Description of my freshman year:
1. Had my first real relationship (still going strong almost two years later whoop whoop!)
2. Lived on my own for the first time.
3. Making a whole new set of friends by putting myself out there (which I never do).
4. Changed my major over 5 times.
5. Have never been so confused about life before.
6. The dishes and laundry aren’t going to do themselves.
7. Realized how amazing my family is and how much they have supported me throughout my whole life.
8. In three years, I’m going to be an official adult, with an actual job and money that I need to budget out myself.
9. Fast food is a blessing and a curse.
10. School Clubs are a college game changer.
Some of these things might scare you… and some may excite you! That’s the whole point of college, to be both scared and excited at the same time. College really is the time to grow and be a part of something bigger than yourself, on your own, with the people you want to be around. If your college experience is anything like mine, your parents aren’t going to be able to make every decision for you. College is the place to start becoming your own person and making decisions that benefit you and only you. It may sound selfish at first, but it’s the truth. Just think about it, in college you are in control of the people that are around you, the classes you take, the clubs you join, the parties you go to, and so much more.
This is why I wanted to write an advice post, I know the mix of emotions that come with living on your own for the first time and having to make decisions for yourself. I want to help you as much as I can since I had to learn the hard way about many things. So here are some of my college tips for freshmen (or anyone who is in college haha).
1. CHOOSE YOUR OWN ROOMMATES
Want to know why this is my number 1 tip? Because it is one of the most important things in college! When you leave home and start heading to university, roommates are pretty much inevitable. Most dorms require you to share a living space and even a room with either one or multiple people. This is why you need to pick your roommates and know them before you move in! I have had one of the worst experiences with roommates because of our differing views in certain areas. I’m not going to go into much detail, but I want to be very clear that having a random roommate can either be really amazing or become a living nightmare.
There are many horror stories of roommates and if you want me to do a storytime for some of my experiences definitely let me know! You can google this and find some of the craziest accounts from college students if you don’t believe me. But my main message for you is using a roommate matching website! I used roomsurf.com to find my first roommate and I honestly wish I did it in the future. This website allows you to take a quiz based on your personality, cleaning type, etc. Most universities will allow you to prefer a roommate as long as you know their ID number. Definitely, utilize this website, you will thank me later!
2. DON’T GO OUT EVERY NIGHT
As much fun college parties are, they can completely mess with your academics if you are not careful and do not plan out your schoolwork with your social life. In my experience and from watching some of my friends make the same mistakes, parties will get the best of you and so will that GPA that you’ve worked so hard to keep up. A tip I have is to plan out all of your homework, exams, projects, etc. and see what days are the busiest and then plan the social aspect of college around that. I know this sounds like common sense, but trust me it is much harder to keep up than you may think. There are so many things to do in college and FOMO is a real thing! So make sure you are always on top of your school work because in the end that’s is what college is for.
3. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY
The freshman 15 is a real thing. I know a ton of people tell you this when you go to college, but trust me it creeps up on you out of nowhere. When I was a freshman, most late nights included my friends and I going to IHOP to pig out on pancakes and pretty much everything else on the menu. Personally, I am not a big fan of clubs because I don’t like tight spaces, but I can say from watching other people clubs can be the biggest culprit for the freshman 15. Not only are you out late, but drinking contains way more calories than we may think not to mention the after club Taco Bell run. I’m not saying to never go out and have fun because college is all about meeting people and having fun, but just take care of yourself and don’t get too caught up in the party all day everyday scene. More than likely, your body will not be able to handle the stress and this can be a cause of weight gain (p.s. I am not a nutritionist at all this is just my experience and what I have seen personally).
4. KEEP TRACK OF YOUR FINANCES
One of the first lessons I learned in college very quickly was to keep track of my finances. Now I don’t have a job currently but I do get a monthly allowance of $100 for two weeks. During my first month in college, I soon realized that those $100 go by very fast with all of the late night food runs I was making with my friends. If you do or know you are going to get a job in college that’s great, but still, keep track of every cent that you make and try to save at least 25%-30% of it. It will help out in the long run especially after graduation.
5. PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE
When you do go out, be an extrovert! College is all about meeting new people and creating friendships and memories that will last a lifetime! Especially if you are out of state, putting yourself out there can really make a difference in your college experience. For me, it was joining a sorority that has really helped me to get out of my comfort zone and meet some of my closest friends. However, a sorority/fraternity is NOT the only way to make friends (obviously haha)- you can join a club, go to school hosted events, go to tailgates and football games, honestly anything where a lot of college students are around in a public setting!
Some other random tips would be to
- Always have fun
- Don’t waste your parent’s money and/or your own money by not studying and taking time to do the work.
- Make your counselors your best friend’s because they want to help you!
- College is about finding yourself so if you feel like you need to let go of some relationships, DO IT!
- Take risks in college because it won’t be so easy getting back up from your mistakes in the future (lots of mentors will tell you this).
- Don’t just pick a major because your parents want you to be in it, choose a major that you love! You may make less money but you will be a lot happier doing something you love rather than making money and doing something you hate!
- LOVE YOURSELF
- Find quality friends who will be there for you through thick and thin.
- Take advantage of all of the college discounts around your area (most college towns will have plenty of discounts for us broke students).
- Remember, everyone else is trying to figure things out just like you are, so don’t be hard on yourself and don’t think you aren’t doing enough when you are!
I hope these tips help you as you begin your college journey or even if you are currently in college I truly want this you help you get the most out of your college experience!
Let me know what you are most excited about for college down below!