A few words of wisdom for all the freshmen about to call a new place their home.
Welcome back to The Rose & Curl. I am very happy to have ya here.
Today I’d like to talk specifically to the freshmen about to go to college for the first time. Only a year ago, I was in your position, excited and nervous to have a fresh start and leave high school behind. It will be a crazy, fun, and sometimes scary journey, but it’s so worth it.
For those of you who read my last post (I’m Transferring Colleges?!), you know that I am about to embark on a journey to the lovely cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul to spend the next few years. With moving to a new place comes a myriad of different emotions, though, markedly fear, anxiety, and, of course, excitement. It also comes with a whole lot of reflection. I’ve picked up some pieces of wisdom from my first year of college and I’d like to share them with you.
So, without further ado, here’s a little something for all the students out there:
Don’t start dating someone during the first (or second, or third) week of school. You literally don’t know anything about him yet.
Do put yourself out there. Meet everyone, exclude no one. Make friends with the people you wouldn’t typically. You never know who will stick.
Don’t be cliquey. This isn’t high school anymore!
Do be kind. It goes without saying.
Don’t be afraid to try new things: sports, foods, clubs, classes. No one knows you yet, so feel free to explore interests you may not have before.
Do set limits, though. You can’t do everything and grades are very important. Time management skills are key.
Don’t forget to call home. Your parents miss you. They’re also worried about you.
Do feel free to pave your own path. You are an adult now so make your own choices! Learn from your mistakes and try again, even when you fail.
Don’t be afraid to take advantage of the services your school offers. Study sessions, office hours, the health center, counselors, whatever. These people are here for you, but they don’t know what you need until you’re vocal about it!
Do treat your RA’s, professors, peers, and classmates with respect. You don’t want to be known as the gossip or the bad mouther.
Don’t forget your inherent worth. It doesn’t come from how many likes you get on Instagram, who thinks you’re hot, or what grade you get on that paper. You are always worthy of love and respect. Don’t let anyone treat you differently.
Do explore yourself! If that means changing your major, dying your hair, or learning a new language, you are never too old to make a change. As Ken Blanchard once said, “When you stop learning, you stop growing.”
Don’t have crazy expectations for your experience, your friends, or yourself. Let things come and go. Maybe you won’t like the school you’re at, or the major you chose, or the roommate you have. That doesn’t mean you have failed. Nothing always goes according to plan! Take what life throws at you and move forward.
Do remember your roots and where you came from. For me, it was (and is) my faith. Let this new opportunity grow you in your beliefs even when you face opposition.
But don’t disregard what other people think even if it’s different than you. Keep an open mind and do not judge others regardless of their different political, religious, etc. beliefs. What makes us different makes us unique.
Do make friends with people in the rooms next door. It’s nice to have friends so close!
Don’t worry if your roommate and you don’t click. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. Simply make sure you always respect their boundaries and wishes.
Do get involved on campus. You won’t regret it.
Don’t focus so much on what people want/expect of you that you lose yourself. Don’t people please. You must stay true to you.
Do remember to take care of yourself. Self-care may include skipping the party to read, take a bath, or get to sleep early. Staying healthy is crucial to a satisfying college experience.
Don’t hang around people who don’t like you for you. If you have to pretend around them, they’re not your true friends.
Do everything in moderation. This includes homework, exercise, partying, etc. “Too much of any one thing is unsound.” – Walter Annenberg. Balance is key.
Don’t be afraid to transfer schools after this year if the one you chose doesn’t fit you right. Take it from me, I was scared to transfer but I know now that it was one of the best decisions I have made. You must do what’s right for you, regardless of what other people think.
Do have fun!! They say the college years are some of the best in your life. Don’t waste ’em. 🙂
And that’s all for now! College freshmen, starting over can be hard but it is also an amazing opportunity to grow and change. As for a fresh start, I’m right there with you. Let this year surprise you. Are you ready?
P.S. Let me know if you have any questions about transferring, going to school, etc. Leave them in the comments below or email me!
Pictures by Abby Mason