Read about OL Taylor Hoey’s first year experience!
I think everybody is a little scared as a freshman. I definitely was. It was hard for me to go so far away from home, I wasn’t going to know a single person. But when I got here, I realized that everybody else is feeling the same way I am. It’s really easy making friends, I can guarantee anyone that they will find amazing friends. You might make friends in the first week of school and stay really close until graduation. You might make those friends, and then you might grow distant as you find your real friends. Both are perfectly fine! For me, I’ve stayed friends with the friends I made during my orientation, and I love them all so much. I’m super thankful for the friends I’ve made.
As for roommates, things can go great or really bad. There’s a good chance that you and your roommate won’t be best friends, and you might not live together or talk that much in the future. Happens all the time. When things are going south with your roomie, just remember that communication is key. And when communication doesn’t work, then it’s probably best for everyone if y’all go separate ways. I know several people that have changed rooms, or even buildings. I was fortunate enough to become really close with my roommate, and now we’re best friends! But that seriously, like, never happens.
Classes can be really challenging in college, especially because you have all this freedom and no one is telling you to do your homework. I saw some people adapt really well, and I saw others who really struggled. The key is to find a balance between classes, homework, social life, and “me time”. All are extremely important for your grades and mental health. First thing’s first, you came to college to educate yourself. So homework and classes should be a priority. If you have a paper due at midnight, then you might want to skip going downtown with friends. On the other hand, don’t become a hermit (unless that’s your thing). Being social, talking with your friends, and just relaxing is essential! It’s good to just have some down time and de-stress. I had some trouble with the social part at first. I was obsessed with my homework and making sure I was 100% on top of things. This resulted in me never really seeing my friends and or being able to just hang out. I found myself really stressed and lonely. I realized that putting ALL of my focus into school was actually hurting me, and I started seeing my friends more.
Finals are a whole other story. This is a time of living in the library, surviving on coffee, and never wearing a bra. Obviously, socializing isn’t that important during finals week. Find a place where you focus really well, and get down to business! Finals can be really rough and scary. You’ll see people doing weird things (I danced in the library at midnight), wearing the same clothes as yesterday, and not eating or pigging out. Just remember to stay calm and don’t begin studying for a final the night before you take it. When finals are over, take a deep breath, take that shower, and commence the obsessive checking of your grades. All in all, finals suck. But when they’re over, it feels so good.
Pretty much, freshman year is crazy, fun, and exciting. You’ll be exposed to such a diverse population, and you can learn so much from all of the different people. You’ll find your friends that will really be friends for a life time. You’ll begin your education that readies you for the world. And you’ll gain amazing experiences that you will look back on in the future and laugh, or know that you’ve learned valuable life lessons.