Going to college is one of the biggest events in a person’s life. The memories you create will stay with you forever. And the choices you make in college can also impact the course of your life going forward. Because of the importance of this time in your life, a lot of you guys are stressing out and putting way too much pressure on yourselves. But it’s understandable that you want to do it right and avoid making mistakes. So here are four things that a lot of college graduates wish they had known as freshman.
You Will Change Your Major
Sure, there are some students who stick with their initial major all the way through school until they graduate and get their degree. But it’s very common for students to change their major at least once throughout their college careers.
This isn’t really a big deal. Very few 18-year-olds really know what they want to do for the rest of their lives because they are young and haven’t been exposed to a whole lot of things in life. In college, you’re going to find many different classes to be interesting, and hardly a single semester will go by where you don’t find yourself wanting to explore new directions.
You can pick multiple majors if you want. And there is a lot of overlap between related majors. So don’t overthink it and give yourself a meltdown. Just keep knocking out all your core classes and prerequisites. And go ahead and try some different classes just for fun.
Some Friends Will Come and Go
Many freshmen quickly feel overwhelmed when they first attend college, especially if they are from out of state. They have no friends yet, and everything is so different. So a lot of freshmen quickly bond with the first people they meet and expect to be besties forever. Sometimes it works out that way, but most of the friends you meet in your first year of college will drift in and out of different social circles from one semester to the next.
So don’t take it personally if your first group of friends dwindles and you don’t stay in touch as much as you expected. You’re going to meet tons of friends in these next four years—or longer. Some of them will become lifelong friends, and others won’t. And that’s okay.
You Will Put on Weight
Yes, the “Freshman 15” is a real thing. A lot of freshmen put on 15 pounds or so in their first year of college. This is particularly true of students living in dorms or attending college far from home.
You will eat a lot of junk food and drink a lot of interesting liquids at parties. You will raid the cafeteria every chance you get. You will stress out and eat entire packages of crackers and cookies during finals. And you will choose sleep over exercise almost every day of the week.
If gaining 15 pounds your first year is unacceptable to you, then you need to start making some lifestyle changes ahead of time and seek out some other friends who will hit the gym with you and hold you accountable.
Don’t Forget to Have Some Fun
Last of all, don’t forget to enjoy this time of your life. Some of you will have no problem following this advice, but others will struggle to lighten up and live a little. Yes, college is important. Yes, your education is important. But this is also a very unique experience that you will never get to relive. So take some time to let loose a little bit and have some fun. You don’t have to do anything stupid or reckless, but don’t be stiff and just study all the time either.
As a college freshman, you’re going to have an incredible time ahead of you. These next four years will test you in ways that you never expected. But they will be a lot of fun too. You just need to learn to be flexible while still pursuing the things that are important to you. So follow these tips and make the most of your college experience.
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.