Things I Wish I Knew in the First Year Of College

freshman year advice

College. Finally, the time has come for you when you are no more a school student. There is tremendous excitement in all of us for the first day, thinking that how will we interact with others, what are we going to wear, what things we need to carry, how much more shopping we need to do and so many more things. I remember well that the biggest worry for me about beginning my college life was…clothes…clothes and clothes! So many more things encircle our minds about college. There is a little nervousness, excitement and curiosity in all of us.

Parents are equally anxious about their children’s college, as it is an important step towards a person’s future.  How the time is spent during the college years can make or break a person’s future and owe a big part to his success. It is obvious that no one wants to make a mistake and excel in all subjects, have many friends and be popular. Yet, to err is to human. Sometimes, the mistakes we make are not of much concern and can be overlooked. But sometimes, we do blunders which can harm our social image, self-esteem and confidence.

Though college life a part of your life when one must live to the fullest, yet there are some things you need to keep in mind right from the first day of college.

Assuming that you know everything is not good

freshman year advice

Assumptions are last thoughts, which are based on the fear and ignorance in our minds. You need to challenge them in order to move forward in life. Never think that you are the I-know-it-all of the college because that is not possible. Accept your mistakes, be ready to learn new things and welcome suggestions from others. Utilise every moment of your college life to meet new people, expand your vision and ideas, make contact with influential people and alumni, volunteer or intern at places where you can gain significant work experience.

Don’t expect your roommate to be your ‘Bestie forever’

freshman year advice

Yes, seriously. Keep that in mind always. Though you’re going to share a room with that girl, you don’t know what she likes, how does she react to situations and the way she lives her life. You may pour your heart out in front of your roomie, thinking that they are your soul mate just because they live with you, and then watch everyone gossip about your deepest secrets the very next day. And mind it, that happens. REALLY.

Give them their own space, keep your things to your side only and don’t get too close or clingy to them.

Falling prey to “C’mon, it’s just ONE drink” can be a nightmare

college freshman advice

College parties are the ones which you’ll remember for your whole life. Crazy talks, stalking that hot senior girl, flirting with the guy sitting next to you, hyper active dancing time, drooling over each other and…there is so much more to add to such memories.

But you need to draw a certain perimeter to your pleasure too. A casual drink may become the reason for a nightmare for you. “Yeah, drink like a man!”, “Hey, wanna have one more?” are few of the cheesy lines you will hear all the time at parties or get-togethers. But before going for the next round of shots, ask this question to yourself- will I be able to take my responsibility after this?

Saying “I’m fine” and actually being fine are different from each other. Know your limits well.

Do not text or post when you’re angry or drunk

college freshman advice

Your anger will fade away after sometime and you will be sober after a few hours too, but what you text or post images will not. They will remain forever on your timeline and people’s mind too. NEVER post any image of yourself when you are high. It gives a casual impression of you when someone goes through your profile. Also, texting someone in such conditions can also damage your image and relations. Inappropriate posts and images such as when you are drunk or picking up a fight can be used against you out of context and do serious reputation and career damage to you later in life.

Incase you find it difficult to control your word vomit when you are angry or drunk, you might want to download one-of-those-smartphone-apps that stop drunk-texting

‘Casual’ hook-ups are never casual

A fling, hook-up or a physical connection with your friend or someone whom you know can happen anytime. They appear to be good fun just for a night, but they are NOT. The guy may ask you again to come to his place again and again, and you may give in as you do not know what to do. Never do something which will shame you in front of your parents. Be smart enough to judge that who really wants to be with you and spend time, and who try approaching you only to ‘pass’ their time.

Learn to say “No”

college freshman advice

We easily give in to what our friends and peers say and do what they suggest us. Peer pressure can be a huge diverting force which can deviate us from our aims. To fit into the social circle, we often end up doing things that we actually may not want to, such as smoking, drugs, alcohol or drugs.

To avoid this, have a firm idea in your mind that what you want to do and what you don’t. A stern “NO” will put a bar to the things which may pull you down.

Don’t limit yourself to one group of friends

college freshman advice

Be involved with all the people and maintain healthy relationships with everyone. If you land in a quarrel with one of your friends, you will still have a company of other ones. Reserving yourself to only one group also restricts the flow of ideas which you can share to make your projects even better. Enjoy being with everyone.

Eating cookies, wings and burgers at 2 am every night is unhealthy

freshman year advice

Doing this, you will soon be out of money and with a bloated body. Have your meals at a proper time and eat healthy. We do feel hunger pangs at odd hours of the night while working, but eating those fried foods will only make you unhealthy. They may fill up your belly for the time, but in the long run, you will be harming yourself.  Have a proper diet plan for your daily routine.

Also, have breakfast every morning before heading for the lecture. It gives you energy for the whole day and you won’t be lethargic or feeling dizzy at dusk.

Seeing your long-distance lover every other weekend might ruin you

college freshman year advice

Alright, you are in love and you both may have thought of a future together, but being at college, there are more things to do than to just be with your boyfriend. Running every weekend to meet your love will affect your grades seriously, as you will not be able to manage time accordingly. Keep a balance between your personal and academic lives.

Discuss well with them and plan well about how much video calls you’ll make, how often you’ll meet and how to deal with the travelling expenses to meet each other.

Avoid telling every issue to mom and dad

freshman year college advice

You’re grown up now, right? Surely, you need to deal with your issues yourself then. Your parents cannot be with you every time, everywhere. Telling them about every quarrel you had today, who back-bitched about whom, which girl you dislike the most will make them worry too. And they will not be able to do anything because they are not in your college.

Be mature enough to sort such things out on yourself rather on depending for everything on your parents. They are already doing a lot for you, and you should be thankful for it.

Trying to make everyone happy is not your aim

freshman college advice

“Go where you are celebrated, rather than where you are tolerated”.

College is the place where you have come to achieve your dreams and goals, rather than trying to fit into every group or pleasing everyone. We tend to think that being in the favorites of one and all will put us in the limelight and make us popular. But that’s not what you came to the college for.

Keep a track of money lent or borrowed

college freshman year advice money

Money can change the way people think about you. If borrowing some cash from your friend, remember the amount and return the same as soon as you can. Also, don’t forget if you give money to a friend in need too, or else you’ll be bankrupt very soon. Ignoring to return money can give a bad impression about you. Your friend may not ask for it again if you keep hesitating to pay back, but it will affect your relation with him.

Know When and Where to get Help from

college freshman need help

In college, you will be a 100% dependent only on yourself. There won’t be anyone to get stuff done for you. Whether it is washing your clothes, cleaning your room, applying for scholarships or even completing your assignments, it will all be your own responsibility. There will be people like your friends, seniors, counselors and teachers to help you but not unless you ask them for help and ask it the right way. In your freshman year, compile a list of all useful online and offline resources that will help you throughout your college life, such as websites to lookup internships, online tutoring, homework help, part-time jobs, scholarships and freeships, coupons for food, movies and outings, dorm-room movers, friends of friends, seniors/alumni/websites to get notes/study materials etc.

College is indeed a wonderful part of your life, where you learn the qualities and skills which you implement for the rest of your life. Study well, score well and enjoy well. With the given suggestions, you now know how to have a wonderful start to you’re the first year of your college.

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