5 Things I Wish I Knew as a Freshman

Adjusting to a new environment is always hard, especially when that new environment is college. I know that when I was a Freshman in college, I often felt clueless or even intimidated by my brand-new surroundings. Now however, as a senior, I consider myself a seasoned veteran of the ways of college. So, whether you are a Freshman or a transfer student, never fear! I’m here to share the top five things that I wish I knew as a new student at Skidmore. 

 

  1. You don’t need to date the first person that’s nice to you. 

It’s scary to be in a new place where you don’t know anyone! For most people, the primary goal upon arriving to college is to make friends as soon as possible. You don’t want to be walking around alone all the time, right? If you’re coming to college ~single and ready to mingle~, this sense of “I have to find people to hang out with ASAP” can often apply to potential romantic relationships as well as platonic ones. Being new can sometimes feel like a race to collect the phone numbers and Snapchat usernames of every moderately cool person that you have class with, meet at a party, or make eye contact with in the dining hall, BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO! Sure, it’s possible that you’ll meet your soulmate on the first day of Freshman year. However, I’d recommend waiting until at least second semester to commit to that Junior boy, even if he does live in an apartment (!!!) and has his own car. 

 

  1. Don’t take a full meal plan for granted. 

You would not believe how much I miss having ready-to-eat food at my disposal 24 hours a day. Being able to roll into dhall between classes just to grab a snack is a luxury that I miss with all my heart. Sure, dhall food might not be gourmet or anything, but there are plenty of options and you don’t have to put any effort into making it. So, make sure to take advantage of our amazing dining hall!

 

  1. Utilize office hours and peer tutoring and remember to ask questions.

Professors aren’t scary! When you don’t understand something, ask about it! This goes for in class as well as outside of class. No one will ever think you are dumb if you make It known that you don’t understand some of the material. In fact, chances are that everyone else is just as confused as you are, and they’ll be thankful that you asked. If you’re really struggling in a class, go to a PAC (Peer Academic Coaching) session and ask one of the wonderful student tutors for some help. 

 

  1. Talk to that cool person in your class (they probably want to be your friend too!) 

You know the person I’m talking about – they always make the most insightful comments in class, or have the coolest style, or just seem like a great person to be around. You love talking to them when you’re standing outside the classroom waiting for the prior class to be done, or they always back up your point of view during class discussions. You keep thinking, “Wow, I’d love to be friends with that person,” but the opportunity never arises. The key is, simply, to just make it happen! Ask them if they want to work on a project for class with you or be your study buddy! Have no shame because remember, you’re probably that cool person for someone else too. 

 

  1. Prioritize your mental and physical health.

When you begin college, it’s important to put yourself out there and go to events and social gatherings. However, make sure you know your limit. If you feel like your schoolwork or mental health is suffering because you’re constantly out with people or staying up all night watching Netflix or constantly ordering Dominoes, take a minute to reassess. Make sure you’re fueling your body with good food and lots of water, and that you’re getting to bed at a reasonable hour whenever you can. The opposite is true too: if you feel like your mental health is suffering because you’re spending too much time agonizing over your schoolwork, make sure to take a break. You’ll thank yourself later!