>20 things I learned freshman year

>Since my freshman year of college has finally come to an end, I decided that I wanted to write about some of the most important things I learned during this crazy period of my life. Enjoy (;

20.) There is nothing like getting a package from home. Force your mom to send you care packages, or heck, send them to yourself. Sometimes you need comfort food available stat, and nothing is more annoying when you are trying to type a paper than a chocolate craving.

19.) Always wear shoes. Especially in the shower. I don’t care how “clean” your community bathroom is, it is a community bathroom. Do yourself a favor and keep your precious footies away from diseases. Plus, you never know how recently that dorm carpet was puked on.

18.) Don’t go to the library just to complain about how you spent 5 hours in the library. I always got more studying done in my dorm room because I was focused and I made it my space. My desk was study sanctuary. Of course I facebooked and procrastinated, but it was 10 times worse at the library for me. If you are going to go, then actually go. Know a few good places to study, because sometimes the library is busy and your roommate is pre-gaming for a crazy night.

Finals week.

17.) Swiping your card at the gym does not equate to buying a one way ticket to hell. Utilize your new (usually free) gym membership, even if you only go once a week. Just try to get movin’! If you don’t want the freshman 15, you are going to have to burn off those crazy weekends somehow. [Too swamped with schoolwork? I prefer to savor my gym time as my time, but you can always grab some flashcards to look at on the bike!]

The best gym run of my entire year.

16.) You don’t need to know your major right away. I came into college thinking I was going to do physics, and I glued myself to that. I was unhappy second semester in math and physics class, but I was still telling everyone I was a physics major. Finally I had a revelation and switched to biology. I almost cried because I was so happy with my decision. Don’t put yourself in a box going into school. It’s good to have a general idea, but you don’t have to know right now.

15.) Don’t seclude yourself because you are terrified of the freshman 15. Sometimes all you need is a nice bowl of fro-yo after a hard exam topped with chocolate and other yummy things.

There’s fro-yo in there somewhere.

….& sometimes a midnight smoothie run will be the highlight of a weekend. Don’t miss out on fun experiences because you would rather munch on celery all day. (It does not have “negative” calories.) The key is not splurging every night. Keep it under control.

14.) I know it’s cliche, but keep healthy snacks in your room. I know my university only allowed a certain number of meal swipes for the semester, so I always tried to keep trail mix and fruit in my room. (Apple & PB!) I was fortunate enough to have fresh fruit in my dining hall every day so I could steal a banana or apple here and there. You will be way less tempted to go buy a bag of doritos if you already spent money on some apples in your mini-fridge (;

Also, paper plates and plastic silverware can save you from
doing dishes  if you are in a hurry.

13.) Don’t settle for a bad advisor. If you don’t click with yours at orientation, find a new one. You need to see an advisor. They are not only good for class scheduling, but they are a great contact to have. They are only an email (sometimes two) away from answering your questions or putting you in contact with someone you need to talk to.

12.) College is not high school. You can’t just be sick and turn an assignment in late, and most teachers don’t care whether or not you show up to class. Homework is often optional, or hardly checked. You will sometimes have to teach yourself whether it’s due to a bad professor (or one you can’t understand) or something else. Usually, late work isn’t accepted. Your entire grade is most likely made up of a few exams. Academics are often cut-throat, so suit up. (If you can build a good relationship with a professor though, they are some of the best allies you could ever have during college.)

11.) One of the most important words you will ever learn is FREE. Free t-shirts, free ice-cream, free pancakes (yup it happens). Take advantage of these opportunities. Invite some people in your hall and go together! Plus, it means saving money. Learn how to budget, and know that sometimes you have to sacrifice going out to eat for some good old-fashioned dorm food. Money disappears fast.

Free dorm t-shirt! Our mascot was a squirrel (;
10.) Be open to change. Your life is completely different now, and you need to allow yourself to adjust. If you get stuck in old ways, you will get dragged down. I was perfectionist in high school (no i’s left un-dotted, no t’s left uncrossed) and my first couple exams were very, very rough on me. Until I started changing and allowing myself to grow second semester, I struggled. Be open to new experiences and explore your new surroundings.
9.) Be a tourist in your new town. I had so much fun taking walks around my campus and the surrounding area. I loved having the ability to walk to so many restaurants and little shops. Explore your new home! Check out my adventure … Little Red Shoes Adventure.
8.) You are going to fall down. You are going to be sad, angry, upset, and maybe have a meltdown or two. What you have to do is pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try harder next time. Sometimes college isn’t fair, and sometimes you don’t study as hard as you need to. (And sometimes you have an awful professor… welcome to my inorganic chem class.) I failed 4 exams this year. My life isn’t ruined, I wasn’t kicked out of college. Did my grade suffer? Of course. But next year I am going to kick orgo’s butt and really put everything I have into school (while keeping myself sane). Sometimes it will seem like the world is plotting against you.
7.) Another overly-repeated lesson: join clubs. My lesson? Don’t join too many clubs. I took on way more than I could handle first semester and finally dropped some extracurriculars. Don’t stop at clubs though! I found a local dance studio and took cardio ballet there. I am going to yoga school next summer to get certified to teach. Look around and see what fancies you.
6.) Be honest with your roommate. You are going to be living with them for the next 8 months. Always talk to them and be open, otherwise your living situation is only going to get worse. (I had a great roommate fortunately who was very respectful of my grandma bedtimes!) You also don’t have to be best friends with your roomie. Sasha and I were roommates and talked from time to time but we weren’t crazy close. Sometimes it works out better that way anyways (;
5.) People are going to drink, have sex, smoke pot, and do crazy hardcore drugs. Now is the time to pick your battles, and know what you are getting into. Be careful and be smart. Know your limits.
4.) Rain boots are actually incredibly useful, as well as an umbrella. It will rain no matter where you are. Prepare for the weather.
3.) Have a planner, a white-board, post-its, anything to keep you semi-organized. You will need to keep track of your projects, especially when it’s not due for two weeks and suddenly you remember it’s due tomorrow. 
This was during finals.
me = not organized
2.) Sleep. Always sleep. You will be physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted very often. (And not sleeping enough can contribute to weight gain so watch out!) Those all nighters can turn out to be useless if you’re too tired to remember what you spent all night studying.
1.) Balance is key. You will sometimes mix up your priorities, but always try to find balance between studying and fun and everything else. Don’t take too many credits, but don’t go out every night. Don’t be too shy, but don’t have so many friends you start forgetting their names. Always make sure you have an outlet (the gym, friends to vent to, something other than food to relieve stress!). For me, it was yoga and dance. Don’t be afraid to be silly, be yourself, and grow as a person.
College is one of the best times ever because it’s basically the last time you don’t have all the responsibilities of the real world. Enjoy it! (;


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8 responses to “>20 things I learned freshman year

  1. >I really liked this post. I'm at the end of my second year but I still find all of those things to be true. Well written and insightful. brava!

  2. >This was wonderful, all VERY good tips 🙂 <3n

  3. >I LOVE this post! wish i'd been able to read it before going off to uni!

  4. >ahh I LOVEEE THESE TIPS!!! you are awesome- i so need these for when I go to college soon!

  5. >This is such a great post. I never lived in a dorm when I went to college but I definitely agree with point 1! It's all about moderation 😀

  6. >1. I beyond LOVE those red shoes. 2. You are so right, college is not high school. 3. I wish I would have kept healthy snacks in my dorm room 4. BALANCE IS KEY. You got it girlie. It is totally all about the balance!

  7. >This is a great post! I learnt a lot of this the hard way, but I'm on a gap year now & everything I learnt will just make my return so much better.This post was a good reminder of all those lessons learnt! x

  8. >great post!! I agree with not secluding yourself because your scared of the freshman 15

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