Freshman year is hands-down one of the best years of college (besides, you know, graduation). There’s so much potential as you start this next leg of your journey, understandably alongside some anxiety. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t worry too much.
That Glorious Limbo Between Teenager And Adult
You can’t deny there’s something so liberating about having your own space. Sure, you have a roomie, but you didn’t have to grow up with them—and odds are, they could care less whether your bed is made or your homework is finished, because they’re too busy worrying about their own life.
Even better? Just because you have newfound freedom over your choices doesn’t mean you have to be a full-fledged adult yet. You can still rely on microwave meals and enlist help with your laundry because, come on, you’re studying your heart out. The only bedtime is the one you give yourself and no one’s going to judge you if you’re eating cake at one A.M.
It’s A Chance To Be Someone New
If you’re the kind of person who always had to wear the nicest outfit on the first day of school and vowed each school year would be different, imagine the changes you can make when you’re in a completely different environment with new classmates, new instructors, and a clean slate. You can switch up your style, decide to go by a different nickname if you always hated the one you were stuck with, or become a whole new person entirely.
Did you always want to try theater but never felt like “that person” in high school? Then go for it, because you can be now! Did you admire someone’s fashion sense or haircut but didn’t want to make too drastic of a change? Put your own twist on it for freshman year and make it part of the new you.
The sky is the limit when it comes to the next chapter of your life. Embrace it with open arms and own it!
So Many New People To Meet
Going hand-in-hand with the opportunity to redefine yourself is the potential to make new friends, love interests, and future references for that resume you still haven’t worked on (maybe later, right?). While you certainly won’t have time to meet all of them, it’s worth seeking out a group of people who share similar interests—especially if you and your high school bestie didn’t end up at the same college.
Who knows? With so many more clubs and extracurriculars offered at colleges, you might find someone even more like yourself than you ever did in high school.
You Have Control Over Your Schedule Now
Never liked getting up at five or six A.M. to catch the bus for school? You’re not alone. The great thing about freshman year is that you don’t have to sign up for the early classes if you don’t want to. If you work best after sleeping in or you’re one of those students who functions better when you study late at night, you can totally do that now.
On the flip side of that, it’s completely okay to stay an early bird if that’s more your speed. Some of us like having the afternoon off, am I right? Enjoy your morning cup of joe, get classes over before noon, and maybe sneak in a catnap before your evening workout, social event, or Netflix binge.
Another wonderful thing about your first year at college is that it essentially doubles as a crash course in life hacks. When you’re caught between halfway adulting and still being a student, you need a ton of hacks just to get through the week. Taking into account advice from professors, your mom who worries about you, older students, and your roommate who’s somehow a magical guru (?), you’ll learn valuable life skills you can use to not only hack freshman year but the rest of your life.
In addition to figuring out how to wash your clothes without getting that horrid shade of pink and cooking a “gourmet” meal from stuff you find in your pantry, you’ll also pick up necessary tips on how to network and pave the way for the career you want.
Everything Is So Laid Back
I think everyone during freshman year is feeling the effects of newfound independence, because no one seems too stressed about anything. You have classes to attend, projects to do, and tests to take, sure, but it’s nowhere near as much as high school—not when you’re in control of the work load and have way more time to dedicate to it than high school ever gave you.
Not to mention, the professors are way cooler. No one bats an eye if you wear pajamas to class, eat your breakfast at your desk, or need to run to the restroom in the middle of a lecture. As long as you’re staying on top of everything, who cares?
Free Time Is A Thing Again
Remember free time? Yeah, we didn’t either before freshman year of college rolled around. Between the bus/car ride to school and back, the gym class no one asked for, and having a whole chunk of time dedicated to lunch since it’s unheard of to eat during class, there was so much time wasted during high school. It was all most of us could do to keep up a social life on Saturdays, and that’s assuming your seven or eight different teachers didn’t all assign you a project over the weekend (ah, those were the days).
With all of those unnecessary bits whittled down to only the classes you want to take, there’s nothing holding you back from spending free time the way you want to spend it. So join a fun elective, take up a hobby, go out with friends, or stay home and eat ice cream while you fudge your way through your next English paper. It’s your life now.