I finished my freshman year of college 2 months ago, and the first few weeks of summer have given me a lot of time to reflect on the past year. There were a lot of changes that really blindsided me in my freshman year, and I learned a lot about myself and the world. I thought it would be a fun idea to write down all the things I learned in my freshman year of college, and maybe I can do a whole little series of college posts to help other people who are going into college. So, these are a few of the things I learned during my first year living on a college campus!
1.) College will help you find yourself, and it will help you decide what kind of people you want to spend your time with.
Casey Neistat once said that “the best way to find out what you want to do in life is to do something that you hate.” I’ve found that this also applies to people you choose to surround yourself with. In college, you have a fresh start to make all new friends. Meet as many people as you can, and think about the kind of people you want in your life down the road. There are thousands of people on most college campuses, and it’s always a diverse group. Find the ones that have your same values and sense of humor, and get to know them. There’s no use in wasting time with people who aren’t good for you. Making friends takes time, but once you meet a few people you really like, everything will fall into place!
2.) Everyone has a meltdown or a crisis, eventually.
This is one thing almost all upperclassmen can confirm. At one point or another, you will totally fall apart for a semester, or even an entire year. For a lot of people, freshman year is a great transition and a ton of fun. For others, like me, it’s a nightmare. If your freshman year is terrible, you’ll learn how to deal with things and move forward, and it will only get better from there. So, don’t be discouraged if the college experience isn’t as amazing as you thought it would be. A lot of people who transition smoothly fall apart later in their college years. It happens, just try your best!
3.) Going out every chance you get won’t solve any of your problems.
If you fail a test or miss a deadline, partying isn’t going to do you any favors. College is a great experience, and you should absolutely go out when you have the time, or something awesome planned. But, if you have a huge project due on Friday and it’s Thursday night and you still haven’t started, you’ll thank yourself for skipping the shots and hitting the library. College is much harder than high school, the days of skating by and doing nothing are behind you. If you want good grades, you have to work for them!
4.) You (or your parents, or the taxpayers) are paying for an education. Study hard.
This is a big one. You meet a lot of people freshman year who do a whole lot of nothing. College is really expensive, and if you don’t learn something during your college years, you’re wasting that money and a lot of your time. I had a girl in one of my classes get caught watching Grey’s Anatomy in the middle of a lecture. The professor laughed and said, ‘Ha, that might be the rudest thing I’ve ever seen.’ The girl looked totally humiliated, but the professor was right. If you’re receiving an education worth thousands of dollars, please be grateful; there are people all over the world busting their asses because they would kill to be where you are.
5.) The Freshman Fifteen is a real thing. Take care of yourself!
I’m sure anyone who reads my blog regularly will be tired of hearing my weight gain complaints… but I have to say it one more time. You will gain weight in college. Make sure you try extra hard to eat your veggies and eat desserts in moderation, and keep on exercising! College weight gain is real and it’s a downer. The healthier your body is, the healthier you will be mentally and emotionally. The second semester, when I gained all the weight, was when my grades started slipping from A’s to B’s. It’s hard to stay focused, but give it your best shot! And, if you do gain a lot of weight, don’t sweat it too much. It happens to everyone!
6.) It’s completely okay if you don’t know what you’re doing with your life. Nobody else does, either!
If you don’t know what you want to study, or if you even want to go to college, don’t freak out. There are a lot of people who study something they’ve dreamed of all their life, and then find out they hate it and change their minds. It’s actually extremely rare that people can plan their lives well enough to have the same goal from age 18 to retirement. If you make it into your twenties and still don’t know what you’re doing, just keep trying new things until you figure it out. As long as you’re doing something, you’re on the right track!
These are just a few of the many things I learned during my first year on a college campus. I’m probably going to start a little college-related series pretty soon, so comment down below if you have any ideas for things I should write about! And if you have any other cool things you learned during your college experience, let me know because I still have three years to go and I’d love your input!
See you soon with another post!