We all have things that we wish we could go back to and tell former versions of ourselves. Those words may range from minor pieces of advice to life-changing revelations. Whatever the case, it sure would have been nice to know those things at the moment, but that’s not really possible until our wait for time machines finally comes to an end. So, for those times in our lives when significant events are happening to us, it can be helpful to have advice from someone else who has already experienced that same situation and has things they would go back and tell themselves if they could.
At the end of your freshmen year, there are going to be things that you wish you could change, words you wish you had said, and some actions you took that you wish you hadn’t. That future, sophomore version of you would probably look at the list below and agree with most of what is written. So, as a current or incoming freshman, take a look at the list below and keep these fifteen things in mind as you move forward through your first year of college.
1. Your Friendships May Change More Than You Think.
During the first week of freshmen year, you may think that you have met your forever friends. You might have! But many people cycle through friendships over the course of college because of changing schedules and that is okay. It does not mean you have done anything wrong and you can still check on those people that you care about when you can!
2. You May Change Your Major Multiple Times and That’s Okay.
Most college students change their major at least one time. You may not even know what you want to do until after you start your sophomore or junior year! That is okay. You have time to think about it, so don’t pressure yourself.
3. Get as Involved as You Can.
Your college has plenty of opportunities to make new friends and connections. Take advantage of those clubs and organizations!
4. Try New Things and Figure Out What You Like.
This is one of the first times in your life that you can explore new hobbies and activities without your parent or guardian’s direct influence! This is the perfect time to figure out what YOU like and what YOU like to do without any outside noise.
5. Prioritize Good Friends.
Your friend groups may change and shift over the next few years and that is ok, but it is great if you have a couple of tried and true besties to go back to when you need some grounding. Find those people and keep them around!
6. Take Time To Yourself When You Need It.
During college, you are constantly surrounded by friends and peers. You live with them, and you go to school with them. You may even work with them. That can be a lot. Take time to go to a park and read by yourself or walk around campus with music or a podcast playing. We all need time to recharge.
7. Do Your Best To Make a Good Impression on Professors and Faculty.
This does not mean you need to be a teacher’s pet and act uncharacteristically nice to your professors. This just means doing a good job in class and getting to know them! Ask them questions about their lives if they seem interested in talking to students. Some professors want to get to know their students – they chose to teach college students as a career after all! You spend a lot of time with these people and having a good relationship can help you down the road.
8. Invite People To Sit at Your Table.
Everyone is kind of running around like a chicken with its head cut off during their freshmen year. This is a whole new phase of life and everybody is doing it for the first time. Everyone is trying to find their place and their people. If you see someone struggling to make connections, be the person to initiate lunchtime or dinnertime invitations. Even if you have never been that person before, you can always start being that person. Going out of your way to make others feel included can make someone’s day and may even make you a new best friend.
9. Get Outside and Move Your Body.
College is full of new and fun experiences, but it is also piled up with new, stressful experiences as well. It may take you time to get comfortable in your new routine and new life, but once you find some stable ground, implement movement into your day when you can. We all know by now that exercise fills us with feel-good chemicals and you will need those once midterms roll around.
10. Be a Good Roommate.
This may be the first time you live with someone other than your parents and siblings. It takes some time to get used to. Respect their time, space, and their stuff, and don’t forget that you deserve the same in return.
11. Learn How To Manage Your Time.
College may be the first time you have to make your own schedule. You may have breaks in the middle of the day between classes. This may seem like a great time to head back to your dorm and take a nap and some days that may be possible, but make it a habit to fill those breaks with work you need to get done so you can relax later.
You are at college for a reason. Make the most of it by studying and doing well in your classes.
13. Be Yourself.
This is the period of your life where you can make friends and do and discover what you like without the stress of adult responsibilities. Be yourself, like what you like, and don’t pay attention to what others are saying.
14. Call Your Parents.
Whether it’s your parents, friends, or other family members, you likely have someone supporting you through this time in some way. Call them and tell them you love them at least once a week.
15. Enjoy It. Freshmen Year Doesn’t Last Forever.
This is a unique year in the span of your life. Even the next three years of college won’t be quite like this. Enjoy and savor every moment.