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What I Learned After My First Year of College: Advice to First Year Students

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

Making friends is easy when you open your door and let people in- figuratively and literally. 

Last year, I made the decision to open my dorm room door on the very first day after I unfinished packing. Though I was very hesitant, I decided to talk to the girls across the hall. Once I discovered that we were all just trying to make friends and live out the next four years of our lives, I let my guard down- my figurative door opened. I felt a weight lift from my shoulders

I met one of my best friends that day.  In college, always keep your door open because you never know what’s on the other side

It’s okay to not know what you want to do yet. 

If you already know what you want to do, then that’s awesome. I’m happy for you! And if you don’t, that’s okay too! Take time to self-discover and of course, have fun. Nowadays, college students are way too stressed out. I spent my first year of college worrying about the future, simply forgetting to live in the present. Stop stressing about careers and annual salaries. Discover your passions. Find what you love. 

This is your year to shine, take classes that interest you. Though the path of self-discovery is scary and often overwhelming, the college experience will lead you to your passion. Everything will fall into place.  

Boys are a great distraction, but don’t let them distract you too much. 

You’re in college for a reason, to get a degree and find a career. However, that’s not to say you can’t have fun. Go on dates. Hook up with cute guys. You do you sis! 

Last year, I was in a toxic relationship during my second semester. My ex-boyfriend and I had a massive falling out around the time of finals. It really impacted my studying habits.  Every time I attempted to look at test material, my mind redirected to my broken relationship. I looked at pictures of us together. I re-read text messages. I replayed memories in my head. And I texted him, even though I knew it was a bad idea. 

Word of advice to freshmen: Your studies come first, drop anything or anyone that distracts you and/or doesn’t make you happy. 

Drinking. It’s your choice. 

It’s your first time fleeing the coop. And the taste of freedom is oh, so sweet. It’s only human nature to deviate from childhood rules. College freshman are statistically more likely than other college students to participate in heavy drinking as they assume everyone else around them drinks. However, this is not always the case.

Before I went to college, I never even thought about drinking. Drinking was not a social norm with my group of friends back home. I never felt the need to crack open a cold one on a Friday night.

I feared that I would be the odd one out in college. I feared that no one would think I was “fun” or “cool.” However, I found a group of friends who choose not to drink; a group of friends who respect my choices. Never let anyone disrespect or undermine your decisions. Drinking. It’s your choice. 

Self-care is key. 

Between exams, all-nighters, and stressful weeks, it is very important to take care of yourself and to make some me-time; take a shower, read a book, watch some Netflix, clean, relax.

Last year, I learned the importance of sleep. In order to function, the average adult needs 8 hours of sleep, meanwhile college students have reported getting less than that in order to study and complete their assignments. Time management is key to taking care of yourself. Set aside time to do your work. But don’t stress yourself out too much and GET SOME SLEEP. Relax, go with the flow, and most importantly take care of yourself. 

Thanks for reading! 

Carly Long

Scranton '22

Carly is a senior studying Strategic Communications with a concentration in Legal Studies at The University of Scranton. This is her third year as CC at HC Scranton, which she hopes to continue to elevate. In her free time Carly can be found writing, working out, or buying new products to feed her skincare addiction.