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27 Things I Wish I Knew at the Beginning of Freshman Year

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freshman-college-lessons

College is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But you already know that. Whether you are excited, nervous, scared, or a combination of all the above, about starting your first year at college, there are so important things to keep in mind.

  1. It’s a lot easier to get good grades at the beginning of the semester, before the motivation starts to wear off. Take advantage of the exams, assignments and projects in the first half of the semester and make sure you do a good job, because it will be a lot harder to pull your grades up at the end, when you’ve already started slacking.
  2. Your friendships are going to change. The people you meet the first week at school probably won’t be the same group you hang out with at the end. Be open to this.
  3. Greek life isn’t only about partying. Maybe it’s for you, maybe it isn’t. But you won’t know unless you give it a shot.
  4. Just because attending class isn’t mandatory, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go.
  5. This is the time to try new things. The first few months will set the tone for how most of your college years will go, so make sure you hit the ground running when it comes to trying different things.
  6. Very few, if any, of the people you’re with now knew you in high school. Don’t let your past define you here.
  7. Don’t get blacked out all the time. It’s not attractive, or fun. You don’t want to be that girl.
  8. The Freshman 15 is very, very real. Work out on a regular basis, and at least try to eat healthy.
  9. Keeping in touch with your home friends will be hard at first. That’s okay.
  10. You’re going to meet a lot of different “types” of people you’ve never encountered before. Embrace this.
  11. Although it’s cliche and a tad bit corny, it really is true that all the other freshmen are in the same boat as you. Everyone feels a little bit uncomfortable and out of place. Don’t be intimidated.
  12. The grades you get this first year will haunt you the next three.
  13. You don’t need to commit to a major just yet. Use your electives to explore different interests.
  14. If you have a nightmare roommate, make the best of it. You are not bound to them for life. In some cases, not liking your roommate can actually work in your favor, because it’ll force you to find other friendships.
  15. Keep your dorm room as organized as possible. It will make your life a hell of a lot easier.
  16. Get on good terms with your RA as early as possible.
  17. There’s more to college than drinking and going to class.
  18. When you talk to your long distance friends, make sure you are taking the time to hear about their experiences, rather than just chewing their ear off about your own.
  19. If you have a bad attitude about meeting new people and experiencing new things, you will have a bad experience meeting new people and experiencing new things.
  20. It is not going to be like the movies. Well, at least not all of it.
  21. Guys here, as with everywhere else in the world, sometimes have really sh*tty intentions and will try to take advantage of you. Be aware and conscious of this.
  22. Don’t be too quick to trust people just because you are excited you’re forming a friendship. You don’t, and shouldn’t, have to have your guard up all the time. But make sure you take the time to get to know someone before telling them all your secrets.
  23. Start planning on when/where you are going to study abroad. This is not a college experience you will want to pass on. Trust me.
  24. Now is not the time to explore whether or not you have what it takes to make a long distance relationship work. Right now is the time to get to know yourself, on your own, without any strings holding you back or pulling your attention elsewhere.
  25. Being vulnerable and uncomfortable is not an excuse to bend your morals for the sake of impressing people and fitting in.
  26. You are going to take some really interesting courses, but not all of the lessons you take away from here are going to be ones you learned sitting in a classroom.
  27. It’s going to go by a hell of a lot faster than you think.
COLLEGECANDY Writer
Casey is a freelance writer and editor living in NYC. She’s passionate about green tea, reading, yoga, tongue-in-cheek humor, and the daily struggle of not over-thinking things.