As my freshman year is coming to end with only a few months left I thought I would leave you with some tips to survive freshman year. This year has been the biggest roller coaster I could ever imagine throwing myself into, but I wouldn't take it back for the world. I hope these tips can put your nerves at ease and help you prepare for the fall!
1. Traditional Dorms
Absolutely- without a doubt, choose the traditional dorm. You will survive the community bathrooms and the air conditioning I promise. At first I was skeptical about living in a crappy dorm over one of the nice new residential halls.. but let me tell you I made the best decision. I made some of the greatest friends in my dorm and without them I wouldn't have survived the first few months.
2. Be a Freshman
I know this may sound stupid but hear me out. You are only a freshman once and you can only act like one ONCE. So just take advantage of it because you will probably be late the first week and you will more than likely embarrass yourself in front of multiple upperclassmen. But if you are anything at all like me you will try to pretend like you're just fine. Don't try to act like your life is under control because it probably isn't. No matter what you do you will stick out like a sore thumb because you are a freshman. Just do yourself a favor and accept it.
3. Try New Things
It can be really scary to come to a new place where you don't know many people but if you do it the right way it will be a great experience. Do everything you can and get involved, I know it can be awkward but if you try something new you may really like it. Smile to a stranger and introduce yourself to someone in your class, it is important to make connections.
4. Welcome to the Land of Broke Kids
In college you will always be broke, even when you think you aren't.. you will be. Life costs a lot of money and shortly into college you will see that and you will struggle at first. Once you realize you have to make careful decisions and probably at some point survive off of $7 for a week you will figure out what that feels like. People will be selling their clothes, books, and personal items just to have some bar money. So get used to this feeling OR get a job.
5. The Parents
Yes I know, you are finally far away, doing your own thing, having no rules, and life is GREAT. But try not to forget who got you there in the first place. Call your parents and tell them you love them because it will make a huge difference. Say thank you and do not treat them like your personal ATM. They miss you and it is okay to miss them too.
6. Be Open Minded
Not everyone has come from the same background you have and not everyone will understand exactly who you are. It can be hard to come from a group of friends you have known for years and have to start all over. Everyone is going through the same thing and it makes it a lot easier with people on your side.
7. Accept the Changes
Sometimes you are going to be really happy and sometimes you are going to be really sad. These emotions are normal, I swear. A new environment can really affect the way you feel and sometimes you may feel like you just want to quit- that is the stress talking. Find something to help you relieve the stress and keep you focused. It is okay to miss your friends and keep in touch but don't let that stop you from enjoying this new experience.
8. Go Greek
I understand it is not for everyone but if your school does have Greek life, I recommend you give it a shot. Going through the rush process can be hard and exhausting but it is worth it in the end. I joined a sorority and it has been one of the best experiences and I have learned more about myself in the last few months then I ever thought I would. I promise you that Greek life can change your life if you let it!
Okay this one is the most important.. I know in the beginning it can be hard to focus on school because life is new, scary, and exciting. But go to class, do your homework, and stay focused on school. What you are learning now is going to impact your future and after all you are here to get a degree, not just party. It's okay to have fun and enjoy your time in college but don't let yourself fall behind in school.
10. Make Memories
No other year is going to be quite like your freshman year of college. Things will be amazing, horrible, perfect, difficult, and of course new. So take every bit of it in because this is just the beginning of your college career. Soon you may be living in an apartment or house and feeling a lot more like an adult. You have been preparing for this your whole life, whether you knew it or not. The time is going to fly by so take advantage of it.