Freshmen Year Reflections
Freshmen year flew by! It was exciting, stressful, and I wouldn't have changed it in any way. For all the high school graduates, you're going to be in for a treat! Here are a few things that I learned during my first year in college and some tips to prepare you for next year!
College isn't what you see in the movies. It’s hard work and everyone has a different experience. Be open to exploring new clubs, classes, and more! Colleges have so much to offer, so take advantage of all the resources they have around campus.
College is also a time to explore your identity. For most of you, this is the first time that you are truly independent. Find what interests you, what you want to study, and what your values are. Campuses are really diverse, so listen to different perspectives and determine who you want to be.
PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE
When you're sitting in a lecture hall with 200 people, or even only 20, every student is going to be looking at their phones and no one interacts with each other. Put yourself out there and talk to people! I know it seems awkward, but it’s not! People will appreciate that you’re putting yourself out there. Odds are, they wish that someone would talk to them, so they wouldn’t have to make the first move.
Aside taking risks in class, it’s important to do the same outside of class. Learn about different clubs around campus and I'm sure you will find the right fit for you! Most of my friends from this year have come from different clubs I have joined. Also, throughout college, I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone. Study abroad, talk to professors, apply for internships you think you're under qualified for. You can learn a lot about yourself from doing things that make you uncomfortable.
YOU'RE GOING TO MAKE A LOT OF NEW FRIENDS, BUT YOUR'RE ALSO GOING TO DRIFT APART FROM OLD ONES...
When you and some of your friends live 73897 miles away from each other, it’s going to be hard to stay in touch. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it does happen and it’s hard to stay connected with everyone. It takes time and effort on both ends of the relationship to call each other and stay in touch. As everyone gets busier and interests change, it’s natural that you might drift apart from some of your high school friends. It can be tough, but cherish the friends that you still stay in touch with and appreciate all the new friends you have made since you’ve come to college!
GET A JOB
You'll be surprised by how quickly you spend your money. You grab coffee, meet your friends for lunch and dinner, etc (the freshmen 15 is a real thing and it's inevitable). It adds up quickly and before you know it, you're pestering your parents for more. The first quarter/semester is a great time to transition into college, but once you have settled in to the college routine, getting a job is a great way to earn some extra cash and gain valuable work experience.
One of the most challenging parts of college is losing track of time. There are so many activities to do, clubs to join, and for the first time, you only have three classes and a ton of free time! Which means you can hangout with your friends 24/7 right?! Well not exactly... In college, there is a lot of freedom and the amount of work you put into classes correlates with how you will do. It's important to find a good balance between hanging out with friends and taking the time to go to classes/study. By staying organized through a calendar, not only will you do well in school, but you'll still have a lot of time to do all the things you love without stressing over classwork!
I hope these tips were helpful and good luck next year! If any of you have any questions or tips of your own, comment below!