Freshman Year Advice Nobody Else Gave You

If you’re anything like me, the “advice for your freshman year/college/blahblahblah” lists are way too tempting to pass up; what if there’s some life-changing tip that you don’t read and then your freshman year is a failure and you become a hobo all because you didn’t read that one blog list?! Upon reading advice blog after advice blog, you realize that most of the advice is more or less the sameish. Now it’s pretty much all good advice and you should read those and listen carefully, but there are a few things that I learned last year that won’t show up on any of those lists. Without further ado, here they are:

1. Whatever you do, do not waste your time and energy looking for a relationship.
I know, I know. You’re in a pool of thousands of other people and there’s going to be pressure to find someone to date. If you happen to find someone, awesome. If you don’t, awesome. If you happen to not find someone, put that energy into meeting new people that you can develop true, honest friendships with. In my opinion, making awesome friends enriched my freshman year more than a boyfriend probably would’ve (but that’s just me). Oh, and get really used to people asking why you’re not in a relationship and assuring you that you’ll find someone at some point- it’s easiest to just let it happen, let other people worry about your love life, and keep on being you until someone great comes along.

2. Always always always drive a drunk friend/acquaintance/a friend of a friend home.
Even if it’s 3 a.m. and you haven’t slept at all and you have a test the next morning. There are things more important than an extra hour of sleep, and making sure people get home safely is one of them.

3. Friday nights at the rec are the best Friday nights.
Oh you mean you hate going out (like me) and typically spend your weekends watching Netflix and knitting with your best friend (like me) and as usual, have nothing planned on a Friday night?! Go to the rec. It’s boring, I know, but you typically share the entire place with like 4 other people and can use any and every machine your heart desires for as long as you want. As an added bonus, there usually aren’t creepy people trying to check you out while you’re attempting to work off that extra helping of froyo and oreos you ate at lunch. And as an extra added bonus (get excited), while everyone else is out working very diligently on their beer gut, you are getting a little closer to having abs (maybe). Way to go.

4. Make friends in your major.
I kid you not, the best thing ever is when you have a group of like 6 people you actually like who happen to be suffering through the same major as you and who understand how difficult all of your classes are. They will forever have your back with labs and missing class and when you accidentally wake up from a nap late and tell your TA what’s going on while you sprint a mile with a heavy backpack on. They also force you to get your lab writeups and homework done way before you would have on your own because they’re just great people like that.

5. Give people from your high school another shot.
Some of my best friends now are people I went to high school with but were never really friends of mine. Nobody is ever how they appear to be at school, and usually they end up way cooler than you thought. Give them a shot and you will probably be pleasantly surprised. You can also carpool home with them which is great.

6. Ladies, master the art of “no makeup makeup.”
I’m sure you’ve seen this on Pinterest before. If not, look up Maskcara’s version. This is your new beauty routine when you feel like actually putting on makeup because most days you’re going to be really proud of yourself if you can manage to wash your face and throw on some concealer over those zits before you head to class. It also goes flawlessly with your new wardrobe of t-shirts, sweatshirts, athletic shorts, and glasses. If this scares you a little, just know that you will come out of this year loving your 100% natural self.

7. Last, but not least, treat yourself well.
Maybe this ends up on all of those other freshman year advice blogs, but that’s because this is really huge. Taking care of yourself does not have to be huge, however; carry a water bottle with you to class, wash your face twice a day, go to bed before 1 a.m., workout at least 4x a week (30 minutes is better than none), and call your family (they will often remind you that you are loved no matter what grades you get). If you are religious, treating yourself well also means going to church when you can. I didn’t do this first semester, and the difference between how I viewed myself/my life between first and second semester was huge. You may not think so, but I promise that you need a daily dose of God.

Like I said, these aren’t necessarily the most important things anyone will ever tell you about your freshman year, but I’m hoping they help a little. You will have times where you think you’ll never live through this year and times when you never want it to end. I promise that if you stay true to yourself and really put everything you have into this year, you will absolutely love it.

Good luck.
RICHARD NIXON

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