Hello everyone, today I have the last post in my Back to College series. This post shares the lessons I learned during my freshman year of college.
During my first year of college, I grew a lot as a person. A lot happened that challenged me and changed who I am. My father became unemployed again, my mother passed away and I watched my best friend go through a terrible depression. On the other hand, a lot of good things happened too. I joined a group of girls who supported me, taught me about my strengths and appreciated the person I am and what I have gone through.
Everyone will have a different experience during college but many of the lessons learned will be the same. I hope this series has helped set you up for success and show you what wonderful (and challenging) things are in store for you.
My hope for these lessons is to further show you what you have lying ahead.
So let’s get into it.
1.) Everything is temporary.
Throughout my life, I have become accustomed to frequent change. One of my favorite quotes is “change is the only constant”. It is incredibly true for my life and for the lives of many. In college, I was reminded of the impermanence of so many things.
Everything you experience is temporary, both bad and good. The tough subjects, the emotional pain, the sickness, the sadness will all pass. But so will the friendships you thought you’d last forever, the great parties, the straight A’s, the easy classes. It is important to recognize that life is temporary and to appreciate the good things while you have them.
2.) Stay true to yourself.
In college, there will be many occasions that test your morals and drive. The best thing you can do is to stay true to yourself. Don’t let the opinions of others stand in the way of your happiness. If you don’t want to go out and party, there is no one that will force you to do so. The opposite is also true if you want to go out and party, there is no one that will stop you from doing so (aside from the police and RA if you’re under 21).
As I said in my 10 Tips to Make Friends post, you will people who appreciate you, no matter who you are and what you love to do. If you stay true to your morals and beliefs, you’re going to find the people who truly appreciate you. If you change to “fit in”, you will end up with friends who don’t truly appreciate.
3.) It’s important to take time for yourself.
This is another lesson that I have hinted on throughout the series because it is so important. There is no point in running yourself dry. This will only limit how productive and healthy you can be.
Take time to get some sleep, eat some food, take a shower, relax with some Netflix, and go out with friends. Don’t force yourself to work until you drop because it will only hurt you in the long run.
4.) You will cry and that’s okay.
I’d love to tell you that I am the only one who cries on a frequent basis, but unfortunately, this happens to almost everyone. As I’ve stated before, there are so many things that will challenge you and bring you to tears. It is okay to let those tears be shed and to remind yourself that it’s okay to not be okay. Letting those tears go is the first step to letting go of the thing that caused you pain in the first place.
5.) Water is your best friend.
In any situation, water will make it better. If you are sick, drink water. If you are drunk, drink water. If you are hungry, drink water. If you are tired, drink water. Water can heal so much in your body and keeping yourself hydrated at all times will make your life much easier. Try to always carry a full water bottle with you to ensure that you are giving yourself enough water.
6.) You are not your grades.
While you are in college to learn, it is important to remind yourself that your grades do not define you. They are incredibly important but they are NOT something to base your self-worth on. Do your best to get the grades you want, but don’t prevent yourself from being happy and confident if you don’t do as well as you wanted to. Everyone will “fail” at some point, but you are determined by how you deal with this situations.
7.) Scheduling is crucial.
During my freshman year, I was incredibly busy. It got to the point that I had to schedule my shower time to ensure that I actually had the time to get everything done. If you miss anything from a quiz to a sorority meeting, your whole day may be ruined. It is important to plan everything out (in a planner or on your phone) to make sure you don’t miss a beat.
If you plan ahead, it is much easier to get things done on time (or even early). This will save your grade and your sanity.
8.) Everyone deals with things differently.
One of my major flaws is that I expect the same out of others as I do from myself. Unfortunately, this is not only unreasonable but unfair. The only thing you can truly expect out of others is the unexpected. If you expect anything else, you might find yourself greatly disappointed.
People will struggle with different things at different times and the stress that comes with this things will come out in various ways. It is important that you allow people to have their own time to deal with things and to release their stress on their own time.
9.) Pictures are important.
As I mentioned above, everything is temporary and keeping track of the memories you experience in college will be well worth it. One of my biggest regrets (as you know from this post) is not taking more pictures of my wonderful memories. To prevent you from experiencing this regret, I recommend you take pictures. Even a few weeks after an event, seeing a picture can bring so much joy to your life. Take pictures and thank me later.
10.) Freshman year is priceless.
For most of you, this is the first year you will be completely independent. It is a challenging time, a wonderful time and most importantly, a memorable time. There will be moments you want to last forever. Obviously, this is not how it works. The memories are temporary and the year will go by faster that you can even imagine. Savor every moment because you are only a freshman once.
That concludes my last post in my Back to College series. I hope it helped show you what lies ahead. If you are going into your freshman year, I truly wish you the best of luck. It is going to be an amazing year.
What did you learn as a freshman? Share it in the comments below to spread the good vibes.
Lots of love,
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