While debating about what I want my first real blog post to be about I was trying to think about what was important to me during this time of my life! Before writing about all the fun things happening the summer, I want to share about my first year of college and some of the things that I learned! Perhaps, I could pass those things onto you and save you some trouble.
Freshman year of college was a dramatic change from high school. I also didn’t go to a very big high school (graduating class of 40..), going to GCU this past year was definitely a shocker! I didn’t really have any friends that were going to college with me so I was a little nervous about that as well as being away from my family, regardless it is only 30 minutes from home. A hung out with many different people the first couple of weeks but in September I met my best friend, Ashlee! That leads me to my first point.
1. You will always be nervous, BUT you will meet your best friend in college! We all have friends from high school and our childhood and very few of them we will remain friends with so be open to meeting your lifelong best friends when off at college! That is something to be very excited about.
2. Don’t be afraid to talk to anyone because chances are they are just as nervous as you are!
3. Moving in is a great experience and its going to be your home for the next 8 months so make it your own. Spend time over the summer getting ready and planning out a cute dorm room. Pinterest was a HUGE help for me in deciding what I wanted my dorm to look like as well as super easy and fun DIY projects.
Making your dorm room your own is super fun and easy! I made almost everything on the wall myself!
4. Talk to your roommate(s) about how clean you want the room to be, chores to be done, and anything else you have worries about. Most people don’t think about it but it’s so much easier if from the beginning there is an understanding of personal space and who needs to take out the trash/wash the dishes etc.
5. Although college is fun, don’t forget that purpose is SCHOOL! I remember being so excited to move into the dorms and meet new people I almost forgot that I was going to be starting classes.
6. Talk to your SSA about your schedule. 7am classes aren’t that bad if they are only twice a week, but they are still rough. Try and get all your classes close together that way you get them done and have the rest of the day. Having many hours in between classes will make it harder to go back to class.
7. ALWAYS take notes in class. Use a planner and stay on top of your homework. Its better to be ahead of the class than falling behind. With that being said, try to do the readings before you go to class so you already have an understanding of the topic and class is more of a review.
8. You will not always be good at number 7. Try your best but still relax and treat yourself when doing good on an assignment.
9. Take breaks. When studying its hard to go hours and hours and hours. Study for a couple of hours take a 30 minute break then come back to it.
10. You will live in the campus coffee shop. Everyone does. It’s the best place to study or hangout.
11. If you don’t like coffee…start to like it.
12. ALWAYS have a pair of headphones. And a backup pair.
13. Go to as many sporting events as you can. All of GCU sports games were free for us as students so that was a fun thing to do!
14. When at the sporting events, go crazy! Be spirited. It is so much more fun to be in the student section!
15. It sucks but stay on top of your laundry because before you know it you are running out of clothes to wear. If you have a small load to do, combine it with your best friends.
16. SAVE ALL YOUR QUARTERS FOR LAUNDRY. There is nothing more frustrating when the machine only takes quarters and you have nothing but bills. Also set an alarm because no one likes the girl who forgets about her laundry for hours!
17. If you are from a different state, make friends with someone from the area because their family will become your second family. (This is something my best friends would say – they are all from different states)
18. You don’t need to bring everything you own. I know its hard because you want to have it all just in case but chances are you won’t use most of it.
19. The freshman 15 is a very real thing. Make time for the gym and make good food choices! Get a workout buddy, it makes it so much easier to go to the gym when you have someone with you! Try not to snack after 8-9pm it will help so much!
20. When in your room, keep your door open. It will make it easier to be social and it will also make you want to keep your room clean!
21. Join the clubs. Even if they have outrageous names, you will meet new people with similar interests as you.
22. Call your family as often as you can. It’s easy to be overwhelmed with the business of college but they are there to support you and a conversation with mom may be just what you need to feel motivated again.
23. Never walk alone at night. You want to forget the danger and crimes that can happen on campus. For my school, my parking lot was off campus and not very lit so I tried to always walk with someone and have pepper spray too, just to be safe.
24. Wash your hands, take vitamins, and make Clorox wipes your best friend. Being surrounded by tons of people suddenly, sicknesses spread REALLY fast. I was more sick my freshman year than all four years of high school…
25. Lock your door whenever you leave your dorm to protect your personal items. On that note, get a key chain so you don’t lock yourself out!
26. Last but not least, DON’T FORGET TO ENJOY IT! Don’t take this part of your life for granted. A lot of times I was just wishing that it would go by super fast to get it done and over with but then I remember how lucky I am to be in this season of life. I know that someday I will be wishing I could be back where I am right now. You will miss it!
So there you have it! 26 tips, tricks, and things I learned to survive my freshman year of college! If you have any other questions let me know, I would be happy to share my advice with you!