College offers so many new things to look forward to. Whether it’s the new classes you’re going to take, the activities you want to try, or the cool friends you’ll make, it’s an exciting time for so many reasons. Sudden freedom leaves tons of room to test out the new waters. But what happens when this newfound freedom gets you carried away? With college comes a brand new world of guys and countless opportunities for all sorts of relationships, risks and all. In fact, most collegiettes agree that making a mistake in the love department is extremely common during your freshman year. A brave group of HC writers and readers agreed to reveal their deepest, darkest love mistakes from the first semester of their freshman year. Some look back with regret, while others encourage you to move forward and take chances. Read on as these young women boldly share their stories and advice.
Don’t Hook Up With Every Guy You Meet
“I made the mistake of hooking up with way too many guys my first semester of college. Just about every weekend I would go to a party and end up going home with a guy. Sometimes I’d just kiss them, and sometimes I’d go all the way. It became routine—I was addicted to male attention. I saw it as a chance to start a relationship, when really all it was to the guys was a one-night stand. On the rare occasion I didn’t find a guy, I would cry. I was blinded by false affection and couldn’t separate the physical with the emotional. My advice to you is to be strong and respect yourself. No matter how cute the guy is, just say no. You may miss out on a passionate kiss and nighttime cuddle, but you will feel much better in the long run if you don’t give in to this temptation, because once you do, it’s hard to recover. I’m going into my third year of college and still trying to find my way out of this vicious cycle.”
– Lorraine, University of Oregon
Lorraine is not the only girl who has found herself in this situation, and her story should not be taken lightly. Too often girls end up going further with guys than they really want to because they are looking for a relationship in the wrong places. It’s important to listen to your gut when it comes to being intimate with someone, and equally important to check yourself if you’re hooking up with a different guy every night. If you have a bad feeling about what you’re doing, stop before it’s too late. Sometimes, that “little voice” is smarter than we give it credit for.
Don’t Jump Into A Serious Relationship Before You’re Ready
“Before my freshman year, I signed up to work as a promoter for a company of sorts run by an older guy at a neighboring school. As a result, when I arrived at school, he was one of the first people I really met and we already knew each other. He introduced me to a lot of friends and we constantly hung out together. Soon we started dating and did for almost the entire year. Our relationship wasn’t so great though- I felt like I had missed out on a big part of freshman year by jumping right into a serious relationship and he wanted more commitment then I was willing to give. Sophomore year we finally managed to go our separate ways but I lost a lot of friends as a result. I did learn to be more cautious about jumping into things and just acting on feelings alone, though. I loved him but I didn’t want to be tied down. I wish I had been more reasonable and levelheaded. I lost someone I cared a lot about because I wasn’t ready, and that’s not something I want to do again.”
– Raquel, Mount Holyoke College
In Raquel’s case, she truly did care about her ex, but she recognized that she wasn’t ready for a huge commitment just yet. Before delving into something, ask yourself if you’re ready for everything that a serious relationship entails. It’s smart to take time for yourself and figure out what you really want. If you can do this before anyone else’s feelings get involved, that would be best. But at the end of the day, it’s your well-being that matters most.
Don’t get Drunk and Leave A Bad Impression
“My number one advice is to remember the importance of first impressions! There were several guys that I met on the first day of school, completely sober, and made the terrible decision of getting very drunk with them and basically scaring them off. One example comes to mind: there was a super cute guy who sat down at the table I was sitting at in one of the dining halls. He said he didn’t know very many people and thought it would be a good way to get to know other students. We immediately hit it off and hung out for pretty much the entire week. Fast-forward a few days to Friday night. I invited him to go out to a party with my roommate and a few other people I had met. I ended up getting extremely intoxicated and tried to make out with him. He went along with it, but the next day, he started acting weird about it. He stopped replying to my texts and we never hung out again. Now whenever I see him on campus, our “hellos” are forced and awkward. It’s been 2 years, and I still can’t help but think about what could have been. I thought he’d end up being one of my really good friends. I’d just say be careful about partying around new people, especially guys! If you’re planning on being good friends with them or even trying to date them, one sloppy drunken night could ruin everything.”
– Lisa, Virginia Tech
Like Lisa, many collegiettes are completely taken in by the party scene at college. From the outside looking in, it can seem glamorous and exciting. But when reality hits, you’re in for a rude awakening. Take things slowly and don’t automatically jump at the chance to drink. The good guys want to get to know the realyou. And in the rare case that someone is only interested in getting you drunk, they’re not worth your time anyway. So put down your cup and strike up a conversation with that cutie across the room. Chances are, you’ll meet a few potential dates and make some genuine friendships in the process.
Do Remember to Make Friends First
“I met a guy during freshman orientation week. At first I just thought he was being extra friendly because we were all trying to make friends fast, but it turned out he liked me and we started dating a few weeks into school. It was really nice to have someone special in my life at a time when I had just left my family and friends behind for college. But when we had a nasty break-up, I realized I didn’t have a lot of other friends at school because I’d been so focused on him. My advice is to get settled into college life and make a lot of good friends before you rush into a college relationship. That way, if you have a bad break-up, you’ll have a support system of friends to help you feel better.”
– Sara, University of Michigan
Just like Sara says, it’s extremely important to make friends when you start college, especially within the first few months. After all, you’re in a brand new place with tons of new people to meet! But when you only hang out with one guy, you’re probably closing yourself off to other opportunities. So don’t put all your eggs in one basket by limiting yourself to a guy. If you’re really into someone, invite him to hang out with your new group of friends. Establishing a strong social circle will make you happier and healthier in the long run.
So there you have it. Just like these collegiettes confessed, it’s easy to make mistakes during your first semester. But if you take their advice to heart, you’ll be a step ahead of the game. Don’t be scared of messing up; just keep these lessons in mind when you’re unsure of what to do. So get ready to make friends, meet amazing guys, and gear up for an awesome year!
*Some names have been changed