8 Things I Learned My First Semester of College

1. You do not have to go to that party

First semester of freshman year, there’s a huge amount of pressure to go out, especially if your roommate or your friends are going out to a party. The first month, I sucked it up, put on my makeup, and went out…while counting the minutes until I was there long enough to leave. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good party, but sometimes you’re just not in the mood. Do not fall into the pit of FOMO! You will truly not miss out on anything. There will always be another night, another party. Trust me, it takes a lot to stand up to peer pressure and to do what’s right for you. Sometimes a night in with Disney+ is exactly what you need, so don’t ignore the homebody inside you.

2. The Lair starts charging after 8:30 pm (even on meal plans) 

Maybe it’s just me, but I seriously did not learn this until about halfway through the semester when I found myself out of lynx bucks. If you want to save your $9.99 on a meal, eat dinner before 8:30pm if you’re heading to the lair. Also, purchase the sushi sparingly. That’s where the majority of my money went. You’ll be wishing you had money left during that finals week to get coffee at 1am in the Middle Ground. It happens to the best of us.

3. Taking notes before class will set you up for success

This is true for succeeding in that next class lecture and even for the next test. In my intro to psychology class, I take detailed notes before I get to class so that when my professor teaches us, I can purely listen and add in anything else important she says. I never did this throughout high school because I thought it was too time-consuming, but the payoff is worth so much more than the dreaded time it takes to do it. Also, generating the material by hand helps you retain that information before the lecture so you’ll be even more attentive to what’s going on.

4. Go to that research talk/lecture/speaker series

We all know we see posters hanging up 24/7 and emails constantly in our inboxes about a future lecture series or guest speakers on campus. We usually ignore them or only attend if it fits with our major, but I highly recommend to go to one on a subject you know little or maybe nothing about. Some I attended just for extra credit and ended up really enjoying it. You may even learn something new that can aid you in one of your classes, or maybe you’ll have your interest sparked in a new subject! 

5. You start to “realize stuff” – Kylie Jenner

Some people do not think like you, and some people may even not like you. That is okay! This time in our lives is most likely the first time we’ve been in an area with so many different and unfamiliar people. Don’t be surprised if someone doesn’t understand the same TikTok reference as you. We can all learn from each other. 

6. Beware of Tinder/Bumble

We live on a small campus…a very small campus. That’s all I’m going to say.  

7. Post-it notes are a beautiful thing

Every single time I have a thought or an idea for something, I say to myself “well, I would write it down, but since it’s such a good idea, I know I’ll remember it later!” Hmmm…false. You will not remember it later, so take out a sticky note and write it down. I also use sticky notes when I’m taking notes for a class and think of a question to ask my professor for later. It seems nerdy I know, but it seriously has enhanced my life. 

8. Your passions will drive you so much further than what’s practical

You will be so much more successful if you’re driven by your interests and your passions. I say this mostly in reference to choosing your major. Speaking from experience, I originally wanted to go into journalism, then it became psychology. Now that I’ve taken an intro to psych class and have experienced a bit more, my passion is still psychology but more so neuroscience. I’ve never been a science girl…it’s usually my hardest subject. However, I’ve found myself working so much harder in the subject I’m passionate about rather than what may be easier or more practical. The same can be said for a club or sport you might want to pursue or for whatever your goals are.

(photo 1: Medium)