It’s amazing an entire year and a half has gone by so quickly. I’m already halfway through my second year of college, and it seems as though the graduation date is coming sooner and sooner. Next semester I will be officially a junior (I took extra classes this summer, so now I’m a semester ahead), and it seems as though my college years are flying by. I look back on my freshman year self, and there are tons of things I wish I knew back then, but in a way it was good that I learned it the hard way.
First, I wish I knew that it is totally okay to have me time. Its normal and natural to sit in your bed, alone, with a bag of chocolate and some Netflix. I was so obsessed with making friends that I completely neglected myself last year. I didn’t take the time for myself that I needed to relax and de-stress. Don’t be worried or scared if you’re going into college and you don’t have plans every Friday night. Take time for yourself, and make sure you designate time to relax.
Second, I’m glad I went through the “going out” phase, but I’m even gladder that I’m out of it. Yes, its fun to go out every night, but eventually you just get bored, tired, and sick. I definitely think every freshman should experience it, but its also important to learn from it. There are many people who get sucked into the illusion of the party life in college. However, the best memories I’ve made is when I’m with my best friends, sitting around, and watching a good movie. Girls nights will ALWAYS beat out any night at a sloppy bar.
Now that I am making my own money, I wish I could have tried to get a part time job my first year of college. Currently, I have a part time job working at the performing arts center on campus as an usher. This is the absolute best job I could have found because it combines my love for the arts, and you get to pick the shows you work. It’s all college students who work there, so they work around your school schedule.
Having a job will allow you to have extra cash, money to eat out (because college food…ew), and money for gas. There are so many jobs on and off campus, so I definitely recommend looking for one that caters to college students. Also, you can meet some really cool people at your job.
Last, take the time and look for scholarships. There are soo many scholarships out there if you know where to look. Especially if your planning to study abroad like I am (New Zealand WOO!) scholarships can help ease the financial burden immensely. For study abroad, there are so many scholarships available to you, some within the school generally, and some within your specific major department.
If your concerned with any other types of financial aid…because I know we’re all broke college students, this blog from Earnest is super helpful and I recommend checking it out! This is also important when thinking about after college when those loans start kicking. Earnest can also help with refinancing your loans to make them more affordable and not take over your post-grad life!
Food is another HUGE change I’ve had to deal with when moving to college. I’m going to be honest, food on campus sucks. You’ll get sick of it so fast and will be vying for other options before you know it. Last year, I let myself indulge a lot. Looking back, I wish I had tried to buy more groceries, cook for myself more, and make the extra effort to eat healthier. THE FRESHMAN FIFTEEN IS REAL Y’ALL. Almost all dorms have a kitchen for residents to use, and I do wish I had taken advantage of it before this year. It’s my second year on campus, and I now understand the importance of grocery shopping. I know the mini fridges can only hold so much, but its easy to get healthy snacks like carrots, grapes, cheese, and wheat thins.
There are so many things I can think back on my freshman year and wish I changed, but that’s the beauty of college. You have four years to experience life, make mistakes, create the best memories, and make lasting friendships and relationships. Its only halfway through my sophomore year and its going way to fast. I wish I could go back to last year when my biggest worry was my Dance 101 class. But, hey..thats life!
Hope you enjoyed my little bit of reflection…I’m hoping to start baking and cooking again this winter break so stay tuned for some recipes!