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ADVICE TO THE INCOMING COLLEGE FRESHMAN: SOCIAL & CAMPUS LIFE.


College! It's such an exciting time in life & I'm SO excited that you're going to be experiencing it as well! There's lots of mixers, campus events, organizations, & caffeine- yay! But aside from the fun stuff, there's also classes, exams, adjusting to life away from home, & a whole new world to explore beyond your hometown. While all of that may seem scary, don't worry! I've come up with a list of advice (categorized, obviously) to help you adjust to life as a college freshman. It wasn't just me that came up with this advice, either- my college friends helped me, that way I could get more feedback from other people who may have better/ more advice than me on certain subjects (like campus life for example since I live at home).

Today, we will be talking about SOCIAL & CAMPUS LIFE ADVICE, so let's get started!

SOCIAL:

1. GET INVOLVED!

Cliche, we know, but go to events, even if you may not want to go to them, especially at the beginning of the year- you never know what could happen! For example, I met my group of college best friends at an event our campus held at the beginning of the school year & we have done everything together since!

2. MAKE CONNECTIONS

Making connections & talking to people can be a bit scary, we get it. But college is all about getting your education & making connections to other students & professors to help you with your future career or even right now! Making good connections early on can help you a lot later on down the road!

3. DON'T JOIN A SORORITY IF YOU AREN'T FOR SURE ON IT

I almost rushed for a Panhellenic sorority my freshman year of college. I ended up not rushing though because I realized it wasn't for me- and that's perfectly fine! You don't have to be in Greek life to get involved. There are PLENTY of opportunities for you to get involved & meet people on campus, you just have to find the right one(s) for you!

(check your school calendar for organization fairs on campus!)

4. DON'T LIMIT YOURSELF TO WHO YOU'RE FRIENDS WITH

It's going to be SO easy to just become friends with people who are studying the same thing as you. That's okay! Be friends with, learn, & grow with them. But also try to branch out & be friends with other people who aren't studying the same thing as you, even if that's just being nice to someone in your computer class. You never know what could happen!

5. DON'T BE SCARED OF UPPERCLASSMEN!

Going into college, you may be intimidated by older college students. They may know more than you or seem like they have their life figured out. What's the secret? They don't. (Well, they don't have their life figured out anyways. They may know a little more than you though!). Become friends with those older than you because they can help you through college (including which professors you should/ shouldn't take!). Honestly, the older students can show you the ropes, especially those that're your same major.

6. DON'T EXPECT TO STAY FRIENDS WITH THE SAME FRIENDS YOU MADE THE FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL

I may be a bad person to say this (considering I met my friend group the day before classes started & we are all still friends today), but I did make other friends during the first few weeks- even the first semester- that I don't talk to anymore. It's not a bad thing! You've just grown apart since when you first met. But if there are friends that you click with, make sure you stick with them! They'll be some of your biggest supporters (and therapists!) throughout college.

7. UTILIZE THE FACEBOOK PAGES!

Going into college, you'll be put in a million different Facebook pages- keep up with them! My university made one for the entire graduating class. Sometimes the posts on there can get a bit random, but it does help for the most part! They even put admins on there that are faculty who can better answer our questions we may have.

8. IT'S OKAY NOT TO BE A PARTY PERSON.

I HATE college parties. Literally, I could care less for them. My idea of a party is eating pizza & popcorn with friends while we sit around playing card games or watching a movie. The point is, you don't HAVE to be a party person if you don't want to be! There are plenty of other ways to have fun:)

9. KEEP UP WITH ALL BUSINESS CARDS

Business cards are practically royalty, especially once you get to college. If you have a business card, you're cool in my mind. Save allllllllll of these- you never know when they'll come in handy!

(TIP FROM MY FRIEND, CAELA: Put all of the info from these cards into a Google sheet so you don't have to keep up with a million business cards!)

10. SUPPORT YOUR PEERS!

Supporting your peers is HUGE! Whether they're presenting or performing or anything in between, supporting your peers helps both them & you a ton. As a music business major, I love going to see my friends perform + have fun doing what they love on stage & as a performer, I love having my friends there to see me perform + support me! You never know what talent you have all around you until you see it for yourself!

CAMPUS LIFE:

1. SPEND YOUR CAMPUS MONEY WISELY

Whether you'll be living on campus or not, you will probably have some sort of campus currency to use on food, supplies, etc. & that's great! A lot of times it can come in handy when you don't want to use your debit card or cash & it's basically your "campus debit card." Just make sure you buy the RIGHT THINGS with this money & that you don't run out too quickly!

2. BE PREPARED TO RETURN HALF OF WHAT YOU BUY FOR YOUR DORM

This was a big one with my friends (like they all emphasized this one in our group chat). You're going to buy all this stuff for your dorm room & it'll be super cute, but you may not have room for it ALL in your dorm room because it's small enough to begin with & then you're also sharing it with someone. Also keep in mind that you can always buy or order more things for your room later!

3. BUY DORM STUFF TO LAST YOU ALL FOUR YEARS

Another dorm decor tip from my friend Korie was to make sure you buy stuff that can last you all four years of college, not just your first year. That could mean bedding, but that's also things like towels, appliances, & more! A lot of times, it's easier to invest at the beginning rather than spending more money than you planned by purchasing cheaper versions of things that you know you'll have to replace in a year.

4. TAKE YOUR VITAMINS

Being in college (and especially living on campus) can expose you to a lot of germs, so make sure you take care of yourself! Take whatever vitamins will help you to stay the healthiest (which if we're being honest is probably all of them, but you do you).

5. GET PEPPER SPRAY

Just be safe. That's all.

6. PLAN WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO EAT

Whether you live on campus or not, this is a huge one. planning out what you eat for the week or even just for the day helps a lot. College is really busy time in your life, so it's really easy to just grab food when you're out. After eating out so much though, you start to realize the meaning of "Freshman 15." Avoid this by trying to minimize how much you're eating out & by making yourself food!

7. MAKE SURE YOU ALWAYS HAVE YOUR KEY WITH YOU!

Being certain that you have your key with you for your dorm is a big necessity. My friends have gotten locked out of their room when they've gone to the shower a LOT, so try your best not to join the club!

8. FIND A FEW FRIENDS TO CONFIDE IN

Having friends you can trust is big, but finding friends you can confide in as well is huge. These friends will be your support system, especially if you're homesick or have an issue you need to talk through/ figure out.

9. TAKE NAPS

Honestly, I never heard of people liking naps so much until I came to college. There is absolutely NO SHAME in taking naps! College is a super busy time (as I've said before), so some nights you may get a few to no hours of sleep. Taking a nap to recharge is good!

10. FIND A TIME WHEN THE SHOWERS AREN'T CROWDED

People are creatures of habit, so after a while, you'll start to notice that everyone will start to take showers around the same time every day, depending on what fits their schedules best. Start to take note of when the showers aren't crowded & try to take one then!

11. DON'T LEAVE YOUR PARKING SPOT ON A WEEKDAY

This one is specifically for people who live on campus & have a car. If you move your car, someone WILL take your spot, especially if you have good parking spot. Also, if you're parked in a commuter lot & you can already walk to class because you live on campus, please know that I get mad at you when you take one of the few parking spots left:) Sorry not sorry for that PSA.

(SIDE NOTE: My school, as I'm sure most other schools, doesn't have a ton of parking for commuters, so parking is always frustrating. It's nothing we can change, but it seems to have turned into a running passive aggressive joke on campus)

12. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE REC CENTER

Do not- I repeat DO NOT- buy yourself a gym membership! Then money you pay towards your tuition & fees every year also includes rec center costs, so it's free & they have everything you'd get in a gym there for you to use!

13. DON'T BRING YOUR ENTIRE WARDROBE!

This is a huge one, ladies! If you're anything like me, you overpack. But you won't need your winter sweaters in August! Wait until you go home for fall break or closer to the time that the cooler weather starts coming around to switch out the clothes in your closet at school! It'll give you something fun to do on the weekend & will also give you an excuse to go home to see your family.

14. MAKE FRIENDS WITH YOUR RA!

If you live in the dorms, you'll have an RA (resident assistant). This person is over your floor of the dorm pretty much. They can be really nice if you get along with them, though, so be nice to them! They can also be lenient if you accidentally show up late to a floor meeting:)

So there you have it, ladies & gents! That was the first of the three part "College Freshman" advice guide! I hope you enjoyed & learned from this & if you have any more tips or advice, leave it in the comment section below! Thanks for reading! You rock. -GC


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