How to Get Through Freshman Year

Rachel Sanzone – November 13 2005

College is full of trials and tribulations for incoming freshmen. Not only are you responsible for yourself, but now you have to abandon the only life you’ve known, make new friends, handle money, and on top of all of that, make sure you’re grades are kept up to par.

I know that for a lot of people, college is the end of the world, and for others, they look at it with enthusiasm for being away from home and considering themselves “adults.” Let me let you in on a little secret: even though you’re away from home and responsible for yourself, that does not deem you an “adult.” Having to be responsible for yourself and actually being a responsible person are two different things. So here I am; a college freshmen and I am going to give you a little perspective on what to expect and how to pass the transition with flying colors.

I admit, when I was at home I could not wait to leave. I figured, what’s so hard about a little distance? I was wrong. It’s weird to be away from people you love. The people who stuck by you through thick and thin are suddenly not there anymore and you had to make decisions on your own. It’s something we all experience. However, over time, we grow accustomed it. Moving away from family, boyfriends, and friends is hard to do; it’s not agonizing though. My boyfriend lives 5 hours away from me, but we talk on the computer, call each other, and there’s always visits and breaks. We’re doing fine and we’re still best friends. I call my family as much as I can, to let them know how I am, what’s going on. It just takes time to get used to certain things, but it will come to you, so don’t fret.

It’s hard to move away from home into a tiny living space with one other person, but it’s just a part of life that you have to think of with an open mind. Some roommates are worse than others. You could be living with a total party girl, or like me, a roommate who does not see the outside of the room because she is so wrapped up in sleep and studying. Every person is different and living with an individual who is completely opposite of you could have its benefits. It will open your mind to new thoughts and ideas and might even change the way you look at things. Just remember, when you meet your roommate don’t judge her from the outside. It really is true that you can’t judge a book by its cover.

Now, let’s talk about making friends in college. Just get as involved as you can with whatever you can. Don’t be shy to talk to someone you don’t know, or smile at a stranger. A lot of the bonds you will form in college will be with people in your hallway. When I first met the girls in my hallway I thought to myself, “There is no way I will ever be close with these girls.” I was making snap judgments on them because they seemed too self-absorbed or too bubbly. However, after a dramatic episode with one of the girls and her boyfriend, we all became instantly close and the so-called self absorbed girl is now one of my best friends.

Not only are you faced with socializing, but you also have to worry about your academic standing. I know that a lot of teenagers have no idea what they want to do when they go to college, and that’s ok. I went in undeclared with no idea what to do, and they gave me classes with a little taste of everything so I could see what different majors were like. It all comes with time and patience. A lot of universities have specific requirements for the GPA or you will be kicked out of school. Don’t let this stress you out. If you study a little bit at a time and remain optimistic, you’ll do fine.

This leads me to talk about peer pressure. In college there are a lot of different things to get you sidetracked: from parties to friends wanting to do something. It is very important to stay focused and not let others distract you. I’m not staying to live inside your room like a hermit, but finish tasks and then have fun. Only you are responsible for yourself, and only you can decided where you’ll go.

College is fun, but it is also a lot of hard work. You have to be ready to live alone and be responsible. The work load is full and it’s not like high school. You have to study. After all the studying and important tasks are taken care of, go out, have fun. There are a lot of clubs and organizations to belong to or you could just go for a walk, make some new friends. Whatever the case, don’t be scared of college, embrace it. It is a new experience that will help you to pursue a career you love. Do not let anyone tell you what to do with your life.

On that note, I would like to say, “Good luck!” May all of your dreams come true.