College Life

10 Things Freshman Year Taught Me

1. Clean out your fridge.

If you’re like me, you will end up keeping a stock of food in your fridge for those moments when you just can’t eat one more dining hall meal, or so you have something to grab for breakfast when you wake up late for class. Also like me, you won’t check the expiration dates, so you have no idea when food has gone bad. If there is one thing that freshman year taught me – it’s to clean out your fridge at the end of each week. ESPECIALLY make sure that no food is left in your fridge before you go home for breaks; you don’t want to open your fridge after break and have it reek of dirty gym socks. This happened to me and my fridge gave off one of the most disgusting scents that I’ve ever smelled. I had to throw it out and buy a new one. True story.

2. It IS possible to have too much Starbucks.

I would know…I went to Starbucks literally EVERY morning my first semester. The Starbucks workers even knew my name and my usual order. I mean, I needed my daily intake of caffeine every morning and I did not want to face a coffee headache. I would also get a breakfast sandwich because I didn’t want to have to make another stop to grab breakfast. Day after day of eating the same few “only okay” breakfast sandwiches, I eventually got so sick and tired of Starbucks. My Starbucks overdose eventually led me to discover that Tim Horton’s makes much better breakfasts and is way cheaper. (It was quite a discovery.).To this day, I still don’t drink Starbucks.

3. An appreciation of snail mail.

Freshman year taught me the true meaning of excitement – that feeling you get when you see an envelope or package slip in your mailbox. Just wait. Unlike back at home, your college mailbox no longer has mail in it everyday (even though most days the mail at home is just junk anyways). Most college students only get mail a couple times a month (if they’re lucky), so getting mail is really special. Freshman year taught me to be much more appreciative of mail because it doesn’t come often, but when it does, it’s a special treat.

4. It’s important to keep in touch.

Once you get to college, you become really busy with classes, homework, clubs and other activities. It can be easy to forget to stay in touch with your family; they think about you a lot and constantly wonder how you’re doing. They helped you to get to where you are today, and they’re your biggest support system. Your family just wants to know that you’re happy and are doing well, so it’s important to occasionally give them a call, or message them in a group chat if you’re always busy. (This is how I mostly keep in touch with my family.) Talking to your family can give you a feeling of familiarity, happiness, and in a way it can make you feel like they are with you.

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5. It’s good to try new foods.

When you live on campus, you can’t easily avoid college food unless you’re willing to spend real money. Since you’re forced to eat campus food the majority of the time, it’s good to switch up what you eat so you won’t get overly sick of the food (like I did my freshman year). It’s especially a good idea to try something new whenever you can if your college doesn’t have many places to eat (like mine). If you always get pasta and salad when you go to a certain dining hall, try switching things up by getting the meat special and a wrap, for example. Freshman year taught me that nothing beats mom’s cooking – so just be prepared to make the most out of what’s available.

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6. Learn how to budget.

It’s amazing how quickly money disappears. Seriously, from late night snacking to daily coffee runs to textbooks to whatever…you’ll blow through your savings quicker than you could imagine. Freshman year taught me the importance of budgeting…although I must say I wish I was prepared ahead of time…maybe I’d have a little more money to show for it!

7. Study in advance.

It is said that you should study at least a week in advance for a test, and yes, this is definitely, definitely true. Studying enough in advance gives you time to go back through your notes and textbook, make a study guide and/or flashcards, and be able to study using them for a few days. Studying in advance can also give you enough time to ask your professor questions before exams. It’s a wise idea to read the textbook chapter(s) before lectures and exams, as well as to write down any information that you don’t know while studying.

8. Realize who is/isn’t worth your time.

During your freshman year, you are going to meet so many new and different people. Some will end up being your best friends for life and some you won’t talk to again after freshman year. If someone never makes plans with you or ignores you when you are with a group of people, they’re not worth your time. Find the people who love and care about you and surround yourself with them. I promise you there are plenty of these people out there; you just have to find them.

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9. It’s okay to do your own thing.

What I mean by this is that you don’t have to do everything your friends do. It’s OKAY if you can’t go to a party with your friends because you have schoolwork to do; it’s okay if your friends go to the gym without you or are in a club you aren’t. It took me all of freshman year to realize this, but seriously, it’s not a huge deal if your friends do things without you. You have plenty of time to spend with your friends and if your friendships are strong (like mine are), these times will create lots of memories and bring you and your friends closer together.

10. Make the most out of your freshman year.

You no longer have your mom deciding what’s for dinner every night or have your parents wake you up for school so you arrive on time. Freshman year is a huge growing experience, and it teaches you more about yourself than you could ever learn during your first 18 years of life at home. (Freshman year taught me me more about myself than I ever thought it would.) You learn how to live in a small room with someone you may or may not have ever met, how to balance a busy classes and a social life, and how to make healthy choices and your own decisions. College is a wonderful time in your life because it gives you an incredible amount of independence and a fresh start. It’s like opening the door to a new world and discovering what awaits you.

 

Is there something else you learned freshman you? Add it in the comments below!

Featured image source: thetragedyofyouandme.
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Rachel Schaal

RACHEL IS A STUDENT AT SUNY FREDONIA STUDYING COMMUNICATION DISORDERS AND SCIENCES. SHE LOVES FOOD AND DOGS, HAS AN UNHEALTHY OBSESSION WITH GILMORE GIRLS, AND DREAMS OF TRAVELING TO ITALY.

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