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Advice From a College Senior: Freshmen, It Gets Better

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Many people thrive in college their freshman year. The newfound freedom, the instant friendships, the excitement of dorm life. But if you’re anything like me, freshman year of college was really difficult. Not only were the classes demanding and the social aspect overwhelming, but it was also really hard to put myself in the shoes of a young woman living a brand new life. I often felt lonely and lost. 

Now that I’m a senior and a month away from graduating, I am so much happier than I was just a few years ago. I’m a smarter, more independent, and more confident version of myself. So, for any college freshman struggling with their identity or their grades or their motivation: trust me, it gets better.

  1. Feeling out of Place

The first year of college is confusing, especially the first few months. I found that it was easy to get lost and difficult to fit in. Making new friends was another struggle on top of being in a brand  new city. But, by senior year, I am 100% comfortable with making my way around campus. The people I see walking around no longer look like strangers, they look like familiar faces. The more time you spend at your college, the more organizations, classes, volunteer opportunities, and clubs you’re exposed to. This opens your world to meeting new people and building connections with your peers. The homesickness that I experienced every day my freshman year melted away. College feels like a second home now. 

  1. Struggling with Academics

Freshman year classes are full of prerequisites and general-education courses. Most of the classes I took my first semester did not interest me, which made me lose my passion for learning. I struggled to stay motivated for classes I didn’t genuinely care about. But as time progresses, the college courses you take for your major start getting more advanced. This shouldn’t scare you, because the advanced level makes them infinitely more interesting. Looking back at the student I was freshman year, I am so grateful for my education and how much my knowledge grew in a few short years. 

  1. Feeling Trapped Living On-Campus

Living in a dorm on campus was convenient and exciting, but after a while, I started to feel trapped. Everyday felt the same with very little opportunities to get off the campus and experience life outside of schoolwork and dorm life. Once I was able to move to an apartment off campus my junior year, I instantly felt so much more independent and free. I had to cook every meal for myself, navigate public transportation, and get to live in the city where I wasn’t seeing only college students 24/7. Because I have to walk to campus to get to class, I fell in love with exploring new places on foot. I discovered hundreds of places in the city that I never ventured to while living in the safety bubble of the campus dorm. 

Freshman year was full of nerves and homesickness. There were a few times I even questioned whether or not the college experience was for me. But as soon as comfort set in and my lust for adventure grew, I fell in love with my university and everything it had to offer.

Sophie is a senior at The University of Tampa. She is a writing major with minors in sustainability, english, and sociology. When she's not on a camping trip or swimming at the beach, she enjoys doing yoga, eating vegan food, and hiking with her dog. You can find her on instagram @sophie.cavanaugh.
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