Updated: Nov 12, 2020
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 ADVICE ON EVERYTHING ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW, so let's get started!
1. TAKE ALL THE FREEBIES YOU CAN
Yes, this includes food. Freebies are great because let's face it- college kids aren't super rich. So get that free meal, shirt, or concert ticket! (Yes, concert ticket. I won them from an off-campus bookstore...to see JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE. It was GREAT.)
2. PEOPLE CHANGE ONCE THEY GO TO COLLEGE & THAT'S OKAY!
This can be both the people you knew back home & yourself! College is a time of discovering who you truly are as a person/ young adult, so people can change. It doesn't mean you don't like each other anymore, but rather means that you've just grown apart.
3. MAKE TIME FOR YOUR OLD FRIENDS BACK HOME
Hold onto those you are still kept in touch & are close with! Make sure you invest in these friends as much as you can because while yes, you're making friends at college, it's also important to keep friends around that knew you during your best & worst points up until college. The ones who: knew you during your awkward phase, know who your first crush was, & your family members like they're related to them.
4. APPLY FOR CONTESTS & OPPORTUNITIES!
Apply for things, even if you think that they're impossible. Sometimes God will just put things in front of you that will be one of the greatest things to ever happen to you! For example, I found one of my favorite Nashville events of the year from some email that randomly appeared in my campus inbox this past spring semester. Go for it- you never know until you try!
5. BE FRIENDS WITH YOUR PROFESSORS
This is especially great for the professors involved in classes for your major/minor. These professors are for you & want you to succeed as much as you can, so they want to try to help you get internships & jobs! The better you know them, the more likely they are to write a recommendation letter for you to give a company in the future.
6. ALWAYS CARRY AN UMBRELLA/ CHECK THE WEATHER!
This is a big one that my friends & I always seemed to forget at one point or another. Checking the weather before you head to class is crucial for obvious reasons, but also make sure you wear the right SHOES according to the weather. I made the mistake of wearing riding boots one day this past spring semester. It was 35 degrees when I went to my 8am class, but almost 60 degrees by the time I went to my 11:30am class. Thank goodness I live at home because my sweet mom came to the rescue & brought me a change of clothes/ shoes! But seriously. You need to dress right for the weather. Also, ALWAYS keep a little umbrella in your backpack- it rains at the worst possible times on campus!
7. HAVE A PIZZA PARTY WITH FRIENDS!
My friends & I would get together & do pizza parties for dinner sometimes throughout the year because it's both fun & cost efficient! Once you split the cost, it's only about $3 a person for dinner. You also get lots laughs & serious advice talks from your friends when you do this!
8. ALWAYS BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS
My mom always tells me before I leave the house to be aware of my surroundings & it's true. You should always be cautious wherever you are! I always have someone else walk with me to my car at night & most of the times, it's one of my guy friends. You can also call the campus police & they will gladly walk you to your car at night- there's no shame in that! Just be safe, y'all!
9. DON'T GO ANYWHERE WITHOUT YOUR CAMPUS ID
This is a really random one, but also one of the most important ones. Your campus ID is used to get into some buildings (like the rec center), but it can also be used as your campus debit card if you have a meal plan or cash on it. Also, you can get DISCOUNTS at retail stores & restaurants with your college ID, so always make sure to ask your cashier if your ID applies there for a discount & save that money!
10. FIND A SMALL GROUP
This is a big one. Finding a group of fellow believers that you can hold accountable & vice versa is a great thing, especially in college. The first step is finding the right college ministry & then from there, you'll be able to find the best small group for you!
11. TAKE CARE OF YOUR SKIN!
College is a time of stress, little sleep, & lots of caffeine, so make sure you take care of your skin through all of that! This may mean altering your skincare routine slightly, but it'll be worth it:)
12. YOU DON'T HAVE TO LOOK PERFECT 24/7
If college has taught me anything so far, it's taught me that you don't always have to be perfect. I've learned that no one care what you look like, so you don't always have to have perfect clothes, hair, & makeup. A lot of times if I don't have work classes, I'll just wear leggings, a t-shirt, & minimal makeup- it's GREAT. You also don't always have to be "on"- it's okay to be stressed & to tell your friends about it! College is stressful in general, so sometimes talking it out with your friends helps:)
13. CALL YOUR MOM
Don't get so wrapped up in college that you don't have a chance to call your mama! She's going to want to know how you're doing, what you've been up to, & how "healthy" you're eating- so call her & let her know!
14. EXPLORE THE TOWN YOU LIVE IN
Exploring where you live helps when you need to go get groceries, shop for clothes, get gas, & so much more. I'm from the town that my college is in, so I pretty much know my way around, but it helps a lot if you're from out of town! Also, if you live near major city (like me living right by Nashville), explore that city too! There's a lot to do all around you, so get out & EXPLORE.
15. DOING THE HARD STUFF NOW HELPS YOU REACH YOUR GOALS
This may sound cliche, but it's true. Putting your time in at the beginning of your college career helps you get a step forward in the future for internships, jobs, etc. It shows that you're willing to do the hard/ dirty work to get where you want to end up one day & also gets your foot in the door!
So there you have it, ladies & gents! That was the final post in 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