Wednesday, July 18, 2012

10 Things All Incoming College Freshmen Should Know

Hey everyone!

As August approaches, it is safe to say that the anxiety level of incoming college freshmen rises. And to be honest, I think the anxiety level for all ages of college students rises. I know last summer I was a complete lunatic about college, as a sophomore.

This year, thankfully, I am so much calmer.

So I definitely want to help others get through pre-college jitters, and to truly enjoy the ride. Because in the end, you only have one freshman move-in day, and let me tell you, it will never feel just like it does that day.

{Ugh...packing!! But after reading this, hopefully this is your biggest worry!!}

While I think there are a lot of important things to know going into college, I'm going to offer my favorite 10 tips that would have helped me. There are tons more (and if you wanna add any, please do!), but these are the first few that I definitely thought of.

1.) Don't plan on being best friends with your roommate. You'll hear this a TON, but that's because it's just good advice. College is scary, so it's understandable to grip a little tighter to your roommate the first week or so. But expecting to be the future maid of honor for your roommate is just going to creep her out, limit the number of people you'll get to meet, and possibily make your living situation not so great.

2.) Keep your dorm room door open the first two weeks of school. This is a must in my book. If you are afraid that you won't make friends, this is the fastest and easiest way to avoid that. It's not only showing that you are friendly and wanting to seek a community feeling, but also let's people, who are just generally curious, see the amazingly decorated room you have! (Bonus: keep snacks and soda on hand and people will love you forever!)

{Decorating Your Door Also Helps! See our Halloween Door?}

3.) Become friends with your RA (Resident Assistant). This is also very important I think. Your RA is a student just like you, so feel free to ask them to watch a movie in the community lounge or go to the dining hall with you! They'd love it. Plus, it's a great way to meet other people on your floor and to have an ally in the building in case you need help filling out a work order (because lights burn out and your sink drain will clog). Plus, if your RA likes you, chances are, they won't dog on you too much for the TV being a little too loud during quiet hours. And they arrange cool floor events like this one I attended!

{See all these creeps and weirdos? This was my floor. Moments like this will be remembered forever.}

4.) Be flexible. If your roommate goes to bed at 9 (which my freshman year one, actually did. And she woke up at 6 am), be nice and either limit the amount of light in the room, or head out to your living room (if you're in a suite), study room, or common lounge. Flexibility is just needed in general when you live with others. It's all give and take.

{By just having one lamp on, you could be saving yourself from roommate drama}

5.) Go to all the free events you can. I know my college offers tons of things the first four days you move in, all to make you feel at home, introduce you to people, and to have fun. For instance, move in night is always movie night on the hill. Go! You'll have fun, feel good to get out of your dorm room, and you just might meet some cool people! I always shake my head when people complain they don't have many friends when they're freshmen, because when asked if they went to these events, they ALWAYS answer no. Facebook in your dorm can wait. There's plenty of time in October and November when nothing is going on, for that.

{There's a world outstide of you dorm room! Explore it!!}

6.) Join clubs and least for one meeting. This is what everyone talks about when they say hit up the free food and free shirts. Do it. My college has a zombie club, swing dance club, and totally other random groups. It's not like high school. And just because you go to one meeting doesn't mean you are bound to them the next four years.

7.) Be open to Greek life. I know, we've all heard horror stories, watched TV and movies where all they show is hazing and partying. However, that is nowhere close to the truth (especially hazing, which every college I know of has ZERO tolerance for). This is the number one way to meet people. Trust me. And just because you are shy, smart, dumb, old, young, black, white, or whatever, doesn't mean it's not for you. Be open! That's what college is all about! Push yourself to expand outside your comfort zone! There's nothing to lose!

Source {Go Greek!}
 8.) Remember, you are there first and always for school. Definitely don't skip class. Especially not the first week. Buy your books (check out all the online sites for cheap alternatives! I really like Amazon and, bring your supplies, and do your homework. You won't regret it.   

(Pssst...if you want some AMAZING college study tips, read this by The College Prepster!!)

{My Lilly agenda is more than just cute. It's an organizational tool!}

 9.) Call your mom. And dad. Tell them how you're doing. What your roommate is like, the cool people you've met, your new favorite class, what you've ate at the dining hall. They miss you a lot. And while you are out doing all these awesome things, they're worried they you are drunk/homesick/failing out of school/not eating well/and most of all, forgetting about them.

Source: Etsy

10.) Everyone will feel homesick. You'll miss your mom's cooking, your pets, your very own bed, having a room to yourself, and all your old friends. So use the resources that we have in this day and age. Text, call, email, Facebook, and Skype. If you can, go back home however often you feel the need (in my opinion you should go home when you feel like it, don't let your new friends influence you if you need to recharge).

So hopefully this tips help a little bit! College is definitely stressful, but a super exciting, transition. Relax and enjoy it! 

Thanks for reading! 


  1. I love this! i'm a junior in college and these are all definitely true - and very helpful - for all freshmen.

  2. Thanks Chelsey!! Thanks for reading!