A Freshman’s Guide to the First Month

So, college.  That’s a thing.  


Leading up to August 18th – the day I moved in for my pre-orientation program – I was all over the place.  All I could talk about Senior year was leaving for college: how I was going to decorate my dorm, who my roommate would be, and how many cute guys I would meet… And let’s be honest, my excitement can almost wholly be attributed to the latter.  Nevertheless, as the awaited date approached, I grew apprehensive. How could I leave my mom, my best friend? What would I do without my favorite local juice bar or the comfort of knowing what was going into the foods I was eating? How could I stave off the dreaded freshman fifteen?


The day arrived, I moved in, and my parents left.  


Everyone says that your life is going to change when you go to college, and albeit naïve, I expected start college a new woman: one of conviction, of emotional security, of confidence.  The truth is, I did not flourish into a social butterfly, or someone with a better track record of following through on commitments. I did not magically know how to make a relationship work, or even how to handle having a crush.  I can’t even bring myself to get to the gym most days. I have, however, come to learn that I actually am capable of making my bed every morning, and that I am not as dependent on my parents as I thought.  I expected to feel lost in such a vast, new environment, but to my surprise, I have never felt more at home, more settled.  


All in all, I’d say that I am doing pretty well.  Am I eating too many cartons of cookie dough ice cream and BD oreo cheesecake brownies?  Maybe. Am I working out less than I would like to be? Absolutely. Am I letting the previous consume me?  Absolutely not. My first month has not been perfect: I miss my family, my dog, the comfort of retreating to my own room after a long day.  I have made my fair share of bad decisions and prioritized an ultimately-unsuccessful relationship over making friends from the get-go. Even so, I am still standing, taking things day by day.  


Sadly, there is no freshman year survival guide.  Each day brings new challenges, failures, stressors, and small victories.  The best advice I can give is to not get caught thinking about the negatives.  Acknowledge them, but do not perseverate. Keep fighting, learning, living, thriving.  Remember that even in this new environment, that you are still the same person you were back home.  Take care of yourself. Pay attention to your needs and honor them. Get some sleep, study hard, and have tons of fun along the way.

motivational high school GIF

by Sophie Goldstein