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3 Mistakes I Made my Freshman Year (and how to fix them!)

Freshman year can be extremely overwhelming, to say the least. I moved from a far away state, and knew absolutely no one going in. I was beyond scared. The worst thing about it was that I let my fear get in the way of my experiences as a first year. I could have done a few (or three!) things differently, so learn from my mistakes:

Looking in the face of freshman year like…

1. I was too Keen on Comfort

My freshman year, I failed to fear. What do I mean by that exactly? I was so comfortable being comfortable that I didn’t want to take risks. If there’s any time to be a little crazy, it’s the fall of your freshman year. Even taking a class out of your comfort zone is a risk that could pay off in the form of a potential new major! Talk to someone you wouldn’t normally – that girl in your class with the effortlessly cool fashion sense, or the guy who always seems to know the answer to every question in lecture. Don’t make up you mind about anything until you’ve tried it. From local Evanston restaurants to Northwestern social life, everything is new and snap judgments won’t get you anywhere. 


2. I Closed my Doors (literally and figuratively)

When I started Freshman year, I wasn’t ready to open myself up to new people. My friends from high school were still on the brain, and I didn’t think I could meet anyone who really “got” me like they did. Aside from my roommate, I wasn’t really reaching out to anyone. But my classes were full of great people I didn’t take the time to meet, and my floor was absolutely full of exciting humans. So how could I have changed my behavior? Keep your doors open freshmen! Buy that comma shaped doorstop at CVS, play your favorite music, and erase that wall between high school you, and college you. You’re still the same person, you’re just in a new place. There are wonderful people all over Northwestern, I just needed to change my attitude to find them.


3. I Didn’t Get Involved

There is nothing more overwhelming on the NU campus than the activities fair – hundreds of booths, and all of them seemingly perfect for you! Fall quarter freshman year, the only club I really wanted to join I couldn’t find, so I sort of gave up hope. Now I’m a sophomore with no activities floundering to find my place on campus! Don’t let this happen to you. I know the application process can be super devastating, and getting rejected by that club you heard about on your tour really sucks. But there are so many ways to get involved, so don’t be disheartened. The best way to meet people (aside from keeping an open door) is to join a club or two. Make an impact in the Northwestern community while simultaneously making great friends outside of your normal circles.

So learn from these mistakes and try to make the very most of your freshman year. It can be scary and overwhelming, but let yourself really grow this year. If you do, it will lead to some of the most fun and rewarding moments of your life!

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Meg Biederman


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