The Five Lies Your Older Friends Told You About Freshman Year

So you’re going to college. You got your GPA up and your admissions essay down, you got in, and now you’re out! Happy times are here. Your final days are characterized by blasting Lil’ Wayne with the sunroof open and going to lunch with the people with whom you’ve spent the last four, eight, or even 12 years of your life in school. You’re pretty sad it’s over, but you know that your life isn’t about to end; in reality, it’s only the beginning.

But before you unpack those Yaffa blocks and stock up on the highlighters, allow me to dispel a few of the myths your older, wiser and drunker friends have told you about your freshman year. Is freshman year awesome? Hell to the yes. But there are some things you just gotta prepare for.

“You’re going to become best friends with your floor.”
Maybe. Or maybe not. Yes, while the people on your floor are going to be the first people you meet and become friendly with, don’t feel pressured to become best friends with them. The only thing you may have in common with these people is that you live on the same floor in the same dorm at the same school. They’re great for trips to the dining hall, party wandering in the first week of school, and swapping hangover stories on Sunday mornings, but don’t feel bad if that’s it. You might find yourself laughing a month or two into school saying, “OMG, I can’t believe I used to go to breakfast with her” if your neighbor becomes “that girl” at parties on campus. Your real friends in college will be eclectic, and while many people find them on their floor, many do not. Friendships are rooted in a sharing of values, not a sharing of a hall. You’re lucky if you find both in the same place.

“Your classes aren’t that hard.”
Kind of a lie. Senior year you don’t do any work at all, and it’s really hard to turn your brain back on and retrain yourself to read and understand 60+ pages of reading a night. This lie depends on the school you go to and the classes you take, but the way I experienced it and the way most of my friends experienced it is that your classes are kind of hard. Especially when you’re trying to decide on a Tuesday night between $1 pitchers of beer and making notecards. You need to do a lot of the learning on your own and if you’re not careful, it’s very easy to fall behind. You might have floated through high school, but college is an entirely different ball game. You’re going to have to retrain your study muscles for those college classes!

Being a freshman in college is nothing like being a freshman in high school.”
Such a lie. Everyone knows you are a freshman. Everyone. Between the maps you carry, the way you lug all your books to the first day of class, and the way you travel in huge gaggles down the streets of your college town trying to find parties, you’ve got freshman written all over you. But the thing to remember is that everyone has to experience that. Carrying the maps and traveling in the gaggles teaches you how to adjust to college life so that second semester, you don’t scream freshman. You definitely have to pay your dues a bit as a freshman, just like you did in high school, but don’t expect any mean seniors to shove you into lockers or try and sell you tickets to the pool. Unless someone’s having a pool party and they charge you for alcohol and you end up getting so plastered that you wake up in a locker.

If you don’t go out every weekend, you totally miss out.”
Definitely not true. While partying is really fun at college and very different than at home, you do not miss out at all if you decide to skip a night out or go somewhere else for the weekend. If you feel like sitting in your bed in sweatpants and catching up on your shows, do it! There is always going to be a party, and there will always be an opportunity to go to the bar. Don’t burn out. If you need to study, study. You might miss out on making a few drunken memories, but you have four years to make more. Your report card, mental health, and physical health will thank you when you follow your instinct if you don’t feel like going out. Plus, your friends will be excited to tell their stories to you the next day and start planning the next time you’re all going to go out together.

You’re going to love everything about school right from the get-go.”
Doubtful. You move into this tiny dorm room in the unbearable heat of your non-air conditioned dorm with a stranger. Your stuff is a mess and everywhere, and your parents kiss you goodbye and are on their way. And then you’re there. And you don’t know anyone. While yes, the first few nights of college are exciting, fun, and usually pretty drunk, they’re definitely uncomfortable. You need to be awkward (all the time) and put yourself out there to meet people more than you have ever tried in your life. Sometimes you just want your mommy to hug you at the end of the day, make you dinner, and ask you how your day was. But all you have is your roommate and the ice breaker games your RA facilitates. It’s rough at first, but the thing to remember is that everyone is in the same place as you. Everyone is feeling the same way, but most people won’t admit it.

Here’s the deal: The word “lie” is subjective, meaning a lie is found in the mind of the individual. What I view as a lie, you may not, so don’t put too much stock into what you read about freshman year. Just because I view these comments as lies doesn’t mean that you will feel the same way. Everyone has a different experience in college, and no matter what happens, you’re going to enjoy parts of freshman year and you’re going to learn a lot about yourself. So get ready, because you have a lot to look forward to.

Candy Dish: This Country Needs More College Grads
Candy Dish: This Country Needs More College Grads
  • 10614935101348454