20 Things I Learned My Freshman Year

1. Take advantage of the free food around campus. There have been many of times where I would go to an event on campus and they would offer free food. This would be great, especially when I start to run out of money on my meal plan.

2. If you haven’t been away from home for months at a time, you will get home sick. Or maybe you’re tough and won’t. But if you do, more than likely, you’re not the only one and that’s okay. Eventually, you’ll adjust. It just takes time.

3. Amazon Prime for Students – it’s a thing, and it’s free for the first 6-months (don’t forget to cancel if you don’t want to continue after the 6-months). You will get FREE two-day shipping (perfect for purchasing and renting books or random things for your room), access to thousands of TV shows and movies, and unlimited photo storage.

4. NEVER purchase your books from the campus shop unless it’s the only place that carries that particular book for your class. The fall semester of my freshman year was the first and last semester I purchased my books from my university’s campus shop. I remember my roommate telling me how she spent over $1,000 on books her first and second semester of freshman year. So that following semester, I went to Amazon and Chegg and rented my books.

5. You may end up changing your major several times before you pinpoint what you want to do for the rest of your life. I went from Graphic Design, to Public Relations & Graphic Design, to Computer Information Systems, to Computer System Administration, and finally back to Public Relations & Graphics Design.But it was good to try a different major to see if actually wanted to pursue it or not.. Since I didn’t, I was able to cross it off my list and major in what I really wanted to pursue.

6. ALWAYS use Ratemyprofessor.com when picking classes for the semester. I remember having to choose a professor for one of my English classes and wanting someone who could help me grow as a writer, but not be so strict and uptight. This website helped me find a professor that fit my criteria and I finished my English class with an A.

7. Try to avoid 8am classes at all costs. At first, 8am seems easy.. But my mid-semester, you’ll notice yourself hitting the snooze button more than usual. If it’s an 8am class that’s twice a week, maybe you can manage. But trying to go to a class at 8am, especially after a late night of studying, it’s not easy to do after a while.

8. Sometimes you will need “me” time and that’s fine. You will need some time to be by yourself and recollect. You could watch a movie, take a nap, or just do something that you like to do that will help you relax from college life.

9. Don’t forget to call your parents. They miss us and want to hear what’s up with us while we’re in college. But that doesn’t mean you have to give them every little detail of what’s going on. Nor do you have to spend hours on the phone with them either. I will usually call my parents in between walks to work or class since I usually have a good 10 minutes to spare. It’s a good time to just catch up with and see how things are going back home.

10. If you’re a lady, purchase pepper spray or a taser. There are some pretty sketchy people out in the world and a lady has to protect herself if she so happens to be alone somewhere.

11. EXTRA, EXTRA, EXTRA – socks & underwear. If you’re using the dorm’s community laundry room, your clothes (specifically your socks and underwear) may get lost/stolen/or eaten by the dryer… So just buy extra.

12. Get involved  on campus – join a club, sport, sorority, fraternity, etc. This will give you a chance to meet people and give you something to do on campus.

13. Keep track of your money. More than likely, you’ll go out with friends on the weekends and may end up spending more than you think you have. So be on the safe side and check your bank account every few days so nothing bounces or gets declined.

14. Student discount perks – there are so MANY of them (Apple, Adobe, Spotify, select clothing stores, movie theaters, movie theaters, Sam’s Club, insurance companies, etc) and every cent counts when you end up spending more than you mean to at Walmart or at a restaurant.

15. Find where your classes are before you start. This can help you plan how to get to class and won’t be lost and end up late on the first day.

16. Take advantage of the resources on campus. In actuality, your tuition covers for more than just your tuition such as help at career center, gym/wellness center, health center, etc.

17. Stay organized. It’s good to have a planner to keep track of different tests and projects for classes so you don’t forget.

18. Utilize your library or a local coffeeshop on or near campus. These will come in handy, especially during midterms and finals week.

19. “Freshman 15” is a real thing! Stay healthy and well so you don’t contact any sickness during the cold months that will cycle through the dorms. Eat good, wholesome foods and try to avoid eating late at night and snacking.

20. Lastly, have fun. Don’t get caught up in the need to always be studying. Go eat out with friends. Have a girl’s/guy’s weekend. Go camping for a weekend. Travel. College is full of so many opportunities and adventures!

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