Natalie Rohman

A Chicago Girl Paving Inspiration

15 Things That Will Happen Your First Year of College

As I sit in my hammock on my university's quad, I thought it would be the perfect time to reflect on a few things that I have come to realize over this past year in college. Also, I wanted this post to be really helpful for any college newbies and freshman because you are in for a treat. 

I wanted to plug in this really helpful and insightful college guide. It's called The Gyne's Guide for College Women and was actually thrown at me by my dad before I left for college. While I would have loved to have had an adult chat with my parents about the freedom and independence of college and so forth, this book truly explains it all and I would highly recommend it. Its contents primarily focus on women's physical and mental health throughout the next four years because college is a wild ride. 
01. You Will Take Time to Adjust
It probably didn't take me until after winter break to feel comfortable in my dorm and being away from home for so long. Don't worry about other people who are so independent that they could care less about being away from home and their families. It's different for everyone, so don't feel bad if you need to facetime your dog or call your mom. 

02. You Will Be Sad
Sometimes you might just feel really down and have a short crying sesh in the shower. No big deal. You will get through it and you will have better days. Acknowledge it, talk it out, and move on. 

03. You Will Get Stressed
You will also have varying amounts of unwanted stress. It's normal. No one told you to go to college and be as cool as a cucumber. It's hard and finding ways to cope with stress and handle it such as working out, meditating, or treating yourself is a great start to relieving the angst.  

04. You Will Make Friends & Love Interests
You are probably going to meet your best friends some point in time and you will think the coffee shop barista is really cute. Embrace social moments and get out there! Say hi to that cute barista or just wave at someone in one of your classes you see on the quad. You'll find that you meet your best friends in the oddest of places and times. 

05. You Will Make Bad Decisions
You might stay out until 3 am, miss a class or two, you might drink, get a tattoo, you might try illegal substances, but you need to remember how to be responsible and realize that college isn't about wasting your experience and education on dumb mistakes. Everyone messes up and you're gonna pay for it. 
06. Your Communication Skills Will Improve
It will be uncomfortable trying to meet new people and get in front of your college seminar, but just like high school, you'll find your ease and talking to people and being upfront will get easier with time. 

07. You Will Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
You will probably have to talk and present in front of the class, go to a frat party, stay out really late, deal with a drunk person or two, have to write a 12-page research paper, travel alone, deal with bad roommates, or whatnot. Embrace it and learn from it. 

08. Classes Will Be Hard
I wrote a 15-page research paper on Buddhism and Buddhist thought, so at times things will get challenging and it will feel like work builds up. Time management and prioritizing things you need to get done in college is crucial. Don't procrastinate and stay at the library for 12 hours the night before an exam. 

09. Classes Will Be Suspiciously Easy
I've even had some classes where there were only two papers due for the entire course. You will have 100 level classes like that and they're usually the most interesting. I had my caveman anthropology class that only had three small papers due, but it was probably the most engaging and interesting one I've taken so far. 

10. The Food Will Suck
After the first week, you've already tried everything from every cafeteria kiosk and it starts to get a bit repetitive. Switch things up and try to eat healthy when you can. I know it might feel like you can't get away from cafe food, but treat yourself on the weekend and find a new hotspot in town. 
11. You Will Be Broke
If you don't already have a job or a way of constant income, you'll find that your bank account will start to cry. I have picked up many babysitting and nannying jobs on the weekend because I live close to home, but take advantage of your school's career center or Facebook groups to find and pick up extra jobs and extra Uber cash. 

12. You Will Be Homesick
You are going to miss your fam and your pets, you'll miss the easy access to food, good showers, a nice bed, and privacy for sure. It's important to bring things that remind you of home to keep you going and motivated to get through the semester. It might seem hard at times, but time really does fly in college. Look at me! I'm already done! 

13. You Will Be Confused
You will have moments of utter confusion: assignments might be hard, people might not know how to communicate as well, you might get lost on campus, it's all a learning experience. Don't be afraid to ask for help in desperate times of need. 

14. You Will Feel Lonely
Going about your 9am classes, then to yoga, and spending the rest of the night at the library might get to be a bit lonely. You're gonna find that some weeks you'll be really independent and things might just get really busy and you're routine will daze you. Try to find something fun in town or study with a friend. Also, don't worry about being alone in college, finding yourself introspectively is one of the most important parts of it! 

15. You Will Have A Great First Year 
Your attitude and approach to college will highly affect what you get out of it and make of it. Embrace all moments because it goes by fast. Go at your own pace, meet new people, be open to new perspectives, reach above your comfort zone, apply yourself, and you'll have a great year, just like me! 

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