The past few weeks, I’ve seen many social media posts from girls about to head off to college for their freshman year (mostly from my cousin- hi Brooke!). It made me think about my freshman year of college, and how much fun it was! Honestly, that was probably my favorite year. Everything was so new and exciting, and I made new friends and did things I’d never done before. I would be lying if I said I didn’t wish just a little bit that it was me heading off to school in a few weeks! The first week (and longer) in your new home can be overwhelming, so here’s a few pieces of unsolicited advice for the Class of 2020!
This is baby Kristen loving life, lanyards, and gameday bows at her first Aggie game as a student.
1. Set up your dorm room
I’m sure you have been shopping and planning every last detail of your tiny box home since April, but there’s still work to do when you get there! I unpacked everything the day I moved in, because my parents left and I was really sad but didn’t want to cry in front of my roommate yet (though I would get there soon enough), so I just got busy organizing everything into my crates and plastic drawers. It also helps your dorm to feel more like home!
2. Plan to do something with friends after your parents leave
There’s nothing stranger than knowing that this new place is where you live, and your parents are three hours away and this is your life now. So rather than sitting in your room thinking about that, go do something fun! Whether it’s with friends from high school, friends from orientation, your roommate, or just some random girl you meet in the hall, at least grab dinner or ice cream and show each other your rooms! I can’t remember what I did that first night, but I don’t remember being super upset, so clearly it works!
3. Hang out with your roommate
You’re going to be living together for a year, so you might as well be friends! My freshman roomie was awesome, and we did quite a few things together the first few weeks!
4. Stay out super late
Just because you can. This was my favorite newfound freedom in college. I’m not encouraging you to do anything stupid, but if you want to stay at a friend’s dorm talking and eating ice cream until 2 am, you can do that. If you want to move the couches from the hall into the dorm room, you can do that too. You’re not supposed to, but whatever. If you want to run around campus (in a large group, preferably in a well-lit area) in the middle of the night, you can do that. And it’s super fun. If you want to go get queso at 11pm, that is also an option. And if you pick the right friends, you can still do that at age 24.
Remember when t-shirt dresses were a thing? I wish they still were.
5. Practice saying, “Hahaha k bye” to boys you don’t want to talk to
This is a skill you will carry throughout your life. It’s best to master it early, and to learn how to spot the ones you should say it to (hint: it’s a lot). You don’t have to be mean, just say it and run away.
6. Find your classes
Texas A&M was a huge campus, and sometimes really confusing. In order to avoid looking like a lost lamb your first day of classes, head out with your schedule sometime during the first week and at least find the buildings your classes are in. Then, find the quickest route back to your dorm or to your next class. It may sound excessive, but there’s no worse feeling than having to ask someone how you get back TO YOUR OWN RESIDENCE. Trust.
7. Attend something by yourself
Before you skim past this one because “LOL, I’m not a loser, I have friends”, just wait. I had friends too, and was happy tagging along with them most of the time. But, there were things I wanted to check out that my friends weren’t interested in. So my choices were, just skip it and maybe miss out on a great organization, or go alone and be awkward for a few minutes but probably end up with some new friends. I went to my first Phi Lamb informational meeting alone, and that organization gave me the best friends and college experience I could have asked for. So for little risk, there is great reward! Plus, in college, everyone wants to make new friends, so it really isn’t as awkward as you think!
8. Decide who you want to be and stick with it
I remember going to Fish Camp (an off-campus orientation program for all you non-Aggies) thinking to myself that I’d never met any of these people and they knew nothing about who I was in high school, and that was super exciting to me. I also vividly remember thinking that I wanted to be someone who other people wanted to be around, someone who liked to have a great time, but also someone who was known for her faith and didn’t let anything change that. While I wasn’t perfect, I’d like to think that that’s who I was those four years. I would encourage you to take a good look at who you’ve been in high school, leave the parts you don’t like in your hometown, and take the parts you like and amplify them and add to them. You won’t ever be perfect, but you’re about to have the chance to tell a bunch of new people who you are, so you might as well be proud of it. You get to decide who you are: not your parents, not your friends, not what sports you participate in. Stand strong in your convictions and your beliefs, remember how your parents taught you to act even though they’re not there, and be someone that both you & Jesus can be proud of.
9. Have fun
As I mentioned previously, this first year of college is a time for new people, new experiences, and new challenges. And it is the most fun. There were countless nights spent in the library with friends “studying” for finals but actually just drawing on the whiteboards and eating all the snacks. Sweating to death on the third deck of Kyle Field but staying all four quarters like good little Aggies. Going to almost every on-campus event, whether we knew people or not. Getting ready for date parties together, then re-convening afterwards to discuss. Finding prime library real estate in Frat Daddy Korner and giggling so much that you can’t even focus on your flash cards. Ugh, Class of 2020, I’m so excited for you. You’re going to love it.
But seriously, enjoy it, because before you know it you’re post grad and paying bills, and wishing for the days of Norts and oversized tees.
That’s all for meow!
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