For many college freshmen, this week was the first week of school and it’s exciting! I know the excitement that you feel when you’re in a new place and you think all the high school drama is behind you. It finally feels like you have a true sense of independence. Perhaps you’re sad to leave your friends and family behind or maybe you’re happy that you can start over. Looking back as a post grad, I experienced every emotion there was during my freshman year, so here’s my best advice for college freshmen.
I was so petty and savage
Looking back I was so fed up with my freshman roommate and I definitely wasn’t the only one. Many people hate their freshman roommate. It’s almost inevitable for most. The thing is that I wish I would’ve gone about things differently. I wish I knew how to handle these adult situations. However, if I did, would I be writing this post now? My advice for college freshmen is to set clear ground rules before you even move in. Yes, that means confrontation and I completely understand wanting to avoid it all together. The thing is that not everyone thinks like you.
I am a super clean person and even though I have my organized messes, I generally like to keep my room in order. This is especially applicable to living with others. The thing is that not everyone is like that. Some people have absolutely disgusting habits. However, don’t waste your breath talking about your roommate’s habits with your friends because that ultimately doesn’t solve anything.
What you need to do is talk to them about the rules of cleanliness before moving in. You also have roommates who will try to wiggle their way out of it. That is when you have to negotiate and talk about what you will and will not tolerate. This means that the roommate doesn’t have to clean and tidy their room every day, but once a week should be a good medium. You get busy in school! You’ve got internships, assignments, social life. I get that things happen, but living in a room full of clutter is also not ideal conditions for productivity.
I thought I had friends for life
There is this idea that is being sold as you will have friends for life. I totally bought into this and even though I can say that I made lifelong friends, not all of my college freshman friends ended up talking to me by the end of the 4 years.
For example, I distinctly remember that I went to summer orientation, and I met some of the coolest people that I still talk about from time to time today. I thought these were going to my group because we all hung out together the time we were there for orientation. Then we went home and when we came back for school, many of them were suddenly busy to hang out with me. This also happened during the welcome week activities my school had. At the time it really hurt my feelings, but I totally get it now.
My advice for college freshmen on this is to not expect to find your ride or die friends during freshmen year. Everyone is trying to find their place during that time and with an abundance of people, it can be overwhelming. I think I got lucky because I did eventually meet a few awesome people freshman year that I would still consider my friends now. However, freshman year gave me some unexpected experiences.
I said “no” to sororities, or did I?
Being from the south, I knew all about sororities and I wanted no part in that. I was absolutely against it and I wanted to earn my friends the “natural way”. The thing is that I ended up joining a sorority my freshman year.
A friend of a friend joined during the Fall semester and over winter break she told me how fun it was. There wasn’t any hazing, there were really cool activities, and she met some amazing girls. Spring semester came around and I thought that I would go to the orientation and see what it was all about. It was there that I found out that I really enjoyed her sorority and I decided to go through the process. Recruitment included making arts and crafts, ice skating, and ice cream floats. I can say that the girls I joined with and the girls that were there had a hand in making me the person I am today. It sounds cheesy, I know.
My advice for college freshmen here is to never say never. You’re going to find yourself doing things that you never thought you would do. This includes things like learning how to ice skate, planning huge campus events, or going on haunted hay rides in Sleepy Hallow. In fact, my advice for college freshmen is to say yes to the things you thought you would never do. There were many times that I was hesitant to do something and it turned out to be some of my best memories. On the other hand, there were times that I said no and I felt like I missed out.
To sum it up…
Don’t be afraid to just let go and have fun because honestly, these are going to be the best 4 years of your life. I took some things for granted and looking back, I wish I did more. Take full advantage of every opportunity you have because you never know when you’ll do it again.
So, my question for you is what advice for college freshmen would you give?
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