9 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Freshman Self

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Y’all probably know by now that I graduated from college this past weekend, and it’s definitely been a whirlwind. In fact, the past 3 and 1/2 years have been a whirlwind! It feels like just yesterday I was moving into my freshman dorm and completely terrified. After all, it was the first time I was away from home for an extended period of time, I didn’t really know anyone there, and I had no idea what the next few years would hold.

It wasn’t too long before I found my true friends and the best friend that a girl could ever have. Honestly, she’s probably the only reason I made it out alive! I’m sharing her words of wisdom towards the end of this post, so stick around to see what she’s taken out of her years at college!

Anyway, even though I had a pretty good college career, I would definitely take the chance to travel back in time and have a conversation with my freshman self. Obviously that would mess up the whole time-space continuum and what not, but hey, it’s always good to look back and reflect!

So whether you’re already a college grad or just beginning your freshman year, I hope that these life lessons resonate with you.

9 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Freshman Self | Five Foot and Fabulous | College living | college tips | graduation | class of 2017

Don’t dwell on discouragements

Sadly, there will be some discouragements during your college years. You might get a bad grade on an exam or not get chosen for a position you really want, but the important thing is to remember that there will always be another chance. If you keep on trying, someone will notice and recognize your capabilities.

Don’t date the first guy that pays attention to you

Ugh, I still kick myself over this sometimes. I was so excited that a guy was showing interest in me that I just jumped in without really thinking about what I actually wanted in a relationship. Hint: he wasn’t the right guy for me. If I could do my freshman year over again, I would definitely stay single.

Utilize your university’s free services

There are so many things at your university that you can use without any extra cost! Recreation centers, gyms, health centers, academic help, and more! You’re basically paying for it with your tuition, so definitely utilize them if you need to.

It’s okay to struggle in class

I did very well in high school. If there was an honors level available for a subject, I would take it, even for subjects I didn’t necessarily like. That being said, it was hard for me to get to college and take some of those more difficult courses. I had suddenly gone from top of the class to scraping by in Accounting with a C on every exam. The thing is that struggling a bit in class is totally normal in college! The good thing is that there are plenty of resources to help you if you can’t figure something out yourself!

Switching majors is normal

It’s not really spoken about much in the beginning of your college career, but it’s totally normal (and somewhat expected) for people to exit college with a different major than they started with. Personally, I never switched my own major, but I did go back and forth a lot with what I wanted to do after college. Take advantage of major fairs and career fairs, and see exactly what your university can offer you! You might find that you’re in the right place, but you might also find there’s a major better suited for your needs!

It’s okay to not want what others want

You’ll come across a lot of people in college that have different priorities than you, and you shouldn’t change your priorities based on theirs. It can be tempting to veer off your own path, but try your best to stay on it! In the end, you’ll be much happier that you stayed true to yourself.

You will change throughout your college years, and that’s okay

I know I just told you not to veer off your path, but there’s a difference between derailing and evolving. Just like any journey, the person you are at the end likely isn’t the same person as you were in the beginning. You’ll have new experiences and meet people that will shape you and help you along your journey.

Personally, a lot of things changed for me in college. I became more independent, I realized what I really wanted out of life, and I’ve just matured in general! I’m still me, but I’m a better version of myself!

Call your parents (and/or other close family members)!

This one gets an exclamation point because it is VERY important! Some people aren’t very close with their parents throughout high school, but I guarantee you will appreciate them more than you can imagine once you get to college. Your family will guide you through your struggles, help you make big decisions, and give you all the support you need!

Remember to have fun

Yes, the main reason you’re at college is to continue your education and get a good job post-graduation. That being said, don’t forget to enjoy your time at your university! Take part in activities that interest you, make friends that will last a lifetime, and do the things you want to do! The next four years are yours, so make the most of them!

What other people wish they knew:

I asked people on Twitter to send me their own lessons they learned in college, and I got a couple great responses!

“I wish I would’ve done more activities/clubs because thats the best and easiest way to make friends, since you’d have similar interests. I was too shy back then to even join anything alone so I definitely wish I would’ve forced myself to step out of my comfort zone!” – Kelli

“Never underestimate chicken strips that are available as a freshman. Ramen will one day be your best friend. One day you will stop crying over boys and start crying over exams. Sometimes wine will be the only solution. You start going out of your way for anything that is free!” – Camila

Kelli’s response definitely rings true for a lot of people! Joining clubs is such a great way to meet people that you have similarities with, and it’s also a great way to have fun! Even though I joined a couple clubs, I wish I branched out a little bit more in them to meet more people.

While Camila’s advice is funny, it’s still 500% accurate. I doubt I’ll ever find a chicken strip that matches up to the one in one of the dining centers. I definitely cried over a class I was struggling in, but wine was always there to make it better. And yes, “Free” will become your favorite word!

In Conclusion

Your college career will be one of the best 3-5 years (or more!) of your life, and if you’re a freshman reading this, I hope you make the most of it!

What’s something you learned during your college career? Let me know in the comments!

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32 Replies to “9 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Freshman Self”

  1. i switched majors three times already and i used to think i was a failure for not sticking to one major but it was a good decision and more people do it, so its normal. thanks for sharing!

    1. You are anything but a failure, girl! Good luck with the rest of your college career!!

  2. Aww what a sweet post! Universities definitely offer so many amazing free services- I wish the real world was like that haha!

    xoxo A

    1. Thanks Annaliese! I wish that too!

  3. This is so sweet!

  4. Ah this takes me back! College was such a great experience and it definitely taught me a lot. Totally with you on the don’t date the first guy thing. He was such a JERK in the end, but his loss am I right?! lol! I definitely called my Mom a little more than most, and that was completely okay with me. I feel like everyone’s college experience is different and everyone learns so many different things, but in the end, it helps us get to where we need to be!

    1. Girl, I called my mom every single day the past couple years, so I feel ya!

  5. What an AWESOME post. There are SO many things I’d tell my freshman self. I think I would tell her that it’s okay to be your own person- be unique. Play to your strengths, and do what makes you happy.

    1. Thanks Chelsea! I think those are awesome things to tell your freshman self!

  6. I love this. I changed my major 6 times so I would go back and tell myself it’s okay to not graduate in time and to do a little self exploring. When we enter college we face a lot of expectations and doubts.

    1. That is so true! Everyone’s under pressure to graduate in 4, but it’s so normal to take longer than that!

  7. “Don’t dwell on discouragements” – how TRUE this is!! Def wish I could tell my freshman self that, too!

    1. It is so true! I was definitely discouraged a few times, but I always felt better when I moved on!

  8. johnny @ fulltimenomad.com says: Reply

    I great post and lots of good advice. One thing I wish I could have told myself was to do an exchange overseas.

    1. That’s another great piece of advice, Johnny! Studying abroad is such a rewarding experience that everyone should do!

  9. I love this so much! I graduated five years ago, and I still get nostalgic. I love what you said about utilizing the school’s free services. That’s something I wish I would have done more of. I did utilize the gym and workout classes, but I definitely could have gone more. I also wish I would have utilized the free counseling services.

    1. So true about the counseling services! There were a couple times I thought about going, but then decided not to – but they are a GREAT resource!!

  10. We learn so much along the way! Congrats on graduating, Anna!

  11. Oh, man! I miss college so much and I wish I could go back and do things a little defferent. I had amazing opportunities and sometimes I didn’t take them because I was too scared.

  12. Yes these are all great tips! Freshman year feels like forever ago for me.

    1. Lol it does for me too! Thanks Jenny!

  13. These are great! I agree with it being okay to not want what others want- That was a hard one for me to overcome!

    1. Ugh same, girl! Thanks for reading!

  14. College flew by so fast. It was some of the best years of my life. Take it all in and enjoy 🙂

    1. That’s a great piece of advice!

  15. I could not agree more with all of these! Especially the point about switching majors, I switched my major THREE times before I finally figured out what I wanted to do! It’s totally okay to switch your major in college, most of us end up doing that anyways 🙂

    Kristen | http://www.sophisticatedgal.com

    1. See, it all works out! Thanks for reading, Kristen!

  16. loved this!! I so wish I knew a lot of these when I started college, wouldn’t things be so much easier?? Congrats on graduating!

    1. Haha they definitely would! Thanks Amy!

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