10 Things I Learned During My Freshman Year Of College

So cliché, I know, I know. Everyone will tell you different things you’ll learn in college, but that is because you seriously do learn so much, even just in the first month. Here are the most important things I have learned in the past year.

1. Don’t Worry about Everyone Liking You.

This is obviously easier said than done. Everyone is at college for the same reason, to start a new chapter in his or her life. You and I both know that some of the best movies would be weird with characters in them that aren’t supposed to be there. (Picture Jonah Hill’s character in Superbad playing Aaron Samuels in Mean Girls…Yeah.) Well that’s exactly what life is like. People are placed in others’ lives because they are meant to be there, so don’t force yourself into any friendships, or you’ll kind of be like a horribly casted movie. The real friendships will come naturally, anyway.

2. PLEASE, PLEASE be You. 

Speaking of cliché posts…I think every teenager has heard this roughly one billion times in his or her life, but in this stage of your life being yourself is SO essential. The friends you meet in college are usually the ones you have for life, so if you have to act a certain way to just be around them, you’re stuck acting like that for life, possibly. (Dramatic– I know–but I never said I wasn’t dramatic). Y’all know what I mean. 

3. Ye Olde Friend War

One of the hardest things about going to college your freshman year is trying to maintain all your friendships from high school/home and still put a good amount of effort into your new ones. Well, I have one piece of advice for you: STOP STRESSING ABOUT IT. Your friends from home are also meeting new friends at their new school, new job, etc. Your true friends will be the ones from home that you can call after two months of not talking and everything is the same. Your true friends will also be the ones you meet at school who will understand when you say you can’t go to Starbucks with them because you have to Skype your BFF.  If you can’t keep up with a certain friendship, maybe it’s just not meant to be. I know, it sounds like the worst thing in the world. I promise, You’ll survive, and your new friends will help you, too. 

4. Befriend the Faculty and Staff

This one is a lot easier at smaller schools than bigger schools. If it wasn’t for Antonio from the cafeteria’s big smile, I actually am not sure how many days I would have made it through the without breaking down. You are not above anyone, and everyone that is working at your college is working there because they genuinely care about the school.  So be friends with the man who vacuums your hall’s floor every morning, high-five the workers at the caf, and smile at your professors when you see them outside of class. All of these things are just a part of forming your own little family at your new little (big) home. 

5. Crying is OK.

Okay so for the longest time I was so against crying, and that halted real quickly when I got to college. Sometimes you are just going to want to see your mom, get a huge bear hug from your dad, or even get kissed with drool from your dog. Grab your shower caddy and shower shoes, get in the shower, turn the water on as hot as it can go, and cry. Cry your eyes out. It is completely okay, and don’t you dare let anyone tell you it’s not okay. 

6. Pizza at 11 p.m. is also OK.

Also, don’t you dare let anyone tell you THIS isn’t okay. Sometimes the best cure for missing your best friend, studying, or even a business calc problem you can’t get through (STORY OF MY LIFE) is a hot, fresh slice of pizza. Text your friends now, don’t even ask them if they want to order pizza, just ask “pepperoni or cheese?????”


Everything in you may tell you not to go to the games…they can’t be that fun, right? WRONG. OH, you better go. Going to sporting events is one of the things that made me love my school most. You are completely surrounded by people who are so proud to be going to the school, that it will be almost impossible to not have their love for the school rub off on you. Plus, you never know when you’ll get stuck next to a cute guy/girl and you’ll just HAVE to talk during halftime…right? 

8. Get Involved…but Seriously…

You may feel too anxious to sign up for any clubs or organizations, DON’T BE. Signing up in the beginning is the best, because guess what? EVERY FRESHMAN FEELS THE WAY YOU DO. You will meet SO many people getting involved in organizations. Plus, it will never look bad on a resume! 

9. Study Hard

This can seem pretty obvious, but it gets pretty easily forgotten. You’ll be meeting so many people and doing so many new things, you’ll make school your last priority. Don’t do that. Don’t do it. Remember how hard you had to work your junior and senior year of high school to pull up your GPA from freshman and sophomore year? History repeats itself, honey, but not if you forbid it from happening again. That being said, take your new friends to the library with you…they should be studying too. 


People tell you high school will be the “best four years of your life.” That makes me want to vomit. Thankfully, that is SO not the truth. I have had more fun in my one year of college than all four years of high school combined, times a million. I can’t say that college will be the “best four years of your life” because, well, I’m still figuring that out myself. But I can promise that if you make every situation fun, your freshman year will fly by, and you’ll be sad about it. The good news is, there are three more where that came from! Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog