Four Things I Learned Freshman Year

Freshman year was probably one of the first times in my life where I fully recognized that my journey is going to be full of learning, growing, and adapting. It’s not easy, be prepared to look back on your freshman year and seriously cringe. The person you were in September of your freshman year will be a lot different than the May version of yourself.

  1. 1. Not Everyone Is Your Friend

    Two girls embracing from behind

    This one took me awhile. It took me a while to differentiate who was my friend, who I was friendly with on the weekends, and who had the same intentions and morals as me. Just because you run into a person every Saturday night (pre covid), that does not mean they are your friend. I am not saying to go into college with trust issues, but I am saying to be careful. Not everyone deserves access to certain parts of who you are and your life. If people leave, let them, because the right people will eventually come. Your best friends likely won’t be the first people you meet, although that’s what we grew up believing, it is really a series of trials and tribulations. Your friend group will probably change and there is nothing wrong with that, not every person you meet is meant to be in your wedding one day. Be prepared, there are mean people, just remember, if they don't treat you right, something else is going on in their life. It is not your fault. 

  2. 2. You Have To Get Involved

    Freshman year I was not involved; I went to class, went to the library, walked around campus, but I had nothing beyond that. I was so angry at myself for not getting involved right away, but I also don’t regret my choice because I was able to learn from it. After my freshman year, I applied for HC and went through formal sorority recruitment. Both of these activities have changed my life—I used to hate being busy, but once you become busy with things you really enjoy, it can become almost addicting to have a packed schedule. I love updating my Google calendar everyday, it gives me a sense of purpose and excitement.

  3. 3. Move Your Body

    group of people in gym exercising

    Try to implement some sort of physical activity into your day. You are going to be changing your lifestyle in a variety of ways. My first semester of freshman year, I was intimidated by the gym, I wanted no part of that. I noticed a lot of changes within my body, both physically and mentally, and I knew they were headed in the wrong direction. My second semester, I started going to group workout classes at the Rec to put myself on the right path to having better mental and physical health. I regret not going first semester because I was letting the fear of people watching me get in the way (reality check to self, no one is watching you). Meditation and walks are also a really calming source of physical activity. I used to walk fifteen minutes to class and think I was all set, but in reality, the walks to class are everything but relaxing, I didn't use that time to clear my mind because I was too stressed about whatever I would have coming up in class. Now that I try to implement physical activity into most days, life just seems brighter.

  4. 4. No One Knows What They Are Doing

    It’s so easy to look around and feel like everyone else in the room is perfect and has it all figured out. You just have to remind yourself that in someone else’s mind, you are probably one of those people who has it figured out. We have no idea what each other thinks about and what each other stresses about, the seemingly perfect person sitting next to you in English class might have just failed their Calculus midterm, you seriously are not the only person struggling. There are academic struggles and social struggles and you will feel the wrath of them. They are in place in order for you to grow and develop, if everything was easy and smooth sailing, what would be the point?

Let the journey happen, experience pain and embarrassment, and become a better version of yourself.