Dear Freshmen

todayFebruary 17, 2022 58 1

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By Mikayla Anding
Web Content Contributor

It’s the beginning of the second semester this school year, so I’m sure you are all well-adjusted to the college life. Many memories have probably already been made. You know how to get to places on campus, and you know which dining halls have the best food, etc. 

Although, I’m sure many of you would not mind having a few pieces of advice going into your second semester of college and before your sophomore year, where you will face another set of changes going into apartment life. I’m currently a junior, and if it weren’t for my older friends who helped me and gave me wise advice, these past two and a half years in college would have been a lot more difficult. 

So, I will be giving you a few pieces of advice based on my experiences and the lessons I’ve learned. Let’s jump into it.

1. Enjoy your freshman year (or what’s left of it)

You’re probably thinking, “Okay? That’s not really advice.” 

Let me explain. Freshman year is such an exciting time. Everything is new, and there’s so much to explore and learn. My freshman year, I was constantly meeting new people, trying new coffee places in San Marcos, and well, you get it. It’s all new! If you’re someone like me who enjoys new and exciting things, take in this semester as you continue to get out of your comfort zone. 

Take it from someone whose freshman year was cut short due to COVID. It’s not always glamorous (especially with dorm life), but it’s fun, and it’s something to really soak in!

2. Join an organization

I cannot stress this one enough! Join literally anything! The dorm life allows you to hang out with your roommates and neighbors all the time, but apartments aren’t always the same in this way. 

People begin to get busy after freshman year, and you won’t be in such close quarters anymore. There are hundreds of different organizations to join, from religious, career, to social, and so much more. I heard there’s even a squirrel watching club (yes, there truly is an organization for everything)! 

You’ll want to get involved in at least one thing to widen your community and make your upcoming years more exciting and fun. If you do not know where to look, just click here.

3. Learn how to grocery shop and cook

You think grocery shopping and cooking are easy until you’re doing it on your own. This summer, I encourage you to see what your parents are buying and how they’re making their different meals. 

I told myself I would learn how to cook the summer before my sophomore year. Sadly, I did not follow through. Luckily, my sweet roommate, who was a senior when I was a sophomore, went grocery shopping with me and made suggestions on what to buy and how to make meals out of it. Not everyone has that mom friend, so learn from your parents as much as you can this summer! You will most likely regret it if not and end up like my current roommate, who is a sophomore. She eats pizza rolls and ramen every night. No, I’m not kidding.

4. It’s okay if your friend group changes next year

Not everyone keeps the same exact group of friends from freshman year, and there’s nothing wrong with that! We all grow in different ways and may grow apart and into new friend groups.

 I know this from my friends’ experiences and my own. Some of my friends tell me about their freshman year best friends, and I say, “I couldn’t even see that now!” That’s just part of growing up. You will find your tribe the longer you’re in college; I can almost guarantee that. 

I began freshman year with a small group of friends all my age but ended the sophomore year going to Miami with a group of seniors, a junior, and just one other sophomore. I grew closer to people I was just acquainted with at the beginning of college, but I was able to find a deeper connection with them, and they became my people! 

Do not put too much pressure on your current friendships, and do not worry if they start to become stagnant. It happens, and you will be provided with new friends all throughout your college years! Here I am, a junior, still finding new close friends and loving it.

5. Make good choices

This is the inner mom friend in me coming out but make wise decisions. I once heard that “getting something out of your system” only puts it in your system more! It makes sense; the habits you form are the habits that could stick. I get it; your newfound freedom is super exciting, but use it for good rather than making horrible decisions you will regret next year. 

Oh, the number of times I’ve heard my friends and acquaintances refer to their freshman year decisions with embarrassment or regret. I said enjoy your freshman year but be smart with everything you do.

There are probably plenty more pieces of advice I could give, but those are a few general subjects I think are important to cover. I hope many of you have older siblings or friends that can help you adjust to living more on your own next year (because, let’s be real, dorm life makes living on your own much simpler sometimes). I also hope these little snippets of wisdom help you at least a little bit in the future.

Featured Image by Mikayla Anding

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