Top 4 Things I Wish I Would Had Known Freshman Year of College

College, like many things in life, cannot be easily predicted. However, incoming students are often bombarded with thousands of pieces of advice ranging from classwork and GPA boosters, to finance, to simple practicalities of living in a dorm.

The idea is that anybody who has been to college knows what it’s like and what will happen. However, college experiences vary so immensely, that while much of the advice given can be applied, there are still more things that could not possibly be covered.

  1. You don’t have to like your roommate; you just have to live with them. This is something that actually nobody had told me until just a few weeks ago, although I did discover it my freshman year. In my case, my roommate and I got along fine on paper; we had similar sleeping habits, personalities and interests. Much to my surprise, we didn’t click. There seems to be a lot of pressure on getting along with your freshman roommate, and not living with somebody that you already know, but not a lot of when you try both and neither work out.  Just because you should get along, doesn’t necessarily mean you will, and that’s okay.
  2. Don’t get involved with too many activities. Quite simply, it can be taxing on you, your grades, and your health. Clubs and extracurricular activities are some of the best ways to meet people, but if you take on larger positions, it will be harder for you to focus on your schoolwork, which is why you’re here, after all. Clubs should, hopefully, be big enough that they would have upperclassmen to focus on all the heavy duty work themselves, and wouldn’t need the work of a freshman.
  3.  Keep Murphy’s Law in mind.  One working shower that takes 15 minutes to heat up?  Jammed printer? No stapler? Internet down? These are, unfortunately, common college problems. It is unavoidable, something that just happens with the glitches in our technology today.  However, don’t be surprised if they strike at the worst possible time for you.   I have never gone a whole semester without hearing, or experiencing, about something breaking down.  On the one hand, the faulty technology would give students a good reason to not wait until the five minutes before class to print out their papers, but on the other, there’s no way to predict how long the technology will be down in the first place.
  4. The party scene isn’t everything. From what I had seen of college advice givers was that they fell into one of two categories; either they partied all the time, or they were totally against, but were still pressured to going to them regularly. When I first spent the night at Benedictine, it was with some girls who were friends with some partiers. When we went to visit them, everyone was complaining about their hangovers, and there were empty bottles everywhere.  When I actually came here, though, I found it to be anything but.  There are places with college that account for a wide spectrum activities; it’s not quite as stereotypical as cable TV shows will lead you to believe.

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Stefanie Hughes

Stefanie Hughes

Stefanie Hughes is a senior at Benedictine University, with a double major in Writing & Publishing and Theology. She spends her free time working on Benedictine’s newspaper, The Candor, as well as being a member of Daughters of Isabella, Students for Life, and helping around University Ministry. Any other extra time is filled with reading, writing, cooking, video editing, biking or walking around the lake.