Get ready for the greatest four years of your life. The real world is very happy for you – and a little jealous of all the awesome parties awaiting you without the dooming hangover the next morning. No, but really, college has so many opportunities, more for some than others if you play your cards right. If you haven’t had enough advice shoved down your throat yet, here’s what I wish someone would have told me four years ago:
The people on your floor are awesome. Get to know them past the mandatory orientation meetings and spend some real time together, whether it’s taking turns picking out a Redbox movie, getting way too inappropriate with Cards Against Humanity, or hitting up the dorky activities held in the common areas. You might be surprised with how well you connect with people when everyone’s thrown together.
Join a club. Any club. And stick with it! I did nothing, and every time I fill out a job application I cringe when I have to leave “Other clubs/organizations” blank. Besides, many meetings have incentives for attending (FOOD!).
It’s okay to dress comfy for class. When you’re up until 3AM writing a paper, people tend to understand you’re fitting in as much sleep as possible the next morning. Just try to remember to shower and slap on some deodorant now and then.
…But on the flip side, dress nice for your exams! When you look good, you feel good, and your favorite jeans or new shoes will give your confidence the extra boost it needs for test-taking.
Get to know your professors. This is advice that everyone gives, but I really wish I would’ve followed it. You might be taking a lot of general courses your first year, and your professor isn’t delusional – not everyone in their Geography 101 class is as passionate about the subject as he/she is. Ask them if there are any resources to amp up the subject for you. Maybe an interesting article just came out that’s relevant to what you’re learning, or a film to help you better appreciate the material.
Stay healthy. This covers everything from “don’t drink an ridiculous amount of nights in a row, because you’ll drink yourself sick,” to “maybe add some fruit or a side salad to that gigantic slice of pepperoni pizza you love to get at the dining halls.” Also, take care of your mental health. University fitness centers typically have classes ranging from biking to Pilates, and Groupon is boss when it comes to discounts at yoga studios.
Don’t forget your high school friends. Visit them when you can catch a ride on the weekends, because they want to show you what an amazing time they’re having and introduce you to new friends they’re making. And if you can’t visit, stay in touch the best you can – you truly get to know who’s most important in your life when some of the conversations eventually become less frequent.
Call your parents! They miss you and they love hearing from you.
And lastly, you’re at the bottom of the food chain this year. But that’s okay! The upperclassmen will think you’re adorable and will consider helping you as their good deed for the day. Live it up, because you’re only a freshman once. You’ll see what I mean.