During my freshman year of college, there were a few things I learned along the way that I wish I had known right from the beginning. So instead of going through that whole learning process yourself, I thought I’d make things a bit easier. Below is a list of 20 important things any freshman should know, from day one.
1. Go out on random weeknights.
A couple years from now, going out on a Tuesday will no longer be an option. Make sure you head to the library right after class instead of procrastinating so you’re done with all your homework when it’s time to go out and party. Remember you’ll only be a freshman once.
2. Don’t stay stuck in high school.
It’s okay to miss your bff from home, or to try to make it work long distance with your high school boyfriend… But don’t stay stuck in high school (and leave the drama behind). Meet new people, make new friends and most importantly keep an open mind when it comes to your high school relationship. If you feel like you’re crushing on someone else, explore the opportunity!
3. Always use student discounts.
Now that you’re in college, you shouldn’t pay full price for anything you buy. Sign up for Studentrate to snag discounts at Forever21, Sephora, Urban Outfitters, Lenovo, and many more. When you go to the nail salon, or grab a pizza in town, always ask if the store offers a student discount. Almost every store does!
4. Keep a somewhat healthy lifestyle.
There’s nothing wrong with partying and bonding with new people, but know your limits. You will be hungover certain days, but force yourself to go out for a run or hit the gym once in a while. Learn how to navigate the cafeteria food so you don’t eat pizza and mac and cheese on a daily basis. If you don’t have a car on campus, consider ordering grocery via Amazon pantry, Google Express, or Peapod so you have some options in your dorm.
5. Don’t be obsessed with your Instagram self.
You wanna share with the world how cool your new life is (and you’re hoping your high school friends are watching…), but put away your phone once in a while and enjoy the moment! Also be mindful of what you’re sharing online. Do you really want your future employer, or your 15 year old cousin to see you shotgun a beer on Instagram?
6. Go to office hours and use the writing center.
Think of any faculty member as a resource and don’t be afraid to ask for help, it can make a big difference in grades and it will make it a lot simpler to ask for letters of recommendation when you’re applying for jobs and internships.
7. Always carry a phone charger with you.
You’re not sure where you’re going and you don’t know your schedule yet. Don’t get stranded somewhere with no cell phone! We all know the plight of smartphone batteries and you don’t want to turn your phone back on and see 23 missed calls from your mom, that can’t end well.
8. Take a random class.
You have plenty of time to complete majors and minors, make sure you take advantage of the unique classes that every university offers and learn about something completely different. Tell me “The Game of Thrones” at Virginia or “Japanese Swordsmanship” at George Washington don’t sound fun, I dare you.
9. Don’t buy textbooks before the first week of class.
Wait until your first class to figure out exactly what you will need then order your textbooks ONLINE. Do not go to the campus bookstore, you will waist a ton of time and the prices will never be the best deal. Instead check Studentrate to compare textbook prices.
10. Get along with your roommate (at least try…)
No need to be best friends and get matching tattoos, but a year can seem like ages if you’re constantly arguing. Keep your stuff clean and say what’s on your mind, a five-minute argument is better than a dramatic fight later on.
11. Try to go to as many sporting events as possible.
Grab a couple of friends and share in the awesomeness and excitement that is college sports.
12. Keep am Emergency box in your dorm.
Keep some basic OTC meds in your dorm, and a first aid kit. There is such thing as the freshmen plague and it will take you out if you are not eating your fruits, vegetables and grains! Clorox wipes can’t hurt either.
13. Listen to upperclassmen.
If you’re reading this, then you’re taking this advice, good job! Students who have taken classes you’re interested in can be helpful for study tips, how to complete any given major or minor, or how to deal with problems that every college student faces at one point.
14. Try not to skip too many 8 am classes.
If you’re going to skip your 8 AM class because it is too early, pick a later class. Start off the year doing stuff right! I know what you’re thinking, “I took morning classes in high school and I was fine.” It’s not the same, try to avoid these classes.
15. Go home once in a while.
Sometimes, we need a change of scenery to regain our grounding and have some mental detox, and where else to do so, but in your house? Don’t forget to keep in touch with your family. A simple text to your parents can make their day which makes life easier for you. And don’t let your annoying younger brother forget who’s boss. Also, love is the key to care packages.
16. Don’t miss out on free food.
Free food is everywhere if you look hard enough – enough said.
17. Make your dorm room yours.
You have to share a small room all year, but there are ways to make it a nice and cozy spot. Decorate your side of the wall, invest in comfortable bedding, it’s a game-changer in the long run. And how are people going to know that you “Keep calm and carry on” unless you have a poster that says so?
18. Get an on-campus job.
Working a few hours week during the academic year is a nice financial help and looks great on your resume. For a lot of positions, like the library or the welcome desk at the gym, you’ll have a chance to do some homework or talk with your friends. Sounds like something you’d do for free, might as well get paid to refresh twitter faster than it has time to update.
19. Don’t underestimate your workload.
There is so much opportunities for fun at college, procrastination becomes a sport. If you break your workload down into pieces, doing a couple of hours a day, it will be more than manageable and you’ll have free time to go see your friends’ ridiculous acapella show or watch people play ultimate Frisbee like they’re in the SuperBowl.
20. Get out of your comfort zone!
Lastly, remember, college is only four years long: take risks, try new things, explore your passions, meet new people and smile! Remember, if it’s not going so well at first, you have three years to find something on campus you like and if you are enjoying yourself, be sure to spend your time wisely as four years go by quicker than you could ever expect!!
*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.