Freshman year. This can be the scariest, yet most fun time of your life as a college student. You’re at the bottom of the food chain again and in a completely different atmosphere than what you’re used to. While some people are excited for parties, cute boys and girls, and overall just a new environment, others are stressing about moving away from home and are anxious about the unknown. For me, it’s a mixture of all of these. One thing is for sure though: I have discovered a LOT so far. Here are a few of the things that I have learned in my first weeks of college as a freshman:
- You will be homesick.
No matter how excited you are to move away and start a new life, there will be a little piece inside of you that misses home. I truly didn’t think that I would be that homesick, but once I got settled in after move-in day, I realized how lonely I was and how much I wanted to be back at home with my friends and family. Never fear though, this feeling is temporary, and once classes start and you begin to meet new people, you get distracted from thinking about home so much.
- Read your class syllabus.
If your professor asks you to read the syllabus before the first class session, then read the dang syllabus! It literally has everything you need to know about that class in it, and professors may get annoyed by the repetitive questions students ask when the answers are directly in the syllabus. From information about your professor’s office hours to when assignments are due, to attendance policies, the syllabus is very important to read and is crucial for your success in that class!
- The atmosphere at college is completely different than at high school.
When I arrived at my dorm, I knew absolutely nobody and was scared of making new friends. I come from a super small town where everybody thinks they know everything about you, so I expected everyone here to be rude or judgemental like the people I knew back in high school. Fortunately, not everyone in college is like that! If you see someone, ask for their Snapchat or tell them you should meet up for coffee sometime. Chances are, everybody is as nervous as you and desperate to make friends.
- If you are staying in a dorm, don’t expect it to be like a 5-star resort.
If you are planning on living in a dorm during your college career, you can’t expect it to be a luxurious experience. Your room isn’t going to be like a Ritz-Carlton 1,000 SQ FT suite, which is understandable. There will be problems. Maybe the blinds are broken, or your furniture is falling apart, or the toilet keeps running, or your shower has mold all over it (and if you’re like me, all four of those things are wrong). The best thing to do is to fill out a maintenance request and hope that somebody comes to repair the issue soon. And if they don’t, well, you can always look forward to moving out at the end of the school year.
- Get involved.
With COVID-19 amongst us, it can be quite difficult to meet new people, especially if the majority of your classes are online for the semester. That’s why it is extremely important to try and get involved and make the most of your college experience. There are many ways to get involved with your school, such as joining a sorority or club, becoming an RA, joining a sport or even doing a work-study. If you are struggling to find something just right for you, go onto your university’s website and search for organizations that you can become a part of. Whatever you join, it will be a great opportunity to make new friends and may even open doors for your future.
Overall, don’t stress too much about your first year as a college student. I’m still learning many things, but trust me when I say, it gets better! Although it may take some time to get used to your new life, you will meet amazing people on the way that will help ease your worries and make your college experience great.