15 Things I Learned As A College Freshman (First Semester)
Hello wonderful readers! As sad as it is, summer is ending, and sooner rather than later, some of us are going to head off to college. It’s both exciting and terrifying. –Since I started attending college in the Spring, I already have a semester under my belt. I learned so much, both in class and out, and today, I’ll be sharing 15 of those things with y’all. Hopefully, it helps.
(I may come back in the Winter and share 15 more things I learned during my second semester, we’ll see).
1. Using Your Schedule As Your Wallpaper is the Most Useful Hack Ever
I saw this hack on Pinterest, and it has saved me sooo much stress and anxiety. 10/10 would recommend. I honestly just left my schedule as my wallpaper for most of the semester because I was too lazy to change it.
2. 1 AM is an Idiotic Time To Walk Down the Stairs
Just don’t do it. You may fall and break your toe, which, when you walk everywhere, sucks. A lot. In all honesty, you should be asleep at 1 AM, or doing homework, but if you must be somewhere, like your friend’s dorm, take the elevator.
Totally not a true story.
3. Church is Important
College made me appreciate church more: I missed the community, the weekly reminder of salvation, the hymns, and the worship.
Your soul needs to be fed, especially in college, where it’s all too easy to forget prayer and personal devotions in the hustle of life. Go to church. Even if it’s not your denomination, go to church. Even if you have to bum a ride, go to church.
4. I Can Do Things By Myself
I can be borderline co-dependant. Being homeschooled, I always did things either with my family or my friends. I’m independent when it comes to tasks, to learning, but life is different.
Doing things by myself seemed impossible and terrifying at first, but from stepping into my first class, to sitting by myself at a basketball game, to going to see a Harry Potter movie, I’ve learned that I can do things on my own. It’s not always fun, can be kinda awkward, but it’s possible, and even good for you.
5. Midnight Munchies Are a Thing
I never truly experienced midnight munchies until college, when I’d be hunting through the fridge for leftovers at 11:52. There’s something about the witching hour that makes me hungry, and is satisfied by cold Panda Express. Go figure. You may want to stock up on snacks, whether it be peanut MnMs, Kind bars, Nacho Doritos, or pudding cups. 😋
6. I Work Best With Music and Gum
Speaking of snacks, I would go through so much food while studying… Until I re-discovered gum. (Specifically, strawberry-flavored gum. It’s wonderful).
I also discovered that I write best with music in the background: the trick being, I have to know the songs but not feel compelled to belt it out. Even lo-fi can be somewhat distracting to me because it’s new. If you’re curious about what I was listening to, check out the post My Recent Playlist(s) and look over my “Chill Study Playlist.”
7. Sleep is Underrated, Really
I don’t know how, but in college, I was always tired. The truth is, all too often, sleep was at the bottom of my priority list. In order to get homework done, sometimes you have to sacrifice a few hours of precious sleep.
However, it’s far better to get plenty of sleep than to stay up all night, cramming for an exam. Sleep is important.
Nap, peasants. Get at least eight hours of sleep. Or five.
8. It’s Easy To Burn Money
Honestly, it’s so easy to spend money – a chai tea latte here, a Body Armor and package of Oreos there, a hot chocolate there, and so on, until you find yourself broke (or broker). My advice: keep track of your spending, save splurges for when it matters, and stay away from
Starbucks coffee shops. Brew your own tea, make your own coffee, save money.
9. Some People Walk Their Classes – For A Reason
“Some people,” doesn’t include me. Instead, I opted not to walk my classes (to be fair, I didn’t know anyone though), and almost burst into tears because I couldn’t find my classes. I cannot ever seem to work a map and have zero sense of direction.
If I were “the chosen one,” I would die.
So, yeah, walk your classes. But if you don’t, remember that for the first week, especially your first day, most professors don’t care if you’re a few minutes late. And most people are nice, so don’t be afraid to ask for directions.
10. You Make Friends By Going Out and Doing Stuff (and Being Nice)
I know, this one’s a real shocker, right? You make friends by saying yes more than no when people ask you to do something (keeping in mind church, homework, your emotional and mental well-being, and physical safety of course). You make friends by braving the awkwardness and doing stuff by yourself. Who could’ve guessed?
Also, be nice. Jerks don’t have much for friends.
11. The Stress is Constant
In college, the stress is nearly always constant. If it’s not, you’ve probably forgotten an assignment. Sad truth. I don’t write this to discourage you, just to give you some heads-up.
My advice for this is to do things you enjoy (for example, exercise reduces stress), find a balance of responsibility and fun-having, and come up with some organization/planning system for homework.
12. Introverts Become More Extraverted and Vice Versa
I don’t know why, but in college, introverts become more extroverted, and extroverts become more introverted. I became a lot more outgoing during my first semester
while being terrified all the time, go figure. When talking to my roommate about it, she said it’s a common thing. No one told me, so now I’m telling you.
13. People are Complicated
People are complicated and messy and strange. In college, I got to meet so many different people, and as soon as I’d thought I had figured them out, I would see another side to them. They’re fascinating. Don’t judge them too quickly – the most intimidating people are also the sweetest, the kindest are the most hurt, the weirdest, the nicest. They’re all a bit broken and need love. Listen to them, watch them, and when and where you can, share Jesus.
14. Baseball Isn’t That Boring
I (more or less) hated baseball until college. It was boring and I just didn’t see the point, until I was sitting in the stands with friends, trying to figure out the rules,
totally not noticing the cuteness of the players, eating sour patch kids, laughing, and doing homework. Then I got it. It’s supposed to be boring. It’s a chill game.
15. French Fries and Alfredo Sauce is Bliss
It may sound strange, but French fries covered in alfredo sauce is pure bliss. Just try it. My Freshman 15 probably came mostly from this (and my daily 3–6 cookies), but I have no regrets. Food is good.
That’s why it rhymes.
Alrighty lovelies, we made it to the end! Thank you for sticking with me, and I hoped it helps you! 💙
What have y’all been up to? Did you go to college – if so, what have you learned? Read anything good lately? Any cool food creations?
Until next time,
This was a super fun post! Highly enjoyable, especially for someone else who is just about to go back to college for her second year. :) Church is definitely important! I've had the tremendous blessing of being able to live in a dorm attached to my church, which makes going to church, being involved with other Christians, and making time for daily prayer so much easier! Ha! I relate SO HARD to only wanting to do things with a group! I'm still adjusting to doing things by myself, too. Walking one's classes is definitely important. XD But people really don't mind if you ask directions...although they might not know themselves! "The most intimidating people are also the sweetest" I honestly relate to this, from both sides...many of the people I was intimidated to get to know are the sweetest people I now know, and also, apparently I was super intimidating/snobby looking the first semester of college, so if there is someone who seems intimidating...it's probably not on purpose. I certainly wasn't trying to be.
Thank you so much! 😊. It was really fun to write. Having a dorm attached to my church would be such a blessing! I'm so happy for you! Most people are nice! I've learned that people tend to be approachable (and often have no clue they're intimidating). Thank you so much for reading, and reminding me I'm not alone! Have a blessed day!