With just five weeks left of freshman year I’m looking back at some of the best times of my entire life. Next year, people might think I’m an adult or something crazy like that because I will be a senior, on cabinet, a peer leader, and I’ll have those other crazy adult titles. I think about where I was a year ago and all of the crazy amazing things I’ve done since then and I get so excited for the people who are stepping into this part of their life. Lately I’ve been making a list of all of the things I’ve done this year that I truly loved. Things I didn’t see coming and almost didn’t try.
I want everyone to look back at there freshman year and think no regrets.
So start by
Taking too many pictures
Everyone will be doing it. If you don’t, you’ll regret it for sure. Looking through a camera roll full of pictures of friends on mountain tops and videos of friends getting hit in the face with pancakes; that will bring you more joy than you could’ve ever hoped for. I felt dumb taking pictures because I always just want to be present in the moment but sometimes it’s ok to snap a quick little memory to hold on to. Especially if you’re as sentimental as I am.
Getting (too) involved
Everyone warned me when I came to Lee how easy it was to get overwhelmed with commitment. I did everything in my power to listen to those people by only joining one club.
Well sort of, I mean I joined one social club and one academic. And then I started writing for our school paper. And then I joined two committees. And then I took a few extra little volunteer opportunities.
And then I was overcommitted.
You have to be careful with getting involved your first year if you don’t know how to college. Make sure you can keep up with your homework and learn to say no every once in a while before you jump into a life of meetings and agendas. But by all means, GET INVOLVED.
You’ll meet the best people in the whole world when you get involved with the things you’re passionate about. You’ll learn valuable life skills. You’ll love college. You never know where that will take you. Learn to say yes. Learn to say no. Learn how to work hard because you want to.
Studying. A lot.
You’re paying to go to school. Don’t miss out on opportunities to really learn something by blowing off homework and procrastinating. Skipping classes is a waste of time and money. Take advantage of the resources available to you. Making good grades and coming out of a semester understanding the material feels so good. The pain is way worth the gain.
Dorm life is worth the pain.
Yes, it’s expensive. Yes, it can get gross. Yes, it can be loud. Yes, there are a lot of rules. But, at the end of the day you’ll be glad you live a few feet from your friends, food, and first class. Not to mention, you can have some really great times. Granted, I spent most of my time in the dorm sleeping, but if you come to campus not knowing a soul, dorms are a great place to make friends. Dorm wars is crazy hype. Where you live matters your first year. It won’t make or break your experience, but it will impact how you transition into college.
Embrace the PCSU.
The building we all love. The home we know so well. Freshmen live here on Lee’s campus. It’s a way of life. It’s the best way to see everyone you know in five minutes. You could stay here for hours and get everything or nothing done. Some folks who live further from the building or choose other dining options may not see the inside of the campus living room as much as I do but you can’t argue, the PCSU is an iconic part of the Lee freshman experience.
Don’t let the good friends go.
It can be really easy to lose friends your freshman year. You get busy. You just don’t see each other. Make sure you hold tight to the people who matter. Be intentional. Force time together when you have to. Hold each other accountable. You’ll meet some really amazing people your freshman year. It’s easy to only talk to the people you run into. But, if you want to keep growing, keep in touch with the people who make you stronger. Friends are so important your freshman year.
You’re in this city on your own. It’s time to find out what the world around you has to offer. See the sites. Eat the food. Don’t wait until your senior year to discover the best overlooks or the best coffee place. Set out for adventure on the weekend or a Thursday night. This is the beginning of adulthood. Don’t let routine stop you from exploring creation.
And Pelican’s. Explore Pelican’s.
Have a good attitude.
It will rain. Every day. For weeks. You’ll have four exams. You’ll accidentally take a really hard elective. You’ll miss your mom. You’ll accidentally eat 20 chicken nuggets in one day (yes, that can be a bad thing). Through it all, be positive. Remember everything is happening for a reason. Keep your head up and persevere. Laugh through the pain and rely on your community. Literally praise God when you make it through the week.
Have fun for free.
Card games became my life when I couldn’t afford to go out to eat or see a movie. It’s a fun way to get to know people, and you can do it anywhere. Your thing might be different, but for my friends and I, board and card games were the perfect activity for any free time we had together.
Accept your caffeine addiction now.
I remember the first time I had coffee before my 9 a.m. I remember what we talked about in the class. I remember how how I was actually awake.
Just give in. Drink coffee. It will make morning classes and afternoon meetings so much more pleasant. Just don’t let it drain your savings.
Never forget it.
You only get one freshman year. Hang on to the memories and cherish them for the years to come. Remember what made you grow and the lessons you learned. Remember laughing. Remember crying. Have a blast. These days are gone before you know it.