Entering college is a new territory, and can be kind of scary for all incoming freshmen. Here are some tips and tricks that I discovered during my freshman year of college, that hopefully can spare you some embarrassment and unnecessary struggle!
1. Don’t go too hard your first weekend in college
The first weekend in college is like an awakening-suddenly there’s no one telling you what to do or when to do it. You don’t have an early curfew, or parents demanding answers from you. Therefore, it is only natural that you will want to try to push the envelope that first weekend, and go to as many frat parties as possible. But freshman: be careful. That reputation that you make the first weekend could very well follow you for the rest of the year. No one wants to be known as “that blonde chick who threw up on herself at delta sig.” Know your limits, take note of your surroundings, and handle yourself respectfully.
2. Try to work on your projects a little bit at a time instead of cramming all the work in at the last minute
Finals week is a nightmare for every college student, especially those who decide to put all projects and papers off to the last minute. It is so much easier to work on assignments a little at a time throughout the entire semester, instead of pulling an all-nighter right before it is due. (Trust me, bags under your eyes are really hard to conceal.) Spare yourself the headache, and be smarter than all your friends by avoiding the freshman year finals crunch.
3. Learn to like coffee
If you don’t like coffee, then please learn how to tolerate some sort of caffeine-ridden drink. No matter how hard we try, college students inevitably spend a couple of really late nights in the library. Caffeine is essential to prevent that terrible crash-and-burn that causes failed assignments and missing lab reports.
4. Don’t spend your entire year looking for relationships-your first your should be spent building friendships
Freshman year of college is full of so many changes that you can’t really prepare for, and there will inevitably be times when you are entirely overwhelmed. Don’t stress about going out and searching for a significant other. Focus on finding a solid group of friends to just do life with! If you fall in love, that’s amazing. If not, you’re not alone and you have plenty of time to find someone who makes you swoon.
5. Most people gain weight in college. Accept yourself
Before my freshman year, I spent hours researching “healthy eating tips” and “tricks to avoid the freshman fifteen.” Much to my chagrin, I ended up gaining a few pounds throughout the year. But I learned that most of my friends had gained a little weight as well, and learned that it’s totally awesome to be curvy. By accepting this older body, I discovered happiness and confidence in myself. You’ll probably never look like a high school student again…and that’s okay.
6. Be friendly to your professors (especially the ones whose classes are extra hard)
Professors work really hard making sure their classes are effective and academically challenging. By telling them “thank you” or giving them a smile every once in a while, you could make their days. This random act of kindness will especially come in handy when your grade is resting between a B and an A. Professors are more likely to help out a student that they feel has tried to build a relationship with them.
7. College is not a fashion show (allow yourself to bum it every once in a while)
Inevitably, you’re going to be worried about your appearance during the first week of classes. You’ll wake up early just to make sure your hair and outfit is pristine, only to find that the upperclassmen in your class are wearing gym shorts and t-shirts. That’s because in college, your appearance during the week doesn’t really matter (unless you’re trying to impress someone attractive in one of your classes). Cut yourself some slack, and embrace the effortless ease of t-shirts, shorts, and leggings. (You’ll thank me later when you’re extremely comfortable and instantly happier that your outfit encourages flexibility.)
8. Make as many memories as you can, because the time will go by fast
Freshman year can either be one of the most difficult, or most incredible years of your life. Take the time to make memories, and have experiences that you can laugh about one day. The time will fly by faster than you can even imagine, and soon you’ll have more to worry about than simply getting to class on time. Instead of worrying about the future, allow yourself to live in the present. Carpe Diem! Make the most of each moment!