Advice for College Freshmen, Given by a College Sophomore

If you’re like me, you came into college pretty confident you’d find your place and by the middle of September, you thought you would have the whole prospect of college figured out. Wrong. It doesn’t matter how confident you are in your college experience the first few weeks of school, because everyone is still figuring out their situations and how they can make the most of their college experience. I still don’t have all of college figured out, but I managed to figure my way through freshman year so here’s some simple, yet useful advice for all the new freshies out there!

 

 

You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate.

During the first few weeks, it’s good to start with getting lunch and dinner with your roommates or going out with them until you befriend more people and find your groove. You don’t have to only hang out with your roommate(s), but it’s always good to be friends with them, or at least civil. You do want your living situation to be bearable, so communicate through any issues and try to fix them so you’re not stressed to go back to your room because ~your roommate might be there~.

 

 

Make friends with your neighbors.

This could mean the people in the room next to you, down the hall or everyone on your floor! It’s always good to have a group of friends nearby apart from your roommates because it’ll make living with a ton of other people that much more enjoyable!

 

 

 

Get involved (but not too involved).

The best way to meet people on campus and really try to find where you fit in at school is by getting involved. This could mean #goinggreek, joining a club, forming an intramural team, or anything that involves getting together with a group of people meeting for the same purpose. It will make you feel a little more at home if you add a club or organization to your routine. But don’t overdo it! You might have shown up your first week and seen eight clubs and organizations you want to join, but try a few first and see how you handle it, and if you feel like you have time for more, then go for more! It’s really easy to get yourself into something and then stretch yourself too thin (speaking from personal experience).  Know your limits of what you can handle, so you can still be successful in your college career.

 

 

Call your parents.

As busy as you are your first couple weeks trying to figure out your involvement and your classes and your social life, your parents are adjusting just as much as you are. You could be the oldest, youngest, or middle child and your parents will still feel it. They want to know how you are and it could just be a short call checking in, but they want to hear from you so make the effort and it’ll be appreciated.

 

 

Try to not go back to your dorm in between classes.

This is a sneaky one that not many people do, but the people that do swear by it. If you have an awkward 1-2 hour break in between classes/meetings/etc., try not to go back to your dorm. You’ll get all cozy, probably be unproductive, and lose all momentum that was built up before. I’m not saying you have to go to the library and do homework that’s due in a month because that’s the only thing you have to do, but you can go to the library and find a comfy spot and watch Netflix if you wanted. I lived by this, I even had a favorite chair in the library and I knew it would be waiting for me when I went in between classes. It just makes you more productive overall, so skip the nap if you can and get on that school grind!

 

 

 

You don’t have to have your whole planned out by the time you go to college.

If you’re someone that has known what you’ve wanted to do forever, then all the power to you. But if you don’t, then you’re among the majority of college students who have no idea what they want to do. If you have a general idea, that’s great! If you aren’t sure, take all your core classes first with maybe one class in the area you’re thinking of, to see if that’s really what you want before committing to it. There’s no harm in a good old trial-and-error, if you think that’s what will work for you. I went through three different majors in two semesters and a breakdown about my career path every other week, but once you make a step in the right direction in finding a major, everything will start falling into place. Just don’t panic if you don’t have the next ten years of your life planned out by your second month of freshman year.

 

 

Get in touch with yourself.

This year is a crucial time period for you because it’s your first time really being independent from your parents and friends from home. It’s the first time really going out of your comfort zone. It’s easy to retreat into a shell or constantly surround yourself with people because that’s what you’ve done your whole life, but this is also a crucial period of time for personal development. This is where you find out how you function as an individual and how you do things without the lead of someone else. Get in touch with yourself and what makes you the best person you can be. Yes, at the surface college is about grades, building a career and a killer social life, but it’s also a time to find yourself as a student and an individual.

 

 

Never lose hope!

It’s incredibly overwhelming in the beginning, but that’s just the nature of college. You’re not the only one. No one really knows what’s going on, no one really knows anyone, everyone is just trying to find where they belong. So go to that club meeting, start that conversation with the person next to you in class, just put yourself out there and you’ll get so much back in return!