Courtney Guth has some sound advice for all you first-years. —Sparkitors
Dearest Incoming Freshman,
First of all, congratulations! You’ve survived overly enthusiastic, backwards-walking tour guides, stressful admissions essays, and the nerve-wracking waiting period. You’ve finally made it to the homestretch! You’re only a month, or maybe even a few weeks, away from entering your first year of college, that final step before you enter the big scary real world.
Welcome to the best four, or possibly seven, years of your life. It’s going to go by incredibly quickly, so be sure to make the most of it. Before you finally pack up more clothes than you’ll need, here some important things remember:
1. You are now in charge of your life: balance it. For those of you living on campus, Mommy and Daddy aren’t there to tell you what to do. Your RAs are around, but really no one listens to them anyway. This means that you are more than welcome to stay up until four a.m. or have ice cream for breakfast every morning; however, I wouldn’t advise it. Try to make smart decisions. You don’t have to lock yourself away in the library for the weekend; just make sure you set reasonable goals. For example, if you finish two chapters tonight, allow yourself to go to that outdoor movie night hosted by whatever student group feels like giving out free pizza.
2. Take advantage of the free pizza, but don’t take too much. Student groups are great for meeting new people with similar interests, and also for scoring free meals. However, it’s important to make sure you watch what you eat. Believe me, the Freshman 15 is real. You might not gain the full 15, but if you don’t watch what you eat, you’re going to gain. That all-you-can-eat pasta bar in your dining hall may sound enticing, but don’t make it a nightly ritual. Stay active and stay healthy—your body will thank you!
3. Meet & Greet! It’s important to make an effort to meet people within the first few weeks of school. At that point, everyone is in the same boat as you. Everyone is new and looking to make some friends. Don’t be afraid to ask for numbers or creep people on Facebook. Take a chance and find a seat next to someone in the dining hall. An even better idea is to go out and join something. Whether you’re interested in greek life, the creative writing club, or zumba, go for it! Don’t feel the need to limit yourself; I happened to join all three! Just make sure you don’t spread yourself too thin, because after all…
4. You are here to learn. You, your parents, or the people who gave you that scholarship for being left-handed aren’t paying the big bucks for you to party your grades away. Always make sure you balance it all. (Have I stressed that enough?) Pay attention in class, participate in class, and plan ahead; you will do fine. Take advantage of office hours and review sessions. Keep track of everything in a planner. Then, and only, then are you allowed to indulge in those weekend celebrations.
You’re going to be fine, so finish packing, and don’t stress too much!
P.S. If you have any questions, I’m more than happy to answer them below!
Related post: Second Semester Goals