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30 Things I Wish I Knew Before my Freshman Year of College

young-woman-computerBy Sara Thomson

  1. Don’t buy textbooks from the campus bookstore, rent them online in an e-book form or buy the downloadable PDF version. It’s cheaper.
  2. Go to the gym and eat vegetables. The way you treat your body will affect how your body performs.
  3. Apply for internships or jobs in your field every summer to start building your resume now.
  4. Call your parents!
  5. Go to office hours and do the extra credit to bump up your grades.
  6. Be friendly with everyone, you can find friends in some of the weirdest places, like the dining hall or library.
  7. Live on campus for at least a year. The bed won’t be comfortable and the rooms are tiny but you’ll learn a lot about yourself and others.
  8. Sit in the front row of classes, especially the classes you don’t like. It will help you focus.
  9. Don’t date the first person who shows interest in you, but don’t write them off either. Make friends and learn about the person before you make any dating decisions your first semester.
  10. Just because you failed a test or had to withdraw from a class does not mean the world is ending. Life goes on and so should you. Learn from your mistakes and then move on.
  11. Learn about yourself and your interests. Have a tentative plan for the future, figure out where you want to be in 3, 5 and 10 years.
  12. Go out at 3 am for tacos with your friends.
  13. Your friends from first semester freshman year probably won’t be your friends’ senior year.
  14. You’re paying several thousand dollars to be at college so go to class.
  15. Get organized.
  16. Take a couple random classes. Learn how to design a website or paint even if it’s not in your degree plan. You’re at college to learn.
  17. Don’t take an 8 am class.
  18. Don’t take a 9 am class if you like to sleep in.
  19. Listen to the upperclassman, they know the shortcuts, which professors to take, and what order to take your classes in.
  20. Learn to manage your stress.
  21. It’s okay to be undecided for now, but not forever.
  22. The class syllabus is your new best friend, it has everything you need to know for your class.
  23. Try to get a full night of sleep, you’ll thank yourself the next day.
  24. Take Friday or Saturday nights off, you don’t have to do homework every night of the week.
  25. There will be parties, you don’t have to go. But if you do be careful and drink water.
  26. Explore your town. Find community activities or hiking trails. Get off campus and be a tourist in your city.
  27. Wash your cereal bowl or coffee mug. There are other people living with you, and it’s gross.
  28. Even when you’re a junior there are always new scholarships. It’s free money so take advantage of open scholarships.
  29. You can get discounts through Apple, J Crew, Ann Taylor and so much more with your student ID.
  30. Don’t be afraid of change.

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