Here it is the day you’ve been waiting for ever since you got your acceptance letter in the mail. You’re feeling nervous yet super excited. You’re sad to be leaving your family and friends behind, yet happily anticipating making new friends at college that will soon be your family away from home. Your first year of college will be one of the most life changing periods of your life. You will make mistakes, but you will also learn so much about yourself and the world around you. My first year has come to a close and it has been a roller-coaster of ups and downs. I have made many mistakes and learned many lessons this year and I am going to tell you the top 5 things that stuck with me.
1. Do not fall behind on your grades freshman year.
It is so easy for freshman to get wrapped up in the entire new scene that is college. You are away from everything that you grew up knowing and are suddenly surrounded by strangers. You suddenly have so much freedom and you don’t know what to do with it. No one is telling you to go to class, study, or do your homework. I understand it can be hard to force yourself to stay in and study when everyone else seems to be going out, but in the end you will not regret staying in for ONE night. It is a lot easier to build up your GPA freshman year than it is to recover from a bad year when you’re older.
2. Go and talk to your teachers.
Talking to your teacher is something I stress so hard. Building a relationship with your teachers can decide whether you get an A or a B in the class. When you develop a solid relationship with your teachers, you can find a mentor in them and maybe even get them to write you a good letter of recommendation for the future.
3. Be watchful of how you spend your money.
Going into college I had set aside a pretty chunk of cash since I waitressed all summer and saved half my money for college. I was sitting pretty swiping my debit card left, right, and center until 2 1/2 months into college when I checked my bank account and almost screamed. At this point it was practically too late to salvage a good amount of money. If I could go back in time, I would conserve more of my money by not eating out as much, find a cure for my online shopping addiction, and watching out for those über surges!
4. You will get homesick and that’s totally fine.
Going away to college I knew that at some point I was going to get hit with the homesickness feeling. I was trying to bury it as much as I could, but one October day it hit me like a ton of bricks. I suddenly missed my family, my friends, and my dogs. I called my mom crying because I wanted to hear a familiar voice. The best way to cure it is talking to family members from back home and staying in touch with your high school besties. When I talked to my best friends I realized they felt the same way and suddenly I didn’t feel so alone. Just know it is okay to miss home, after all you did spend most of your life there.
5. Your floor mates will be some of the best and some of the worst people you meet.
There are going to be people on your floor that you absolutely cannot stand, but don’t worry because you are bound to find people on your floor that you could not have survived your first year without. Whenever you need someone to talk too, watch the new season of American Horror Story with, or order Jimmy Johns at 3 AM while you’re cramming for an exam, they are there.
Looking back on my freshman year I made plenty of mistakes, but those mistakes made me grow and help me discover more about myself. Without going through the down of this past year than I would have never appreciated all the ups I had and the amazing friends that I made. This year went by so fast I can’t believe my first year of college is over. Remember to embrace every second of your freshman year because it’ll be over before you know it.