20 Things No One Tells You About Your Freshman Year

Freshmen year is a whirlwind of emotions and it’s nerve-wracking, but we’ve all been there. Some say freshmen year of college is the hardest of all because of all the adjustments you have to make, but it can be a great thing if you know what you’re in for!

IT IS SO OVERWHELMING 

There are people everywhere. And they are all walking in different directions with determination and confidence like they are going in the right direction. It is going to feel like chaos for a while. You’re now travel through what feels like Times Square just to get to your first class. You are now a small spec in this very large group of people that is ultimately trying to do the exact same thing as you. Eventually, you will find short cuts as time goes on. 

NO ONE IS LOOKING AT YOU

Even if they are, they don’t care. We all have some kind of social anxiety at this point, so if you stumbled when you walked, dropped something in the dining hall, or pushed a door you were supposed to pull, no one is going to make fun of you. Everyone is either stressed out or overtired. No one has time to focus on the little mistake you made. Obviously, embarrassment is inevitable and you can’t stop your face from getting red, but just know, no one is looking at you. 

DON’T GO OVERBOARD AT THE DINING HALLS

Trust me, the endless buffet of food is anyone’s dream come true, and it is so easy to go overboard with the portions and the second helpings. Listen to your body with how much it needs to eat because I know first hand how too much freedom with no control can lead to a bad thing. The dining halls can be a horror for a stress eater like me so this is my warning to take it slow. 

IT IS OKAY TO CRY

Even if you are in public. We have all been there. So if you cry in the library, let it happen. I have cried walking to class, we all are on the verge of a mental breakdown no matter what year we are in. And it is worst your freshman year because your whole world has changed at a very fast rate. 

IT IS OKAY TO ASK FOR HELP

Your professor doesn’t expect you to know everything about anything. You came to college to learn more so it is okay to admit that you are confused or don’t understand. They want to help you if you are willing to put in the effort. 

The Goodell Building

YOU’RE GOING QUESTION EVERYTHING ABOUT YOUR FUTURE 

You may have thought that you had everything figured when you graduated high school. Maybe you’ve known what you wanted to do since your freshman year of high school, but now that you’ve started taking the required classes, you start to think that this isn’t for you. It’s going to happen, don’t panic. It’s normal to change your mind and your major multiple times. There is a bunch of different advisors you can meet with to help you find the right fit for you. 

YOU’RE PROBABLY NOT GOING TO WEAR HALF OF WHAT YOU BROUGHT

I’m sure you put a lot of thought into everything you’re going to wear from the first day till the end of your last exam, and I hate to break it to you but you probably won’t be wearing any of those cute outfits. Maybe once in a while, you will have a day where you want to feel your best so you decide to get a little dressed up but your life will consist of leggings and hoodies. It’s your very own college uniform. 

THE WORKLOAD IS A LOT 

So you’re taking four classes instead of the eight you were taking in high school. No big deal right? Wrong. Very wrong. The amount of work and studying you will need is going to change immensely, especially your freshman year. I don’t know the science behind why these classes are so hard, but be prepared to put a lot of hard work and long hours. 

THERE IS A CHANCE YOUR ROOMMATE IS NOT YOUR FUTURE BFF

Sometimes things just don’t work out that way. Maybe your interests are too different. Maybe your personalities just don’t clique. And that’s fine the school is huge that it was a one and a million chance that your freshman college roommate was going to end up being a bridesmaid at your wedding. You will find the people you’re meant to be with and can always room with them next year! 

YOU’RE GOING TO BE BROKE 

There is the off chance that you’ll do everything right and you’ll save enough and spend enough but for the most part, you will be forced to realize everything costs money all the time and there is no escaping it. 

THE LIBRARY ELEVATORS ARE ALWAYS CROWDED

Always. Literally. Always. 

UMASS Sweatshirt

YOU’RE PROBABLY GOING TO FAIL 

It’s going to happen. Whether it be one assignment, many assignments, an exam or a whole class. It’s going to happen and it’s not the end of the world. You will recover. Your freshman year is a huge transition into a completely different territory, things won’t be perfect. 

YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO TO PARTIES 

Despite being a party school, don’t worry about anyone judging or thinking less of you because you would rather sleep or study instead of raging. This is your college experience, live it the way you please. There are no expectations.

YOU MAY NOT MEET THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE 

And that’s okay! The idea that college holds the sole purpose of ending in marriage is extremely outdated. You are going to meet a lot of people throughout your four years here but the stress of trying to find someone to settle down with should never be on your mind. It’s not as easy as the movies make it seem. 

IT GOES BY FAST 

There’s a lot that needs to be done in the short four years you will spend here. Between having fun and making memories and planning for your future, there is never enough time to get it all done. Don’t wait till the end to cram everything in. Start looking for internships in anything that you are interested in. Spend your freshman year looking, searching, and getting a feel for what you want to do and then do it. 

IT’S NOTHING LIKE HOW HOLLYWOOD MADE IT SEEM 

I’m sorry. I really wanted it to be like that too. But it’s not. It’s a harsh reality we live in. It’s better you learn that now. 

LEARNING TO ADULT BY YOURSELF IS HARD 

Get ready to call your parents. A lot. Laundry, keeping your room clean, eating healthy, working out, and getting homework done. It’s all on you now and it most likely won’t go smoothly at first. You think it’s going to be an easy transition but becoming independent is a long and bumpy road. 

YOUR SLEEP SCHEDULE IS OVER

This does not apply to just your freshman year but for the rest of your time in school. You’re either staying up for a month straight or sleeping all the time but there is no in-between and there is no determining what will happen. If you take a nap during the day, will you still be able to sleep at night? Why do I fight sleep in class but can’t sleep when it’s 3 am? Who knows. 

THERE ARE MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES YOU CAN USE 

You’re going through one of the biggest changes in your life and it’s a lot to handle. There are so many concerns for the future as well as what’s happening at the moment and it can feel extremely lonely. There is a lot of help available to you and you should use it if you need to. It’s okay to ask for help. Whether you are a freshman or not, you don’t have to do anything alone. 

IT GETS BETTER 

It’ll all be worth it. Every questioning life moment, every dark time, the tears, the stress, it’ll all come full circle when you graduate (even if it takes longer than expected). There is no real timeline or expectation, this is your time to make the most of your first experience of freedom. Your freshman year is your starting point. Enjoy it. It’s going to be hard but it’ll be worth it.

What are some things you wish you knew during your freshman year? Tell us in the comments!

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