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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Rutgers chapter.

Starting college is a huge, unprecedented step forward in one’s life. It takes time to learn how to navigate your new setting and create good habits. Here are our most important tips for freshmen to keep in mind!

Don’t overthink the “Freshman 15″

Freshman year of college is likely the first time you’re in charge of organizing your meals, and it is easy to overthink details that once came naturally to you. For some, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the idea of gaining the “freshman 15;” this only makes the meal decision process harder. To avoid this mindset, forget the term “freshman 15.” It reinforces negative eating habits and leads to a negative self-image. We suggest eating intuitively; eat as much as you need to when your body needs it! Remember to nourish your body so you can feel your best while adjusting to college! If you gain a few pounds, remember that it’s NOT a bad thing! You’re giving your body what it needs.

Be patient with yourself

As a freshman, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed adjusting to college classes, making new friends, and navigating your newfound freedom. When I first started college, I felt that everyone else had it together almost immediately. With time, I realized that everyone is in the same boat, feeling unsure in their new environment. So take it one day at a time, and trust that you will figure it out. It is normal to feel overwhelmed, but in transitional periods, we need to be kind to ourselves. Developing and implementing healthy habits will take time; not everything happens in a week. Start small and work your way toward your goals. It’s okay not to be where you hoped to be; you will get there with time!

Forget FOMO

Every first-year experiences FOMO (fear of missing out), but the truth is that everyone is trying to find themselves and navigate their new setting. It may seem like those around you—and those posting on social media—are living their best lives and making incredible memories. It is important to note that social media and what is seen on the “outside” is not the whole truth. Just remember that, with time, you WILL find your place on campus!

Be brave, ask questions, and make mistakes!

No one expects you to know everything automatically. Starting college is a HUGE learning process, and asking questions will help you navigate through your uncertainty. There are so many people there to help you, so ask your RAs, professors, advisor, and classmates questions when you have them! On top of that, make sure you take risks and try new things; making mistakes is a great way to learn. Even when you’re unsure, do not let uncertainty stop you from trying new things! It’s the only way you can truly grow and get the most out of your college experience.

As you embark on this new life adventure, you’ll learn a lot about yourself and the world around you. See all of your mistakes as a learning experience and give yourself room to fail. Remember that you are always growing, even in ways you don’t see!

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Rutgers '23

Parthavi Patel is a Freshman at Rutgers University – New Brunswick. She intends to double major in Psychology and Human Resource Management. In her free time, she likes to read, daydream, go on walks, and take pictures of deer.
Carleigh DiPasquale is a first year English and Political Science major at Rutgers University New Brunswick. In her free time, Carleigh enjoys reading, painting, binging HBO shows, and going to concerts.
Vinisha Bhagdev is a freshman at Rutgers Business School, majoring in finance and marketing. Her hobbies include singing and watching movies. She is a dreamer with an open heart and she can't wait to share her love in the articles she writes!