The Freshman 15: 15 Pieces of Advice for College Freshmen

  1. The adjustment is as hard as they say it will be. No matter if you’re moving across the country or living at home and attending community college, it’s hard. And people (like me) will try to tell you how hard it is but you won’t really understand until you live it.
  2. Homesickness is the worst type of heartbreak. I didn’t know just how many tears my body was capable of producing until I missed my first Sunday dinner.
  3. Your going away is just as hard, if not harder, on your parents. Text them when you wake up and don’t be annoyed when they call just to chat. Keep them in the loop, they deserve it.
  4. A small group of close friends is way better than having a huge clique. Have a close circle of 3-4 friends that you can trust. They turn into family quicker than you can imagine.
  5. Skipping class is easy, try not to do it. I know how easy it is to sleep through your 8 AM’s, 9 AM’s, and even your 10 AM’s but in all reality you’re at school to learn and it’s kind of your only job.
  6. But it’s okay if you miss a few classes when you have to. Don’t push yourself too hard if you’re genuinely sick. And you will get genuinely sick…
  7. Vitamin! C! Saves! Lives! Especially if you’re dorming. Think about it: you’re living in a shoebox with another person, surrounded by 20 other 2-person shoeboxes, and sharing a communal bathroom. Every freshman gets sick (at Pitt we call it the “Pitt Plague”) and the only thing you can do to try to prevent it is getting your Vitamin-C. I went through boxes and boxes of those little Emergen-C drink packets. Also, as a side-note, if you haven’t started missing your mom yet wait until you get sick…just wait for it.
  8. You can get creative in the dining hall. There’s no denying that the most easily accessible food in the dining hall is generally the worst for you (i.e. the constant flow of pizza, chicken nuggets, french fries, and cake) but it is possible assemble healthy meals — it just takes a little bit of outside-of-the-box thinking.
  9. Your social life and academic life are equally as important. Go to class, study, do what you need to do, but when the weekend comes don’t forget to chill out a bit and have some fun. It’s all about ~balance~
  10. Go out with people you trust. College campuses can be scary sometimes, especially at night. Go out with people who will have your back and who WON’T GO ANYWHERE WITHOUT YOU. If you travel in packs and keep an eye out for each other, you’re way more likely to have a good night.
  11. Roommate horror stories aren’t as common as you think. My roommate is my best friend and I know the same is true for so many other people. Don’t get too caught up in the “bad roommate” trope because it definitely doesn’t always happen like that.
  12. Don’t leave your clothes in the washer/dryer. Someone will move them. Because the people that leave their laundry in the machines for hours are the worst type of people. Terrible. Awful. Bad, bad people.
  13. Wear shoes in the bathroom. Please.
  14. Leave your door open, especially when you first move in. My aunt told me this one and it’s such a good piece of advice. It’s a great way to meet people as they go by and it makes you seem more open and sociable.
  15. Explore on-campus and off. Especially if you’re at an urban school!

xx, Chloe

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