Lessons From Freshman Year

Looking at my college life is rough.  I cannot believe (cliché I know) that I was getting ready to graduate high school four years ago.  Now college?

Who am I?  Who have I become?

I was an entirely different person a year ago-let alone four.

 I thought because I know a lot of readers and bloggers are going to college for their first year in the fall, I’d do a series on things I learned from college.   

Starting with, of course, freshman year.

Freshman year was an experience for me to say the least.  In “real life”, I’m probably not as loud and annoying as you think.  I’ve actually always had social anxiety (think chlaustrophia when around a lot of people).  I had not been planning on swimming, I didn’t even know how to make new friends…all I really had at the time was my roomie.

Kierstin (my roomie) and I then!

Freshman year, my biggest epiphany was be a risk taker.  No one knows each other as a first year in college.  You won’t look dumb trying to meet and hang out with people.  Meet people in class and through clubs…You can go to parties on Friday night and not drink and still have a good time(though I will admit-freshman year I did drink a lot more then now).  If I had this blog freshman year-it would have probably been called FueledbyFRIDAYNIGHTBEVERAGES…anywho.

I mostly got my exercise via dancing…

My particular niche was found when I started swimming.  That is how I made my base of friends.  I wasn’t even going to do swim team,, but my roommate convinced me to come to the interest meeting and there were boyss on the team (co-ed team? YES).  I could meet men and have friends?  Perfect.

That and I instaclicked with the team.  When you find a solid niche, you just know.  

The rest of freshman year went pretty similarly.  I worked my tail off to make it to our big championship meet (you had to qualify)-I did the very last meet.

Swimming training trip to Key West

Since I went to a liberal arts school, I took a lot of different but interesting classes my freshman year.  Backpacking, modern dance, human sexuality, calculus and European history was just one of my semesters.  I enjoyed all my classes and learned so many new and interesting things.  My dad told me before I left that I should take full advantage of college and try new things weather I thought I would like them or not.  (Backpacking was one of those things…but I loved it!)

Making Forts in my room!

So in short.  Take many different classes and meet many different people.  You may think you know what you “want to be when you grow up”

Backpacking champion tent pitcher…yeah…

I thought so too…back then…but I don’t swim, I’m not a math major and I’m just 100% different then freshman year.  Because I was a risk taker.

Question for you:

If you have been through freshman year, what is your biggest piece advice/what did you learn?

If you are going to be a first year…what do you want to know? 

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  1. Oh, this was fun to read!

    My freshman year of college feels like ages ago but your post reminded me of a lot of things. I agree–it was rough…and college was so much better after that first year was over with.

    Freshman year was no doubt the worst year…I got shuffled around because they didn’t have a dorm for me and that was a disaster in itself. Living off campus sophomore year saved my sanity for sure.

    Now that I’ve been out of college for 4 years (yikes!), I miss it some days, but most days, I enjoy the paycheck.

  2. This is so true. My advice would be to forget all your career/life plans (mostly) because they will change a few times during college. I came into college as one person thinking I would leave with a nursing degree, but now, I’m about to graduate at a different school with a different degree. I also agree 100% with putting yourself out there by joining different clubs/groups to meet people.

  3. What a great post idea! Freshman year is still such a blur but I remember learning that I had to take risks to reap the benefits. I had to put myself out there or else I would not get to know people. It was tough for me but so worth it.

  4. Man I am going to sound like a mom here, but do not let your school work and grades suffer because of your new found freedom. I struggled with that and I wish that I hadn’t!

    I loved college. I really wish I could go back some days!

  5. Freshman year was by far a fantastic year for me. Any advice to incoming freshman is just go out there, have fun, and meet lots of new people. You would be amazed at how nice people can be if you are willing to make an effort. I definitely was a little more crazy back then, but I look back at all those ridiculous nights with fond memories! You only live once and I don’t want to be 40 years old thinking that I wasted my college experience!

  6. such a fun post! my advice would be don’t abuse the open buffet in the dining halls, meet other people besides just your roommates and hall mates, and go to class…just go!

  7. Thanks for the advice! I’m glad that I’ve gotten over most of my social anxiety over the course of high school and will be able to enjoy freshman year a lot more. One of the things I try to remind myself is that if things change, it’s okay. Maybe I’ll decide I hate the school or I hate running or I hate my major, but that’s fine! My Dad gave me the advice not to rush through to graduate in 4 years because once you get out you just go to the working world, so if I want to travel or try something else that I should to it.

  8. Loved your post – especially the reason you joined the swim team. 🙂 Hilarious.

    My advice based on my own experience would be to relax more. I was so freaked about the studying & working to pay for everything that I feel like i missed a lot of the freshman experience. Luckily, I figured it out by my second and third year & enjoyed myself a whole lot more.

  9. This was cool to read! What I learned from freshman year…. everyone else is as clueless as you feel! I was always feeling lost or unsure and I realized after talking to people that everyone feels that way too haha.
    I would join a sport if their were hott guys toooo! lolz.

  10. This was great to read Hollie! Freshman year… hrmmm, well I was at a different school than the one I graduated from and that year was ROUGH. I was the.most.miserable and depressed I have ever been in my whole life. I was very emotionally scarred after that year, and it took me a long time to get over how sad I felt. Soooo I guess I would say to myself to get the hell out of that school sooner than I did haha, but a learning experience in the end.

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