There are many things that people will advise incoming freshmen oh their upcoming journey through college: "Dont' skip too many classes," or "Always take advantage of extra credit!" While those pieces of advice are always welcomed and appreciated, as a senior, I can give my own! Here are five things that I wish someone would have told me about college when I was a freshman.
1. Get involved in Greek Life.
Greek life may not be for everyone but I can vouch from personal experience that it has helped make my college years the best four years of my life. Being in a sorority has not only given me my closest friends, it has given me memories that will last a lifetime. Greek life encourages students to get involved on campus and within the community. It can provide leadership or scholarship opportunities. Greek life improves your college experience with events like formals, socials, community service experience, and homecoming. Most importantly, a sorority can provides a sense of community and family, like a home away from home.
2. Study abroad.
Coming from someone who studied abroad in college I cannot stress how important it is to take advantage of traveling while in college. It is so easy to get caught up in your ways of life- doing the same thing with the same friends every weekend- but traveling allows you to break out of your every day routine. It allows you to immerse yourself in a foreign culture and diversity. Once you are in Europe or wherever you may travel to, it is easier and cheaper to make side trips so you could take a weekend vacation to places like the Greek Islands. Or, if your feeling super adventurous, a spur of the moment trip to Ibiza for a crazy party weekend. Taking advantage of study abroad scholarships while you're in college makes it is much more affordable to travel and be adventurous while you're still in college trying to figure things out.
3. Workout and eat as healthy as you can.
Oh, the dreaded freshman fifteen! We’ve all been warned to watch out for it. With free campus food, no encouragement from parents or coaches, and those late night munchies, it is easy for your health to fall off the radar. Believe it or not the feared freshman fifteen is easily avoidable. Take advantage of your college gym because 1) it’s FREE, 2) exercising is a nice break from studying and 3) if there are hot boys on campus, they are most likely at the gym. Get a friend or roommate and motivate each other to eat healthier and go to the gym. Find one activity that you enjoy doing whether it is dancing, hiking, or yoga and make sure you continue to do it, if not for your health then for your sanity. College can be stressful and it is easy to stress eat and forget to stay active. Do yourself a favor and keep your health in mind.
4. Being single in college is more fun!
College is supposed to be messy, exciting, and always changing. We have four years of our undergrad to experience hookups, frat parties, and those regretful one-night stands (but, always remember to be safe). Having a boyfriend or girlfriend is comfortable and familiar but college is for stepping out of your comfort zone and meeting new people. Take advantage of these prime years where you can make mistakes and most importantly find out who you are. These are the years you’re allowed to be selfish. If you are not ready commit, then why waste your time? Go out with your friends, make mistakes, have amazing adventurers, and most importantly get to know yourself before you bring someone else into it!
5. Stay in contact with high school and hometown friends!
Friends will come and go throughout your life and when you move off to college and part ways with your high school friends you will lose contact with some in the process. However, the ones that you stay connected with and talk to are more valuable than gold. There is nothing nicer than coming home for the holidays and having a group of girls to share your college experiences with and reminisce on the good ole high school days. Make friends in college and have a blast doing so, but remember the girls that were there with you from the start.
College is an adventure that needs to be taken advantage of! Remember that studying and education is a huge and vital part of your college journey, but finding yourself and being happy with that person is important too!