Best Lessons Learned as a College Freshman

Tonight as I began to pack my bags, I continued to organize my belongingsĀ as I questioned exactly what I was doing. This small little room was becoming emptier and emptier. A whole two semesters completed, and I’m never to put my makeup on here, make phone calls to loved ones, cry over a test grade or sleep. How did the time get away from me? Didn’t I just move in yesterday?

I took a little time to reflect on some of the best lessons I learned this year, so I decided to share them with you. (Seniors in high school, get ready for the happiest time)

(1) College is one big fat huge open door. Yes, you are on your own. Yes, you get to make your own decisions. You now are at an age where you decide who stays in your life and who doesn’t. So let go of those people that don’t make you happy because now you have a fresh slate of people and get to start over. Now with making your own decisions, don’t get too ahead of yourself. Prayer goes a long way, and God really does have your best interest at heart. It took me a whole two semesters to learn this because college is not at all what I expected it to be.

(2) This is a time your relationships with loved ones will be tested. Trust me, it’s worth it. Distance helps you grow closer to the ones you treasure most when you put forth a little effort. A phone call once a way goes a long way!

(3) Yes, the “freshman 15” is real. There are so many factors behind why and everyone is different so it just depends. I checked in with the scale before leaving for school and came back to Christmas break with a difference I was quite shocked to see. Those numbers don’t define you. Just remember to take care of yourself. Bad habits are easy to pick up and can also be broken, so don’t let this shock you! College brings so many substantial changes that you shouldn’t be mad at yourself when something goes slightly wrong. You’re learning how to balance everything on your own and you’ve got three (or four) more years to fix it.

(4) Journal EVERYTHING. I mean it!! You’re in a new environment, so take the time to enjoy it and write about what the present moment is teaching you. If you started a new volunteer project, write about that too so you can add it to your resume and talk about it in a possible job interview.

(5) Don’t forget to exercise. Don’t over do it either. 2-3 times a week is perfectly attainable and not too much of a pain. It’s a way to get your mind off of things and also take care of yourself. You deserve it!

(6) You parents sent you to school to study… not to party, find the person you are going to marry, or completely become sidetrack with a wrong priority. You are in control of your life now so you determine where you will lead with your actions. Sure there are so many more attractive people in college and so many more social events, but don’t let your priorities slip from you.

(7) Push yourself to get involved in something you’ve never done before. I started volunteering in elementary schools at least five hours a week this year because children are something that bring so much joy to my life. Pick something you love, find it in your community, and make it a set goal to do so many hours a week. Doing art with kids was mine, and man was it a good feeling for the little ones to say “I’ll miss you, see you next year Miss Rachel!” It is SO important to give back to your community, even if you are in a new town.

(8) Pack your dorm with healthy snacks. And for sure ALWAYS keep snacks in your dorm!! That way when you pull an all nighter and are hungry at 2 am, you won’t feel as guilty for munching on grapes and granola bars.

(9) God has you where you are for a reason. This is something I really struggled with, and when I decided to get my attitude in the right place, I realized I couldn’t be happier with where I ended up. Although you don’t always know the exact reason of why you are where you are, you have to trust that God has you there to impact the lives of others. It’s not all about what you can get out of it, sometimes it is the people you will help along the way.

(10) Study habits are always something that can be improved. Talking to your professor can and will be the scariest thing at times, but they really are there to help you. Don’t let one semester’s GPA completely tear you down. You have 7 (or more) semesters to boost that GPA back up!

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed!

Pi Phi Love,

Rachel

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