Mistakes I Made Last Year

There are some moments in your life you wish you were able to take a large eraser to. Those moments for me, personally, took place mostly during my first year of college. Sitting down and looking back on last year, I did have many good moments – but I also had some very unfortunate moments. Through those times I got to learn many things about myself and how to better succeed in college for the years that come.

Photo by: Abby Burfine

1. Don’t feel pressured. This can mean a lot of things. Typically, when you hear adults talking about peer pressure you always believe it means drinking or drugs, however that is not always the case. You can feel pressured to join friend groups, clubs, or even just feel pressured to go out with friends when you really need to rest before a test. Make sure you set boundaries for yourself, so you only do things that you know you are comfortable with.Photo by: Abby Burfine

2. Don’t abuse your new freedom. For many freshmen this is the first time they have enough freedom to really make serious choices for themselves. While that can make them feel overwhelmed at times, many students find that this may be the time to really ‘find themselves’. That could mean getting a nose piercing, dyeing your hair or – just spit balling here – getting a sunrise tattoo on your bicep without telling your parents about it? (Sorry mom and dad). Take this time to find yourself in less permanent ways, semi-permanent dyes and fake tattoos are still an option. Or just go nuts, who am I to judge.

3. Schedule time for you. You already schedule time for the gym and the library, but what about for you? Do you have time lines up where you can sit in your dorm by yourself and catch up on your favorite youtubers or tv shows, because if not you might want to look into it. Having private time to spend on just yourself is essential to making sure you are able to be present and helpful in your classes and with your friends. No matter if you are an extrovert or an introvert, having recharge time that is more than just sleeping is very important.

4. Create healthy eating habits. Walking into either of the dining halls might be overwhelming at first. With all of the choices, it is a buffet of everything you could want. Then outside of the East and South Dining Halls, SFA has some delicious places to eat on campus where you can spend all of your dining dollars in a single month. This is where the possibility of gaining the freshman 15 is extremely tempting and happens more often then you may expect. However, it does not have to be that way. Just by holding back at the buffets, maybe adding some fruits and veggies and making sure you eat at appropriate times you can refrain from the weight gain. 

5. Go to bed earlier – wake up earlier. Waking up early enough to make it to your classes can be a little tricky. I learned that if I was unprepared to leave my dorm an hour early, I would feel rushed and be off my groove for the rest of the day. In order to be up in time for those 8 am lectures however, you need to go to bed at a reasonable hour. By being in bed around 11 you can able to get an appropriate amount of sleep each night. If you need to be up earlier however, each iPhone has a “bedtime” mode that tells you what time you should be going to bed in order to get the recommended 8 hours a night.

Photo by: Abby Burfine

6. GO TO CLASSThis may be a given but going to class is the most beneficial thing you can do. “But my teacher doesn’t take attendance,” okay go to class. “My friend can send me their notes,” okay go to class. “But I am so tired,” we are all tired, go to class. Allowing yourself to make these excuses will only make your grades drop and will make it harder for you to get motivation to go to class later on in the year. Being in class will help with participation points, you will be able to engage in class which will help you understand concepts better, and the teacher will cut you slack later in the year if you need help with points. 

These tips may be a little obvious, but you may need a reminder now and then. Learn from my mistakes, and take the time to look back on your year and learn from your own.