Absolute Best College Advice For Freshmen That You Need To Hear Before You Start
Now that I’ve been in college for a year, I’ve got a bunch of advice to give YOU as you head into your freshman year! It is a crazy, scary, chaotic time, but it is going to be one of the best years and I want to make sure you are as prepared as you possibly can be by giving you this college advice for freshmen!
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This post will be a bit different than my usual. I don’t usually talk about my personal experiences quite this much, but want to give you the best advice possible! I hope everything I learned during my freshman year of college will help you out as you head on your way!
This post is all about college advice for freshmen.
Keep in mind, everyone’s experience at college is so different. What I went through is definitely not going to be the same thing you go through!
I also decided to sprinkle in a bunch of my favorite photos from my college campus that I took over the past year! I hope you enjoy the college advice for freshmen and the photos! 😊
It is ok to be alone
This was probably one of the biggest things I struggled with when I got here. For basically my entire first semester, I was so scared of being alone.
Whether it was alone for a meal, alone to study, or alone on the weekend, all of it stressed me out. I always felt like I had to be doing something and had to be with someone at all times. And let me be the first to tell you, this is not sustainable.
Quickly, I became socially burnt out and as someone who gets their energy from other people, I didn’t know how to handle this.
My advice to you is not to overload yourself. Be with people, hang out with friends, but give yourself a break too. Nothing is going to happen if you aren’t at one meal or one hang out. You can take time for yourself and still have all your friends to come back to. I promise they aren’t going anywhere!
Say no to plans
On a similar note, never be afraid to say no to plans. You don’t need to be at everything if that isn’t something you can handle.
As much as I used to fear it, nothing is going to happen if you say no to plans.
Try as much as you can
I know everyone is going to tell you this, but seriously take advantage of everything in college.
In my freshman year, I tried musical theater for the first time, went on a week-long camping/backpacking trip for the first time, and so much more that I had never done! Some things I did and hated and will not be doing again, but others I absolutely LOVED and made it a point to become more involved.
It seriously cannot hurt to try as much as possible. Worst comes to worst, you lose a day and move on. And if it’s something you love, you now have a new group of people and new activity waiting for you.
Narrow down your commitments
That being said, keep in mind that you can’t try as much as humanly possible without also narrowing down your commitments.
That was another one of my biggest mistakes during my spring semester of freshman year. After not getting quite as involved as I wanted in the fall, I basically signed up for 8 different clubs in the spring. When I tell you I literally had 2-3 club meetings every single day, I wish I was exaggerating. I would leave my room for class in the morning and not get back until 8 or 9 o’clock because of all the club meetings.
So, from one over-achiever to another, pick and choose. Yes, I fully support trying a bunch of things, but then you have to narrow it down.
It is not sustainable to commit yourself to so many things. Eventually, you will just become burnt out and start to resent even the clubs you used to love.
If you struggle in figuring out what to do and what to drop, someone once told me to choose 3 clubs: one for your profession/major, one for your physical or mental health, and one that just makes you happy. You don’t need to follow this exactly, but it’s a good roadmap.
Only do what you actually love
Building on my last tip, when deciding what clubs and activities to stick with, really consider what you are doing and if you actually enjoy it.
For a lot of people, you are still going to be in the high school mindset that you just need to get involved in things for the hell of it, whether it was a resume booster or whatever else.
That isn’t the case anymore.
You don’t need to do clubs just because anymore. Now, you should only be doing clubs because you truly and wholeheartedly want to be there.
If you dread going to a meeting, just don’t go anymore! YOU decide what you want to be involved in.
Grades aren’t like high school
Another high school mindset that is super hard to get over (I still haven’t quite gotten there yet) is that grades in college are not like grades in high school.
Now, this one definitely varies based on what major you are and what profession you are going into. If you are planning on going to grad school, grades are definitely going to matter more than people who aren’t. And if you have no idea yet (which is the case for most people), that is completely fine too.
For me as a business major, I have been trying my hardest this year to realize that no employer is looking at my transcript anymore. While grades are still 100% important to me, I am trying to get into the habit of realizing that they don’t define me anymore.
You already got into college, so the hard part is done!
Everyone has shit going on
Something you will learn really quickly in college is that everyone, and I mean everyone, has shit going on. Everyone’s got their own story and whether you realize it or not, everyone always has stuff going on that you probably don’t know about.
As close as you get with people in college, there is always so much about your life back home that your college friends are never going to know about. And with that, there is so much that you don’t know about even your closest friends.
There will be ups and downs
If I got one thing from college, it is that you are going to experience just about everything. You are going to have a week where you feel like things quite literally could not get any better, and then the next week everything feels like it’s falling apart.
And if (or when) this happens, it’s fine and it’s normal. You will have your good moments and your bad moments. The best thing you can do is learn to appreciate them all.
Your first friends don’t have to be your forever friends
Even though you are going to hear this piece of college advice for freshmen a million times, it is 100% true. You are going to go through friends in college. You are going to meet a million people in your first week and they aren’t all going to stick.
In some cases, you may even have friends for a couple of months or a whole semester that don’t stick and that is completely fine too!
You are allowed to lose friends and you are allowed to find new friends. More often than not, the people you meet right in the beginning aren’t the ones you stay friends with forever.
And if they are, that is amazing! But if they aren’t, do not stress about it. Everything that is happening is completely normal.
You will find your people
Going off that last one, my last piece of advice for you is to go into college knowing that you will find your people eventually. It may not be during your first week, it might not even be during your first semester. But you will find them eventually.
College is scary, I’m not going to lie to you. But, you are going to figure it out. You are going to do amazing, I promise you that.
This post was all about college advice for freshmen.