7 Things I Wish I Knew Freshman Year

The school year has started back up and it's a little hard to believe that I'm already a senior. I'm only panicking a little. Recently, I've been considering how I came into this college thing almost completely unaware. I had no idea what to expect from the college experience and basically winged the entire thing. Here's some things I wish someone had told me at the start.

 

Buying Textbooks

InterLibrary Loan. Put in the ISBN for your textbook and in a couple of weeks— voila, your textbooks available  at no cost to you. It is very helpful for sources you might need for papers as well! If that doesn't work, check out Thriftbooks.com for cheap alternatives. Definitely do not buy from the bookstore. 

 

Go to Events

Now, hear me out. I know that a lot of people are introverts and sometimes certain events can be overwhelming for you. Sometimes you just haven't found your people and you feel awkward going alone. However, I'm going to say that you should take a chance. There are other people who enjoy the things you like— whether it be Disney, video games or even the weird things like voluntary exercise.  There are so many events and you never know what might happen or who you'll run into. In movies, the main character doesn't experience their crazy fun lives by staying home all day. You can check the Regent Event calendar for upcoming events!

 

Watch Regent Plays for Free

At Regent we have a theatre program that produces quality stage performances every year. Did you know you can watch the dress rehearsals of these plays on Thursday night before the first showing? It is free, but you might want to ask your theatre friends for more information. Sometimes they can be exclusive!

On the other hand, there are black box performances that are free. The dates and times for them are usually on posters around campus or on the Regent theatre page. They do ask for donations, so it would be kind of you to support their endeavors especially since they are of the same acting quality as the main shows of the season.

 

Seek Out Opportunities and Network

There are so many opportunities, but they are not always going to be knocking at your door. Any time you have a chance to make your face known in a professional setting is a chance you should take. Whether it be attending internship workshops or staying in touch with Career Services on campus, have an understanding of what you have to offer and what you are looking for in a job. More events for networking are usually found in the calendar mentioned above.

However, those are the basic ways to network. The truth? You can make your own opportunities. Staff information is accessible online and your professors know a lot of people! Don't be afraid to ask them if they know of any opportunities or anyone you can talk to for more information. I emailed the marketing department so many times just to get my foot in the door. At work, I jumped at any chance to use my skills in a public event. It was great and now I work a completely different job than the one I started with and I love it!

 

Get a JOB!

I was blessed my first two years of college to not have to pay any tuition, but you know what I regret? Not getting a job. Partially because now I have to pay for school out of pocket and that puts some dents into my saving goals. Not only that, but working a job gives you some experience and helps you make connections with people who might be able to push you along. Even an unpaid volunteer or intern position is better than nothing!

 

Budgeting

Checking your balance after splurging is as nerve-wracking as opening your report card in seventh grade. Budgeting is a big part of college life unless you have a trust fund sitting around somewhere. College is expensive! While I am fond of the occasional splurge, it can be easy to overspend and indulge too much. Cards make it so easy to spend without thinking. My tip would be to take out cash each payday or week. This way when the cash is gone, you can't spend anymore. . There are a lot of budgeting examples on the internet, but honestly I'm too overwhelmed at the idea of tracking spending in every area of my life right now.

 

It Really Is Cheaper to Cook

Sure, it costs time, but it saves you a lot of money in the long run. Plus, we have full kitchens in our rooms! There's no excuse for you not knowing a few signature dishes by senior year. Don't be one of those people who gets through senior year and still doesn't know how to use a stove. Not to mention that cooking will save you pounds and calories you gain from eating out every day.