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5 Things I’ve Learned From My First Few Weeks At College

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

College is a weird time.

The routine you’ve had for, what? The past 13 years? is suddenly ripped out from under you, and you’re thrown into a completely new lifestyle that is miles from home, shared by roommates and – not to mention – costs thousands of dollars.

Because it’s such a sudden transition, I think you learn a lot in a short amount of time. I’ve only been in college for a few weeks, but I feel like there’s a lot that I’ve learned. Here’s just a few to mention:

8 a.m. classes actually are the worst 

This first one might seem kind of obvious, but when I was making my schedule, I didn’t understand just how bad 8 a.m. classes really were. I know what you’re thinking –  typical freshman move. After all, I woke up at 6 a.m. daily in high school, so it would be just like that, right? Wrong. I definitely underestimated how much my sleep schedule would change in college. During your first semester of freshman year, everyone’s hanging out late at night, getting to know each other and enjoying the freedom of not having parents forcing you to sleep for school the next day. 8 a.m.’s mean having to drag yourself out of bed after you were up till 3 a.m. last night. Absolute. Torture.

The people on your floor might not become your best friends, and that’s okay

From watching an endless stream of college youtubers, I fell under the impression that I would find an instant group of best friends in my residence hall. Well, that didn’t exactly happen. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of freshmen do find an immediate sense of community in their dorm, which is great, but many don’t – and that’s okay too. I was worried I’d feel isolated or lonely, but I’ve learned that there are so many other ways to make friends and meet people besides through your freshman dorm. Clubs are a great start.

The Freshman 15 is 100% a thing, and it’s not the only thing to watch out for

We’ve all heard of the Freshman 15, which is very real, but there are a few other things that I didn’t really hear about that are equally as prevalent in your first year of college. For instance, around the second week, every single person on campus seems to get sick. I mean if you cram a bunch of teenagers in one building together, sickness is bound to happen. And, of course, expect your bank account to be ~literally~ crying after all of those textbook purchases, coffee runs and dinners with friends.

Don’t believe everything you see on social media

Once you get to college, you’re flooded with Snapchat stories and Instagram posts of your high school friends living their best lives at parties and football games. It can be easy to feel like everybody except you is making friends, but more often than not, that’s far from the truth. Snapchat is only one dimensional. I thought my friends were fitting in perfectly at college from their social media posts, but after FaceTime calls and text messages, I learned that they were actually really struggling.

It takes time to thrive

If I had a dollar for all the times I heard the phrase “you’re going to thrive in college!” I’d be able to graduate debt-free. But actually though – I expected to find my best friends, become super involved, and keep up with the pace of a college course load right away. But everything takes time, and I’m definitely learning that college is no exception to that rule. You should too.

So, there you have it, my fellow first-year students. We are not in this alone — so let’s suffer through 8 a.m. classes, try to stay afloat amidst assignments and frantically avoid the Freshman 15 together.

College freshman at Temple University
When Rachel isn't obsessively drinking iced coffee by the gallon or binge watching true crime videos on YouTube, you can probably find her writing about her failed love life. She is currently a  junior (*she's ancient*) journalism major at Temple University, and is a Her Campus Temple Campus Correspondent, a Temple Student Government Social Media Manager and a 2020 Owl Team Student Coordinator.