Tips On How To Survive Your Freshman Year Of College

Somewhere right now, there are college freshmen moving into their dorms, saying good-bye to their parents, and beginning their first year of higher learning, which will undoubtedly include reading about systematic oppression and vomiting from drinking too much boxed wine. Because I’m such a good person, I thought I would offer up some tips to the incoming freshmen on how to make their first year at college not become just one giant walk of shame. Enjoy!

Tip # 1: The people you meet during your first month of college won’t matter

When you first get to college, you will become a giant social prostitute. Fearing that you’ll be left behind, you’ll insert yourself into any and every social situation, and befriend anyone who looks like they could be medium cool. As a result of your social promiscuity, you end up hanging out with a lot of freaks and bugaboos. Don’t worry though. By the time winter rolls around, you should be settled in with a solid group of people and you’ll have forgotten all about the two week friendship you had with that raver chick named Aura.

Tip # 2: You might get fat but don’t worry because people will still have sex with you

Everyone talks about gaining the freshman 15 and with good reason—your lifestyle is insanely healthy! The food at your cafeteria would gross out even the likes of Carnie Wilson and the fact that you’re eating it at 2AM when you’re stoned doesn’t help matters. Then there’s also the drinking, which is obviously calorie heavy, and your predilection to dressing in cozy clothing that conceals the shape of your body. All of this is obviously no good but in the end, it doesn’t actually matter much. Everyone kind of looks like crap their freshman year of college and yet they still manage to get laid like they’re Ryan Gosling or Gisele. 18-year-olds aren’t known for having the highest of standards. During your first year of college, people just want to sleep around partially because they’re horny and partially because they saw it in Rules Of Attraction. So don’t worry too much about gaining some weight. If you don’t eat that Cheeto, chances are some drunk guy will eat it off of your naked body later.

Tip # 3: Enjoy money while you still can

If you think you’re broke your freshman year of college, you have no clue what’s in store for you. If you’re fortunate enough to get help from your parents, your freshman year is the time when you’ll actually get the most money from them. They’re generous because they miss you and they’re scared for your safety. They’ll encourage you to take a cab home late at night and pay for your dorms without resentment. Over time, however, they’ll get more and more stingy and by the time you graduate, you’ll be living in a brokedown palace and walking the cold terrifying streets alone at 4am with no money for a cab.

Tip # 4 : Drugs are cool but not that cool

So I know you want to experiment with drugs in college. You’d like to have a coked out night in your dorm room with some friends, trip on acid in the park and take some E at a rave. I totally understand your curiosity but I would also warn you to slow your roll. Hallucinogens and Ecstasy are on the safer side just because, hi, you can’t trip everyday. They’re typically reserved for special occasions. I’d be wary of coke though because it turns you into an asshole, is super expensive, gives you bad breath, makes you reveal personal things to near strangers, and sometimes makes you have to poop. I’d also avoid doing OxyContin because it’s essentially heroin and the odds of you becoming addicted to it are like really high.

Tip # 5: Go to class

School isn’t cheap—even state schools are getting cray cray tuition hikes—so you should probably go to the classes you or your parents paid for. Who knows, you might learn some really cool stuff, or at the very least, have some freaks and babes in your class that make it worthwhile. TC mark

image – Animal House

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • Anonymous


    • Gregory Costa

      Well, you’ve demonstrated you can be a writer for Thought Catalog.  Get cracking. 

      • Anonymous

        I am a writer for Thought Catalog.

      • Jordan fields

        oh the irony.  why would you confess to that??  

      • Anonymous

        My articles are good.

  • Sahar

    lol am going to make my sister read this :P!! better than any advice i could’ve given lol

  • TurningTables

    This kind of sucks/is vacuous. 

  • Burger King

    An article without “beb”.

  • Burger King

    An article without “beb”.

  • 371747

    I was raised on a steady diet of ramen, fried chicken and taco bell so I’ve always been as fat as I can be at a given time

  • ewfatpeople

    go to class.

  • ewfatpeople

    go to class.

  • Paulina


  • Frida

    “When you first get to college, you will become a giant social prostitute. Fearing that you’ll be left behind, you’ll insert yourself into any and every social situation, and befriend anyone who looks like they could be medium cool.”

    I did this today, but as a new HS senior, since idk anyone.
    I’m not sure how i feel about it.

  • Gregory Costa

    I don’t mean the following to disparage you as a writer.  Instead, I’m offering it as an honest critique and you can take it as you will.  You’re among my least favorite writers, and I feel like you’re capable of so much more.  You can only do so many iterations of sex, drugs, lists of things I can and can’t do when I hit 25, and what college life is like before your ideas become stale.  Your writing is formulaic, and frequently ends with some maudlin sentiment that the readers cling to.  I understand your appeal.  Your essays are the pop music of writing.  Everyone can immediately relate to your references—You have the “me too” appeal.  No thinking is required.  You as a person have a charisma as the adorable, geek gay kid, and often your brilliant persona is able to eclipse the quality of your writing.  It saddens me because there are writers on this site who write beautiful, poignant pieces, yet do not remotely achieve the attention you do.
    Now, if you’re defining your success by how often young girls and gay men express their desire to marry you and have your babies, then you’ve succeeded many times over.  If that’s the case, ignore everything I said, just as I will ignore the aforementioned fans who vehemently attack what I’ve said.   

    • Cathy

      You just put my exact thoughts into words. You’re a really good commenter to have around on TC btw

    • Ollie

      I’m really really glad you wrote this.

  • Guest

    feel like i’ve read this before

  • cbb1218

    You forgot to mention any and all amphetamines. That’s the college student’s drug of choice. Other than that, I thought this was pretty funny, and a nicely exaggerated version of most real college experiences.

  • Tanya Salyers

    Love that you used the word “bugaboos.”  

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