Ah, freshman year! The hassles of campus life, college dorms, coping with stress and the dreaded Freshman 15. This article will help college freshmen learn to recognize those embarrassing signs that you’re new to all this college stuff and offer tips to adjust to college life and achieve student success.
1. You have way (WAY!) too much stuff
Don’t bring a U-Haul full of stuff for a small dorm room. You’re not moving into a mansion, you’re living in a cramped dorm, with another person and all his/her stuff, so don’t bring the contents of your entire bedroom. Sort through the essential clothes, toiletries, books and electronics. Think of packing for a week’s vacation. Anything else you need you can either buy, borrow off your friends…or go back home for!
2. You’re always lost
“You carry a campus map with you everywhere. It’s the one they gave you at orientation, and you have your class locations marked on it. You still get lost,” wrote Ariel Nagi in “21 telltale signs you’re a college freshman” in Seventeen.com posted July 29, 2014. And “you spend 30 minutes walking around campus because you can’t find your class. When you finally find it, you walk in late sweating … and out of breath from running around, and realize you read your schedule wrong and this class only meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays.”
3. You eat like a horse in your college cafeteria
Hey, it’s all-you-can eat for a reason, right? So what if you had three burgers and six visits to the salad bar. Everyone’s heard of the Freshman 15, those extra pounds that new college students pack on the first year due to stress, a new environment and new living conditions. Try to adopt the same eating and exercise patterns you had in high school. And remember, the tomato sauce on pizza is not a vegetable.
4. You look too eager
Don’t look too wide eyed and eager to please. Sure, be cordial, open and friendly. But don’t bug people and get all up in their space. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to make friends that will come naturally. Don’t push it or try so hard. You’ll only seem desperate.
5. You try to be someone you’re not
“Your first year of college teaches you to be yourself. College is a fresh start, a chance to try new things, meet new people and find out who you are. That being said, this does not mean changing yourself to try and be ‘cool.’ People can always tell when someone isn’t being true,” wrote Heather Mirynech in “7 Things You Realize After Your Freshman Year At College,” posted on EliteDaily.com, April 28, 2014. “College is full of people, and no matter what you do, you’ll make friends with similar interests. You want to be able to look in the mirror at the end of the day and smile, content with yourself that you’re happy being you, not trying to keep up the trying task of being someone you’re not.”
6. You invite your whole floor to a party
“So you were invited to this party of this guy whose sister is your best friend’s boyfriend’s brother and you invited all your friends to come along? Nope, don’t think you’re actually going to get into this party with all those people. Also, do not walk in packs. We will scream FRESHMANNN at you… very loudly,” noted a writer in “15 Things You Need to Know Before You Start Your Freshman Year” posted on HuffingtonPost.com, September 5, 2013.
7. You’re homesick
And, hey, that’s okay, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. For most freshmen, this will be the first time and the longest you’ll be away from mom and dad. You’re spreading your wings but don’t want to fly too far from the nest. For the first few months, you’ll be going back home often, bringing your laundry, scarfing down home cooking and looking up your friends from high school. Tell your parents you love them, and when you’re back at the dorm, give them a call every week.
What are some tips you can share for surviving freshman year? Tell us in the comments.