Dear College Freshmen...
Dear College Freshmen,
Whoohoo! First of all, congratulations on graduating high school. Now you're off to college and probably unsure of what to expect. Obviously each college experience is going to be different depending on where you go, what activities you get involved with, and how you choose to spend your time. But there are some general commonalities I think you'll find throughout your experience. So without further ado, here's what I've learned about college:
Guys...college can be kind of intimidating! But things are so much easier the earlier you start connecting with others and making friends. Join a club, fraternity, sorority, team, etc. You'll meet so many new people with common interests and it'll help jumpstart conversations.
Study...A Lot More Than You're Used To
You might be like I was in high school, getting by with some pretty good grades without a ton of effort. Ha. Don't try that in college. You're definitely going to want to memorize those vocab words and study every day if you can bring yourself to do so. It totally stinks...I know. But the more often you familiarize yourself with the material, the less cramming you'll have to do during midterm and finals week.
If you truly don't understand something, I can guarantee that someone else in your class full of 60+ students doesn't either. So ask if you need help or clarification. And if you still don't get it? Email your professor or stop into office hours.
Make Sure You Know Your Classmates
I always make sure I have at least one contact in every one of my classes. That way, if I have a homework or general question, I have someone else to ask. It also helps with studying for tests and quizzes. There's always a chance they're in a study group for that course that you don't know about and chances are they'll invite you!
Handwrite Those Notes
Personally, I handwrite my class notes. I know that typing is much faster...but if you're in a class that you can keep up with while handwriting your notes, you'll retain more information. If you can't keep up with the pace of the course handwriting your notes, then try typing out your notes and then handwrite them after class. Yes, it's more time-consuming. But in the end you'll retain way more information.
This one sounds so weird...but literally guys. CARRY SNACKS! I always end up in little study spots on campus and I always get hungry. Sometimes I'll have a packed day and I forget to grab food in between classes or I just don't have time and I need something to help tide me over until I can get a meal. And I realllllly don't like to be that kid in class with a loud stomach :)
Take Advantage Of Your Counseling Program
Some schools offer a certain number of free counseling sessions. I definitely took advantage of those sessions my first two years. It's hard adjusting to a new living situation, and sometimes just talking to someone can help you sort out your priorities if you need a little boost. My freshmen year, I went in for athletic mental training to help cope with student athlete stress. Then my sophomore year, I went to help with time management. So worth it.
...if you can. I'm still working on this one. Guys, I probably blew 2-3 grand on eating out my freshmen year. Don't make that same mistake. Be conservative with eating out and buy groceries hahahaha.
Make Time To Work Out
You're going to have a lot of free time in college, but you'll probably find that you fill that free time with hanging out with friends, sleeping, or Netflixing to be honest. It's so easy to skip the gym and fall into the habit of never going. Your body really needs to release those endorphins though! So try and carve out some time to work out at least a couple of times a week. It'll also help your concentration in class and release some stress that comes along with being a college student.
Get To Know Your Professors
Your classes are going to be pretty big sometimes, but that doesn't mean your professors won't still get to know you. But also know that you have to put in some effort to get to know them as well! One of my favorite professors at school helped me get out of a huge funk this past year. I actually went through this period where I wanted to drop out of school entirely, so I went in to talk to a professor that I trusted would have a great perspective on my situation and respect where I was coming from. He basically told me to get my head out of my ass and get my degree. So I am indeed... :)
If You Don't Wanna Party, You Don't Have To
There's always going to be parties and opportunities to go out with friends. Just know that if partying makes you feel uncomfortable, you don't have to go by any means! If people peer pressure you into doing something that makes you feel uncomfortable, then they aren't truly a friend. My freshmen year I went out with friends to parties, but I didn't drink really....like at all. I mostly went to socialize. And I was kind of surprised at how often people offered me drinks, but when I turned them down that was that. No pressure, no nothing. You're mature and people can respect your decisions in college. If you want to drink, be responsible and my goodness--make sure you either stay the night somewhere safe with someone you trust or make sure you have someone responsible to walk you back to your place.
College is full of amazing opportunities and people. It's pretty much a huge networking opportunity, so be sure to take advantage of the 4 years you have to get to know the next millionaires and world innovators! The world is collaborative, so find ways to collaborate with the nation's brightest minds and figure out ways to make those dreams happen. You never know who you'll wish you connected with during school after graduation!
Find Time To Call Your Parents
Your parents miss you. Make sure you set aside some time to call them now and then. To be honest, I call mine like everyday and sometimes more than once a day. They want to know how your day went and what's going on with ya...so be sure to keep in touch with them :) It'll mean a lot to them.
Alright, now let's talk clothes! In college, I tended to leave my summer clothes at home in Colorado during the winter, and vice versa. I didn't spend a ton of money on clothes during school because I tended to restyle a lot of what I already had in my closet. I kind of tricked people into thinking I was constantly shopping, when in reality I was just reusing pieces and mixing them in different ways to give off that illusion.
One of the companies that I ordered online a lot from is Mad Style. They shipped pretty quickly, and I didn't have to leave the apartment to figure out what I wanted. My favorite piece from them is this skirt that I wear all the time! It has built in shorts, and I loveeee the tropical pattern.
I also recently picked up this white hat that I'm super stoked about since I've been searching for a white hat for so long!
Anddd I also got this neck scarf that I repurposed and used as a hair tie since my hair was sooooo nappy this week!