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Five Things I Wish I Knew as a Freshman in College

As another school year wraps up and I just watched as my classification status changed from 'junior' to 'senior' I've been doing a bit of reflecting on the last three years of my college experience.

I get asked a lot about my tips & advice for incoming college freshman and especially because my younger brother is going to be a freshman in college in the fall, it only seemed fitting to share five things I wish I knew as a freshman in college.


* it's ok, & completely normal, to have no idea what you're doing
Your first semester of college is absolutely an adjustment period. Especially if you're like me and attend a school out-of-state, not only are you trying to adjust to living in a dorm, trying to make new friends, learning how to navigate the dining hall, balancing schoolwork but you're also trying to make this new city seem a bit less daunting and get to know your surroundings. I'm from the north and attend a school in the south and it's safe to say I was hit with a bit of culture shock when I moved from Ohio to South Carolina. Not in a bad way, things are just different down south that took some getting used to. It's safe to say I had NO idea what I was doing for the first month or so of my freshman year, and if you ask any of my friends, they'll tell you the same thing. It's normal, don't worry.

*you don't have to go out/to parties to make friends
Something I was really nervous about as a freshman was whether or not I would be able to make friends. I had been friends with my hometown friends since we were in elementary school so making friends was a skill that I admittedly had forgotten about. 

I wasn't (and honestly still am not) the biggest fan of parties and going out simply because that just wasn't who I was and I was nervous when I started to notice that a lot of people were becoming friends at parties and out at the bars. Even though I realized this was a common way for people to meet others, I didn't change who I was and I ended up meeting people just like me and they're my friends to this day.

*developing a routine quickly is so helpful
The transition from high school to college was a very anxious time for me but one thing I did shortly after moving into college that helped significantly was to develop a daily routine for myself. Having a consistent morning routine & night routine really helped me develop some consistency in my life even though I was still going through a huge transition phase.

*homesickness is real
You will get homesick and when you do, know that you are not alone. My biggest advice on dealing with homesickness is to not try to act like you aren't homesick. I tried to push down my feelings of missing home and ended up breaking down one night because of it. Whenever you're homesick, take some time to call your parents, FaceTime your friends from home, and do something to remind you of it. It's 100% normal to miss home and I promise it does get easier. 

*dorm life may not be ideal, but take advantage of it
Sure living in a tiny room with a roommate might not be ideal but take advantage of the fact that you're living on campus! There are constantly things going on, you're probably the closest you'll be to your classes for the rest of your four years, and all of your friends are likely in one place. 

xoxo,
Ri

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