Dear New Freshmen,
Like you, I had no idea what I was doing after I had officially graduated high school. I am the oldest sibling, so I didn't have any siblings to help me. Let me start off by telling you that what you are feeling right now is completely natural, and every other incoming freshman has the same nerves as you. That being said, you will be experiencing things for the first time, along with thousands of other freshman across the country. While it is normal to be nervous, college will change your life in the best of ways.
As my freshmen year comes to an end, I wanted to gather some advice for you from friends, all from different schools, to gather the best and most brutally honest advice possible. The idea of college can be very intimidating, but I hope this advice brings you some level of comfort.
“1. Don’t overthink it.
2. Your freshman friends probably won’t be your forever college friends.
3. Try hard the first semester but learn to have the work hard, play hard mentality.
4. Self care is everything
5. Don’t eat any meat but chicken from the cafeteria”
- Friend from the University of New Hampshire
“Some of the best things I learned in college were:
Don’t be afraid to call your mom she definitely always wants to hear from you
Don’t try to be friends with everyone, keep your circle close, cultivate the friendships you have because those are probably the ones that you’ll be lifetime friends with.
College is all about finding yourself so don’t feel bad if you don’t like to party just because everyone else does, it is all about what you wanna do.
Don’t focus on others, focus on yourself.
Never forget where you came from.
One of the most important things in college that I’ve learned is to make sure that you make yourself happy instead of those around you because if they truly love you they will be there and will support every single decision that you make
Also probably more important than that, the one message that I hung onto especially throughout my senior year is that college isn’t the end all be all. That’s not the last point in your life. You’re going to be making friends and making a difference and making changes and decisions, your whole life. College is just a stepping stone.
Of course get everything you can out of your four years of undergrad but it’s not the end”
- Friend from Penn State
“1. Meet and branch out to everyone, it is best to know lots of people then you can find your core group, plus everyone is in same position -kinda nervous
2. Get involved as much as you can (sports, clubs, sorority, council)
3. Give yourself mental breaks and get outside (go for walk, sit outside, read, throw around a ball)
4. Enjoy and be spontaneous, happiness and self love is the most important
5. Stay true to yourself, you will be the happiest and the find the right people when you are you”
- Friend from Bentley
“Some of the best advice for incoming college students is
1. Definitely to figure out how to manage time, it’s so easy to let homework and other assignments build up until the last minute.
2. Remember that your first friends/ people you meet won’t necessarily be your forever friends, it can take some time to find your friend group.
3. Don’t feel afraid to ask for extensions and help from professors most of them say yes and have office hours to help students.
4. Try to get involved with clubs or activities on campus if you have a harder time meeting people this way you can meet people with some of the same interests as you.
5. Remember that these years only last 4 years so make the most of them, while homework is important, you need to remember to have fun too.
6. College is a huge transition from high school. Chances are your mental health won’t be where it should be, take breaks when studying, get lunch with friends, don't be so fixated on schoolwork because you won’t enjoy college as much. Good mental health is often overlooked but it’s a necessity.
7. Try to figure out a routine that works with your schedule, set time aside for homework, breaks, meals and working out.”
- Friend from Stonehill
“Talk to anyone and everyone you never know what people have to offer and if you don’t vibe with them, you have no obligation to remain their friend”
- Friend from the University of Vermont
“Do literally whatever makes you happy because you only go to college once, take risks, hangout with that guy, go to that party, but study hard.”
- Friend from the University of New Hampshire
“Be as friendly as you can”
- Friend from American University
In the end, the transition to college will be a big one. It will be life changing and you will learn so much about yourself. As intimidating as it can be, you will adjust and grow into a better, stronger person. You will learn how to manage your time, take risks, meet new people, live more independently, take harder classes, and hopefully you will see your future a little more clearly (maybe not freshman year, but you will be set on the right track whether you realize it or not).
Never forget that everyone is in the same boat!! Whatever you are feeling, you are never alone, whether it is before you head off to college, the first week of classes or even the last month of the year. Utilize your resources and reach out to your orientation leaders or any professors/ advisors for help with anything. Your college experience will we entirely what you make of it, so embrace every opportunity.
And if you don’t know who else to reach out to or need a friend or a mentor, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org :)
Best of luck, you will do amazing!!