Advice to Upcoming First Semester Freshmen:
As I am nearly halfway through my second semester of my first year at college, I reflect on how my freshman year has been for me. I think about my expectations first going into college and the disappoints and realizations that came out of those expectations. This year has had several ups followed by downs, all on rotation. For those who are going to be starting their next four years in college this upcoming fall, here are seven tips coming from someone who experienced the struggles of first semester first hand,
1. DON’T go into college thinking you will automatically meet your best friends right away. Things take time and friendships do too. You will meet a lot of new people these first few weeks at school and most of them you won’t see again. Even if you do meet people who you are similar with are interested in the same things as you, friendships take time to develop so be patient with it when getting to know them. I personally met two of my best friends in college one of the first few days, but it took months on months to develop a close relationship. Use this time to develop multiple friendships, to get comfortable on campus, and overall just to test the waters.
2. GIVE IT A CHANCE. I remember the first few days were extremely difficult to get through and automatically my attitude changed because of it. Right away, when things didn’t go as I hoped they would, I started being negative and automatically assumed that UNH wasn’t the place for me. DON’T do this. Nearly every freshman has a tough first few days. Take a few deep breaths and tell yourself it is going to work out, because most likely it will!
3. JOIN clubs/organizations/Greek life/anything!!! The best thing you can do for yourself is to GET INVOLVED. I cannot reiterate how important this is. Getting involved is the number one way to make friends these first few months. Not only will you make a few friends from joining different organizations, you will be keeping busy! Staying busy is also so important during this time. Chances are the first few weeks at school you aren’t going to be piled up with school work—so in order to fill up the gaps in your day, getting involved allows you to stay busy and more importantly prevents you from spending your time alone overthinking!
4. KEEP your door up! OF course, do this only when your there for safety precautionsJ but keeping your door open these first few weeks is crucial to meeting new people in your hall! This is something I failed to do during last semester and I have been regretting it ever since. Overall, just be friendly to everyone you meet in your dorm, get conversations flowing and don’t be afraid to ask for their snapchat, their number, or to get together sometime. Taking risks is *SO* important at this time. Believe in yourself and have confidence. What is the worst that could possibly happen?
5. I mentioned Greek life before, and here is my tip if you DO decide to enter the FSL community. Recruitment is a scary, overwhelming process that for most people is worth it! But, people sometimes get disappointed with the house they end up with. My tip to avoid this from happening to you is to NOT go in with expectations and the liking of one specific sorority or fraternity. This is so important. Many people through the recruitment are set one house and it often leaves them extremely disappointed. Avoid feeling this way by going in with an OPEN mind. Give every chapter a positive chance! AND, do not listen to stereotypes, that will get you nowhere!!
6. FOCUS on school. Starting off first semester was rocky, and due to my lack of prep for classes and tests in the first half of first semester, I had to work extra hard the second half in order to make up for the poor grades. The schoolwork in college is a hard adjustment from what we were all used to in high school. Classes in college take time, effort, organization, and determination. Do yourself a favor and read over the syllabus you get from each course. Write down *ALL* important dates into your agenda in order to stay organized and to stay on top of everything! Give yourself time before every assignment and test in order to prevent stress and cramming. The key to this is organization!!
7. SELF CARE is ALWAYS important. Make sure you make time for it during this stressful and overwhelming time in your life. Some selfcare ideas are to always make time for the gym and also to feed your body healthy nutrients! Taking care of yourself allows you to feel energized, happy and healthy. Another tip is to invite some new friends over face masks!! Selfcare and bonding?? It CAN’T get better.