Lessons From My Freshman Year

It’s crazy how nine months away from home can change you so much! Here are a few things I learned from my freshman year at the University of Texas.

How you manage your time will make or break you
When I hear stories of people pulling all-nighters to finish their projects or cram for their exams I cringe. There is nothing worse than wrecking your sleep schedule for something you probably should have started two and a half weeks ago. I probably take scheduling to the extreme and I know not everyone wants to finish things early as I do, but some planning can make all the difference when it comes to saving yourself and your sleep schedule. Plus, I find I have more time for hanging out with friends when I work ahead!

If you want something, go for it
I think you know in your gut when you really truly want something. You can tell when you have that feeling. This year I was reminded that if you really care about something then you should care enough to just go for it. Sometimes when I felt I wanted something, whether it was to join an organization or apply for a job, I wondered if it was right for me. Ultimately, I rely a lot on prayer for this. After that I may go for things and know that if it’s right for me, then things will work out and if not, it will still be fine.

You don’t have to like everything that everyone else does
You’re walking to class and there are a million kids tabling try to get you to join their organization. People invite you to random social events every night of the week. None of this is bad. Just know what you stand for, know what you care about, and know when to say no. But also don’t be afraid to say yes if it’s right for you, so you actually experience life. Just don’t feel guilty for knowing your priorities and your favorites.

Be more open to trying new foods
I have been a picky eater for years. I still am, unfortunately, a picky eater. But college helped me make some progress when it comes to trying new things. I am much more willing to take a bite of something and give it a chance than I was before, and sometimes that turns out really yummy!

Having a roommate can be really fun
I love my freshman year roommate. I met her through a group message of people in my dorm and after a 45-minute FaceTime call we decided to live together. Fast forward to a year later and I am so so thankful she was my roomie. Although I was very lucky to live with someone so cool, I think there’s something everyone can gain from living with another person. You learn how to be considerate and how to compromise. This experience is invaluable. Plus you’ll probably live with other people at some point in your life so this is great practice.

You should actually talk to your professors
My professors have been one of my favorite parts of college. I’m sure at some point I’ll get a professor who isn’t the best, but so far I just love all my professors. This semester I tried to visit a couple of them from the previous semester at least once to keep in touch with them. I’ve found they care about their students and want to help them achieve their goals. I love knowing I have this support system and its part of what makes college such a great experience.

Trying is really cool
In case you haven’t heard recently, effort is like really attractive. Trying is cool. Remember that you are not defined by your grades or your workflow, but if you actually put in the effort good things will come from it. You never know what opportunities or what doors could be opened later on down the line.

You will make friends and it will stop being scary eventually
During the summer I was so worried I wouldn’t make friends in college. I don’t know why. I just felt like everyone else would make friends and I would be stuck on my own. That is not true. Everyone wants friends and to have fun and feel at home. If you do end up on your own for a bit then you just have to go to stuff and try to put yourself out there. Wow, that sounds so mom-ish of me, but it really is true. Finding your friends is a big part of what makes college feel right.

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