Freshman year is an experience that you will only have once in your life. It is the time to finally be independent. It is the time to become the person that you have always dreamed of being. But I will tell you one thing, your first year of college is an experience in its own. Not only are you the ‘new kid’ on campus, but you are new in your surroundings and social life as well. The thing about college is, it’s constantly changing, and if I had to look back and compare freshman year to sophomore year, I would say it was equivalent to comparing you first day of middle school to senior year of high school.
Classes and Campus Life:
You have no idea where you are going. You don’t know how classes function. You have professors now not teachers. Assignments are handed in online. You can choose to go to class. You pick your own schedule. In one word, first semester of freshman year is overwhelming. High school always came with the slogan, ‘preparing you for your future’, but where was the help in preparing me for what college life was really like? Try mapping out your schedule before the first day of classes. Walk around campus with your new roommate or a friend a few times to get acclimated with your new surroundings. But also you need to know that it is okay to be confused. It is okay to ask questions because eventually that new campus is going to be as simple to navigate as your old high school.
Making friends all over again is such a strange feeling. Sometimes people have a roommate that becomes their best friend, and other times they get the worst roommate ever. All I have to say is that you need to branch out, and you need to do it early. Give every single person you come across a chance to be a new friend, study-buddy, or late night dining hall partner. But remember there are going to be people that come and go, and others that stick around. Never listen to the people that say ‘your best friends are your high school ones’ or ‘you’ll lose your friends from high school’ because it all depends on you. Communication is key no matter where your friends are. The thing that you can’t forget is people change or they aren’t the people that you expect them to be. If you aren’t friends with someone after the first semester it’s ok, if they were meant to be in your life they would be.
No curfew, no chores, no rules…and you’re a freshman? PROCEED WITH CAUTION. For some, unlimited freedom is too much for them to handle. Know that you are meant to have fun and sometimes be carefree because, hey it is your first year in college and all, but be careful! College is a lot harder than high school and you can’t forget about your coursework when you are finding all of the new things that college has to offer. Sometimes we find ourselves too wrapped up in the fun and then you catch yourself behind one, then two, and maybe even three assignments. You let loose and find it even harder to get back onto a schedule that you can manage properly.
To everyone that is not yet in college, all I have to say is SAVE, SAVE, SAVE! College costs a lot, and if you have minimal financial support while at school, take note you are going to be spending a lot more money than you think. Most people find it hard to have a job their first semester at school because it is so much to manage at first… and understand that it is totally normal to feel that way! But you need to be sure that you have enough money to cover the costs of all the unexpected extras you will be paying for.
Freshman year you are just dipping your toe into the ocean even though it feels like you are jumping in during the middle of winter. Take it one day at a time.