential. You will feel like a monster if you only sleep four hours a night.
8. You don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy.
9. The little points in class add up. Small assignments, participation and attendance can help boost your grade from a B+ to an A-.
10. It’s worth it to ask your professor to bump up your grade if you feel you deserved better. Professors know who shows up and participates in class, and will often reward you for that, even if your test scores aren’t perfect. The worst he or she will say is no!
11. Check Rate My Professors to see if there are any helpful pointers on assignments or exams for your classes.
12. Living in isolation because you have “too much work to do” will make you sad and lonely, and you will binge eat a lot of chips. Go out and socialize with some friends, even if that means just getting together at a coffee shop to study.
13. You DO have time to read something for fun for 15 minutes before you go to bed. It will relax you and get your mind to stop spinning from the 7 hours of chemistry you just studied.
14. Go to the gym, even if it’s just for a little while. Don’t be intimidated by the weights, the sweat, the bulging muscles or the testosterone overload.
15. Go for a walk, and not just to class. Our campus is beautiful and there’s a lot of great places to discover. Make sure to take advantage of it before it’s 10 degrees!
16. Unless you want bad luck, don’t walk under the Tin Man’s legs.
17. Fill up your water bottle before you go out to a party. Put it next to your bed. Your morning self will thank you.
18. In the words of the great Emma Watson, “Don’t feel stupid if you don’t like what everyone else pretends to love.”
19. The light rail isn’t as confusing as it seems, and it can get you to a lot of great places off-campus. On a day off, use it to take a trip to the Mall of America, Minnehaha Falls, or Downtown Minneapolis and explore. Check out www.metrotransit.org to plan trips via busses or the light rail.
20. If they’re not nice to the waiter, they’re probably not a nice person.
21. Centen late night pizza is DELICIOUS. However, you should not eat it at 11p.m. everyday.
22. Coffee’s a beautiful thing, but remember that caffeine is a drug. Don’t overdose unless you want fuzzy vision and to be awake until 4 a.m.
23. Look good, feel good, do good. I know it’s hard to dress nicely for your 8 a.m. classes, but it might give you that little confidence boost to get through the day. Whether it’s a fun, fall dress, or yogas and a hoodie, wear something that makes you feel like a ten, and you’ll spend your day looking, feeling, and acting like one.
24. A lot of classes are big, but don’t let yourself be just an ID number. Go to office hours and develop a personal relationship with your professors.
25. No one looks as good in real life as they do on their Instagram, at least not all the time.
26. Don’t drink the punch. Or the wap. Or the Jungle Juice.
27. You don’t have to go out every night on the weekends to be cool. Find some friends who want to have a Harry Potter marathon or a game night sometime if you don’t want to be alone; you’ll learn a lot about your friends and have a good time.
28. Nobody knows what they’re doing, it’s not just you. So don’t worry too much, have some fun, study hard. Everything will be okay!
Every day, you’ll learn more about the school, the world around you and yourself. Freshman year is full of new experiences, so don’t stress too much; everyone’s just figuring it out as they go along.