back to top

19 Tips For College Freshmen, From People Who've Already Been There

"Everyone will move at different speeds and in different lanes, so focus on doing your best and taking care of yourself and you'll be alright."

Posted on

We recently asked the BuzzFeed community to share some of the things they wish they knew when they were freshmen in college. Here are their best tips for upcoming students:

1. It's ok if you don't make tons of friends right away.

Disney

"Don't think that making friends will be like the movies. It's a process. And maybe the people you do meet will be your friends for life, or maybe they won't. And that's okay. Accept that you don't have control over everything."

marenj2

"If you feel like you haven't found the types of relationships you want after first semester, don't sweat it. Join some clubs or take part in fun activities you love, and you will soon find others who share the same passions and hopefully mindsets. It's never too late to make friends, whether they are freshmen or seniors."

georginareneej

2. But don't sleep on the events and activities that first week.

NBC

"Do all the ~lame~ welcome week activities, no matter how cool you think you are. It's the best place to meet friends quickly and it's better than hanging out by yourself."

carolineb433a87096

"Go to as many welcome events as you can and meet new people. I'm a pretty introverted person, but I really could not be more thankful that I pushed myself to go to those events. I met some of my closest friends there and it really helped me find my place at school!"

alaynad44b8dc1d7

3. Find ways to get involved on campus year-round.

Warner Bros. Pictures

"Get more involved, whether it's intramural sports, Greek life, social meet and greet events. Don't let your social anxiety keep you alienated and don't rely on the people who you already know to be your only friends. It might be hard being away from your old friends and family but if you get involved you can make a family and support system for yourself at school."

leahmaries2

"Join a club. Any club. It's the best way to meet people and feel a part of your school."

kassyg2

4. And definitely talk to people in your classes.

Paramount Pictures

"Be social in class! It's always good to have at least one person to count on to send you notes if you miss class."

christyh43ee23868

5. Set some rules with your roommate(s) right off the bat.

ABC

"Set boundaries with your roommates. Don't let people microwave instant noodles at 10 a.m."

kescha

"If you're assigned a roommate (or many roomies), be sure to discuss and decide on rules in your new living situation before the unexpected happens — like they invite their booty call to have sex in the bed next to yours. Yes, it happens."

gracem409ffc0f8

6. Take your finances seriously.

Nickelodeon

"Don't take out the maximum dollar amount of loans they give you. Just take enough to pay for tuition and rent."

cortneyp3

"Don't go crazy with the credit cards! It's so tempting to sign up for them when you're 18 and just use them for everything. If it's not an essential like food or gas, if you can't afford it, you don't need it. I wish I had learned this lesson a lot earlier."

kacijollyj

7. Take advantage of the free stuff.

Universal Pictures

"Find out all the resources that are available to you through your college/university. I didn't know until the end of my senior year that I could rent electronics from the library such as DSLR cameras and VR headsets for free."

briannac4f547c61a

"If your school offers a free gym membership with classes, take full advantage! It's a great activity if you're bored and gym memberships are crazy expensive. Take the yoga class, spin class, go hit the free weights."

mollye46430a5c5

8. Make an effort to get to know your professors — it can only help you.

Comedy Central

"Don't feel shy about going to professors' office hours (even if you're an introvert like me). They're literally required to have them so you are not imposing yourself by stopping by. Office hours are great for a class you need extra help in, but also classes that you love and want to learn more about!"

—Lydia Hejka, Facebook

9. Sit in the front row.

"If you struggle with paying attention/distraction, aren't a great note taker, or daydream a lot, trying sitting in the first few rows of your classes. You're a lot less likely to do those things if you're close to the board and the professor than if you're in the back with your friends."

kristenf4ec4ed144

10. Take a variety of classes, even if you already know exactly what you want to do.

Universal Pictures

"You might have your mind set on a 'dream job', but taking classes in all different areas will expose you to interests you didn't even know you had!"

kristenf4ec4ed144

"Gen. Eds. First. If you get knee deep in your major first semester and find out you hate it? You've wasted a lot of money. Take some time! Get to know yourself and your interests! You may think you know what they are, but it doesn't hurt to explore your interests more slowly."

carlied2

11. Go to class.

"Just go to class. Hung over, still drunk, high, half naked. Just get there. You'll absorb something or at the very least learn about extra credit opportunities or get the attendance points. Seriously. Just go to class."

alyssabarbrajeanm

12. Get good grades in those easy electives.

Columbia Records

"When you are taking easy classes in your first semesters, get the best grade you can. When you're in more advanced, harder classes and checking your GPA, you'd wish you wouldn't have blown off the easy classes."

jennag44eecd2c2

13. Let loose and have fun. (You know, if you want to.)

Universal Pictures

"Even if you think you found your forever partner, still go out with your friends and create those memories."

21andstilllost

"Don't be afraid to have some fun! College is all about experiencing life and meeting new people. Give yourself one night a month or week or whatever to have fun! Go to that party, go to that bar, go out and enjoy the stereotypical college experience. School will still be there after one night of fun."

jelysek!

14. But never feel like you have to party to enjoy college.

Nickelodeon

"If you like staying in with Netflix, maintaining a sleep schedule, not drinking, not being social, or whatever, don't. Don't feel pressured to have a blockbuster stereotype of a college experience. It's school, and it's a time to figure out who you are at your core as an adult human. Trust your preferences for how you spend your time."

tldybas

15. Don't sink your energy into toxic people.

Disney

"Focus on the people and things that enhance your life. Girls, boys, roommates — if they don't make your life better, you don't have you keep them around. Oh, also pedialyte is not just for children."

emilym4b80826b0

"Life is too short to hang out with negative people."

ariannae4b8928e3c

16. Your mental health matters. Your school will have resources, and they can be pretty helpful.

ABC

"Your mental health is super important. Watch and take care of yourself. Build yourself up. You are a wonderful human being. Surround yourself with people who will build you up and not tear you down."

ariannae4b8928e3c

"Depression is real and it's okay to go to your school's counseling center. They want to help you."

mega46c2e4194

17. Be kind to yourself and to other people.

NBC

"Love your body now! You are freaking hot and you don't even know it. And don't worry about being such a good girl...have waaaaaaaay more sex!"

lisaw922

"It doesn't make you any cooler, any prettier, any more desirable to put other girls down. Support the women around you, form strong bonds with them, and if you're still itching for some attention, just remember that the mystique of a strong female friendship will be alluring enough for them!"

katen441c9c40f

18. Know that you might not finish in four years, and that's fine.

FOX

"Yeah, you're an adult now, but like your childhood, there are stages to adulthood. You haven't 'arrived' at some final goal, and you probably never will. Everyone will move at different speeds and in different lanes, so focus on doing your best and taking care of yourself and you'll be alright."

meganh46c43f7c6

19. And remember that change is OK and is often a good thing.

Disney

"If your classes are too difficult, don't feel ashamed to ask for help or drop the hard classes and sign up for easier ones. It's OK if you start with taking easy electives, everyone has to take them at some point."

popalinga

"Don't be afraid to make changes. Your first roommate may not be your roommate for even the first semester. The club you join may be a stressor you want to drop more than you want to stay in. Your first and second group of friends may not be the ones you talk to after college. Don't be afraid of the unknown or it may stunt your growth. It'll fall into place."

abbywilliams1994

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Want to be featured in similar BuzzFeed posts? Follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter!

Top trending videos

Watch more BuzzFeed Video Caret right

Top trending videos

Watch more BuzzFeed Video Caret right
The best things at three price points