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The Real Guide On How To Survive Freshman Year

Tips from a sophomore: How to have just as much fun as I did without making the same mistakes.

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1. Don't buy things that you'll never use.

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Blogs are plastered with "ultimate college packing" lists, suggesting you need to buy a king list of things like sleeping bags, extra toilet paper for the dorms, and an overload of notecards. DON'T LISTEN! Only buy stuff that you know you'll need. You have limited storage in the dorms, so use it for things you need. If you end up needing more, go out and buy it or order it using Amazon Prime (It's half off for students. I'm addicted).

2. Go to freshmen events!

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Schools love to hold events for freshmen at the beginning of the year. Go to them! I know you don't want to and they may seem dumb (honest;y some of the are) however it is a great chance to explore your campus and meet new people.

3. Become close with people on your floor.

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If you live in the dorms make friends with your neighbors and other people on your floor. I made the best memories with the people I lived with. I even found my future bridesmaids. You don’t want to be that one person that no one knows (aka my roommate).

4. Go to class

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You’ll hear this one time and time again. I did, and I didn’t listen and my grades sure did show it. I don’t care if your professor puts the full lectures online; it’s still not the same. Going to class will help you understand concepts better. It’s worth it. Your GPA will thank you.

5. Speaking of classes, take some that are related to majors you’re interested in.

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For real. It may seem cool to take fun, easy classes since it’s just your first year. You can do that, but also take classes required for your potential majors. You may not know what you want to do yet but get those required courses out of the way! There is no reason to waste time and money. Even if you have no clue what you want to do, explore potential and realistic majors and try to get ahead.

6. Be yourself!

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Another cliché, but its good advice! The only way you’ll make friends that are right for you is if you act like yourself. College is already hard enough; don’t try to be a completely different person on top of that. You will eventually find yourself. Don’t force it.

7. With that in mind take on your new life with an open heart, eyes, and mind.

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You were raised in a certain kind of world and this is a completely new one. You will be introduced to so many different people that first year of different races and lifestyles. It may seem like a lot to take in, but being open to different people and things will make your first year experience better.

8. Try not to go home too much

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My campus is so close to my parents that I could easily go home on the weekends. My friends did the same. If you’re able to do that too, don’t! You’ll miss so much. Yes, you’ll get homesick, but going home will just make the whole new “college experience” 10 times harder. You go home once and you’ll just want to keep going back. Please try to only go back during holidays and breaks.

9. Don’t abuse campus meal plans and discount food

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Freshman year the food is new, cheap, and usually tasty. You are freshly exposed to an assortment of foods. Don’t let it take over your life. I spent way too much money on food last year, just because it was easily accessible and cheap. It’s both a blessing and a curse. Beware.

10. Registering for classes will be just as stressful as finals.

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Many schools have students register for classes in an order based on how many credits they have. Upperclassmen will get first pick. Then sophomores, and finally you. You won’t be able to take the classes you want. The class will be full or your classes will overlap. IT SUCKS. Nevertheless, remember that soon you’ll get to choose first. It will be glorious! BTW, screw all you freshmen going in with like 40 credits already; I can’t stand people like you!

11. The experience will seem scary and that's okay!

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Other freshman year guides will tell you not to be afraid. But it’s okay! You can be scared. It’s a lot to take in at once. First semester will be hard but second semester will be so much better, once you’re settled in to your new life. That’s what happened to me; first semester I hated it, but now I love it. Now I call my school home. Hopefully you can do the same.

Good luck incoming freshmen!

I'll be back next year with my lessons that I learned as a sophomore!

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