The year was 2009. I had just graduated from Jupiter High School and had the best senior year.
I was ready for college. (yay!)
What I wasn’t ready for was the onslaught of new experiences no one warned me about!!! (ahem thats on you, older cousins). Which brings me to this easy list of 10 unexpected tips for college freshmen from a #posttwentyfive perspective:
- Get involved on campus. Yes, it is super important for you to get good grades and graduate, but more than that, you have the potential to make lifelong friendships in college. Take advantage of that and jump in!
- Go to every meeting that hand out free shirts or free pizza whether you plan to join or not. By the time I finished my freshman year, I have more than 40 free UCF t-shirts and so many nights of free dinner. I went to every meeting and orientation that passed out free items in hopes of free dinner and free clothing. Listen, college budget is no joke. Free stuff is free stuff!
- DO NOT GET A CREDIT CARD! At all costs! I was luck enough not to get a credit card and I cant image all that its saved me from Lets be honest, even though you are 18 and a “grown adult,” you aren’t ready for those grown adult interest rates. Your future #posttwentyfive self will thank you later.
- Study at the cafe to save yourself a meal swipe. When I was a freshman, my meal plan included 2 meals a day. Rather than swiping for breakfast and lunch, I would swipe in for breakfast, equipped with my backpack, laptop and homework and study at the cafe until lunch. Most cafe’s don’t kick you out and you can get 2 meals with one swipe.
- Go to the school gym. You will most likely gain freshman 15 regardless, however starting off the year going to the same gym class and getting to know the people will help you stay fit and also combat that wretched 15lbs. Not only will you feel better throughout the year, but it will help destress you during finals. If you don’t go, at least walk around and figure out where things are so that when you’re ready to workout, you’re not clueless.
- Get a calendar! Ive said it before but its a game changer. If you haven’t read my last post about productivity, check it out.
- If you’re overwhelmed, don’t complete every homework task. It sounds counterintuitive but its a method I’ve used since high school to help manage my stress. If you have a huge paper due in your biology class that counts for 25% of your grade and have a homework assignment that counts for less than 1% of your grade, skip the homework assignment. Note: this method only works if you already maintain good grades and if you only use it once or twice per class.
- Do not ever leave food or drink unattended at events. This is a more serious one. I wan not a huge partier in college. I did however tailgate with my sorority and would mingle. I was lucky enough to have friends who looked out for me and taught me this the first semester. I always felt safe at college however the reality is that a drink left unattended can always be altered. I don’t want to spook you. Just be aware.
- Wash your socks and underwear in a washable bag to keep them in one place. Trust me, you don’t want to end up with 1 sock my the end of the semester. (true story)
- Even if you’re not best friends with your roommate, try to at least be cordial. I did not have the best luck with roommates. My freshman roommate was never at the dorm and when she was, she closed the door and never spoke to me. Needless to say, she didn’t become the BFF i’d hoped she’d be. That being said, we always maintained a positive relationship. We were the same major and would trade books or even leave out Christmas cards for each other. I eventually made friends elsewhere but the most important thing was my dorm remained a sanctuary rather than a hostile environment.
I hope this makes your first year easier!