The 10 Most Important Lessons from Freshman Year

Now that I've had a few beach days to recharge after the semester, I feel like my brain is capable of functioning again.  I've also been able to actually think about how my freshman year of college went. Basically, while moving out, I told my parents that it was like Christmas.  Thinking back, though, I did learn a lot from being a freshman in a tiny dorm room a few hours away from home.

1. Never, ever, take a morning class.

Don't do it.  Even if you're a morning person, just don't do it.  It caused me to become a daily coffee drinker.  I mean, I love coffee as it is, but I was practically living on that stuff.

2. Chances are, you can feed yourself for free the entire first week of classes.  

There's typically some sort of "welcome back" week. I know the events sound lame, but there is probably free food.  Good free food. Enjoy.

3. Naps are fantastic.

They're not for kids, they're for college students.  If you think you need one, you do.

4. Even if the dining hall claims to be healthy, it's probably not.

The only thing safe to eat was a salad, and even that was sometimes questionable.  Mini fridges and microwaves are your best friend.  I basically turned into a raw vegetarian for the past eight months.  You can make oatmeal (not instant!) in the microwave in two minutes, and fruit and yogurt makes a great snack.

5. Cancelled classes are a gift.

Cherish them. They don't happen as often as you'd think.

6. Group projects are the worst thing ever.

Working with people isn't a problem, unless these people are fellow college students.  The most valuable tip I can give you is to just take charge.  I was the kid who did the bulk of the group projects in high school, so I decided to avoid that in college--worst. mistake. ever.  College students don't like to meet up or do work, and you don't want to be up at 4 a.m. editing a video in Spanish that's due in four hours. Trust me on this one.

7. There is more on Netflix than you think.

When you have work that you're trying to avoid, or free time for the first time in months, it's amazing what you can find on Netflix.  All those movies that you just skipped over because they sounded stupid? You'll watch them.  Side note--apparently if you switch to Canadian Netflix, there are a lot more options.

8. Leggings are indeed pants.

I do want to specify though: leggings are pants, NOT tights.  Please, for the love of everything, make sure they are not see-through. Also, I recommend long shirts with them.  I don't always follow that rule, but it's a good one to keep in mind.

9. Don't pull an all-nighter.

They're not fun, you need a lot of coffee, and you'll probably get sick. (Just kidding, you definitely will get sick).

10. Get involved.

Again, this is the most valuable advice I can give you.  It was the best decision I made, and it kept me from transferring.  Seriously, I love it being a part of the Center for Student Involvement.  Getting involved is how you make friends, network, and gain life experience.

Do you have any tips?

xo Marina

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