I want to give you guys a little back story about me and the university I attend, just so you can see my experience. My university has a ton of art majors, and engineer’s majors. That’s what the university is known for. My major is Elementary and Special Education. My program is an intense one, I am working to get two degrees in four years. Once I graduate I will have a degree in Elementary Education and one in Special Education. I personally have experienced dorm life before, I attended a boarding school for a year (I was 14), now being older I thought I would love living in a dorm. I am an only child and have never had to share a room. The room was super tiny. Luckily, I had met my roommate before and we had spent a weekend together and we got along super great. I stuffed my car full and was on my way last fall, and I was stocked. Here are the five things that I wish I knew my freshman year of college.
- There is always going to be something fun happening, you just have to make choices between what is more important.
Soccer games, hanging out with friends, basketball games, playing pool, watching movies, and so on. The list is honestly endless. My university always has something fun happening. But you should remember why you are at college and that is to get an education. I think some people forget this and just focus on the social aspect. While socializing is important so are your grades. So, remember what your focus is and don’t forget to have some fun while you are there!
- There is always homework or an assignment that you should be working on.
This is especially true in my major. Most professors will give you a breakdown of all your assignments at the beginning of the semester. For me, it is a lot of juggling between what project and homework you should work on first. I spend a chunk of time each week devoted to organizing and planning my time. Which I will talk more about later in this post.
- Dorm life is not for everyone and there is nothing wrong with that.
For me, I was excited to give dorm life another shot. But I came to realize that it just was not the right fit for me. My school almost 90% of students live on campus, and with a school of 6,000 people that is a large chunk that live on campus. All my friends live there. When making the choice to move off campus it was a big decision. For me personally, I just didn’t like having to live in a confined space. So, I made the choice to move off campus, and invest my monies into a condo. Honestly, this was the best decision I could have made. I found that living off campus gives me more freedom, allows me to have alone time, and have the ability to live with my dog. This was the right decision for me but it may not be what works for everyone. There is nothing wrong with that!
- Just because everyone else is drinking and partying does not mean that you need to be.
This turned out to be one of the reasons that I disliked dorm life so much. In the beginning of the year, I was going out and drinking every weekend on Friday and Saturday. After a month of doing this, I woke up one day and thought, “what the hell am I doing?” The parties were the same exact thing every weekend, (same music, people, and they ALWAYS got shut down after like an hour) I just got to a point where it was not fun anymore. I realized that there was more to college and life than partying. A lot of kids in college will disagree with me, and that’s perfectly fine with me. But it is my personal choice to not drink and party my life away.
- Planning your time is key!
Like I said before there is always something that needs to be done. College is nonstop work. For me, I try to find a balance between school, friends, social life, and work. There is so much that I need to fit into my schedule. It’s a balancing act to be completely honest with you. I find the best thing to do is plan my time and to do this I am always carrying around a planner with me. I jot down everything including, tests, large assignments, hanging out with friends, work, and the list goes on and on. It is also important to schedule some detox time. By this, I mean some time for you to sit down and relax. I am the type of person that loves having their schedule booked so a planner plays a huge role in my life. I do not know where I would be without my planner!
These are all lessons that can be learned at any point during your college career, but these are the five main lessons that I have learned through my first year. I wanted to share these with you all close to the time that schools starts again just so you can know what my experience was. Hopefully, if you are going into your freshman year or any year for that matter I hope you have a great school year. Go back with a positive attitude and work your butt off! YOU GOT THIS!