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What I Wish I Knew As a Freshman

What I Wish I Knew As a Freshman

It doesn't matter if you're a freshmen in high school, college, or life. The experience—and outright anxiety—is pretty much the same. We asked our readers to share their best tried-and-true wisdom for making friends, getting the grades, and finding yourself when you don't know where to start. So whether you're 15 or 25, here's how to live through the awkwardness of being new.

“Put yourself out there. It's difficult and can be awkward at first, but it helps so much later on. Attend those freshman events and programs, meet people, reach out, even if it starts as small talk. It may seem lame, but it helps. I messed up and didn't do that and then spent a lot of my time alone and depressed in my dorm. You're also not going to always like your roommate (if you have one), but remember to make peace with it and it's not forever.  College truly is a place where you can reinvent yourself and it's the coolest thing ever.”  —Lauren, 22

“I wish I would have known that in the wise words of Hannah Montana, ‘Life's what you make it’ and so is university. University is not as hard, and the people and professors you'll meet aren't as scary as everyone (and by that I mean, friends, family, teachers, and guidance counselors) make it out to be. If you go into freshman year with a fearful or negative mentality, then that is the kind of energy you'll emit and attract. So, remember to be positive, be yourself, and to smile, and you'll be alright.” —Alexandra, 19
 
“Please, please, PLEASE get involved. Join clubs, try a sport, find a passion. You'll make friends, and it'll be well worth it in the end.” —Erin, 15
 
“It's very easy to get lonely and stay in. But the truth is that everyone is in the same boat; everyone’s looking for friends. Just put yourself out there, even though it might be awkward at first, and you'll find friends very fast.” —Saskia, 19

“Take initiative! If your school doesn't offer an activity or club you are interested in, start your own. Don't wait until your junior year, you'll be so much happier if you start early.” Annie, 16
 
“Of course starting anew can be hard, but taking a deep breath and striking up conversation with someone new will make you feel so accomplished. It's not easy for anyone to make new friends, but putting yourself out there can be half the battle!” —Aisling, 16

“Your grades freshman year will come back and bite you in the butt. Focus and do well because freshman year matters, too.” —Dymond, 18

“Do everything to the fullest. Study hard. Find clubs you are passionate about and do your best in them. Party (or watch Netflix) hard. Make sure that you focus on college but make sure that you have time for yourself too. Also, legit tho, be yourself. It might be hard to find your crowd but once you do, it's gonna be awesome. Don't waste your time with people who don't accept you.” —Aishwarya, 16
 
“Try out any activity that you are even remotely interested in. Eventually you will find things you really love to do. Don't feel like just because you have been doing a certain activity "forever" that you must continue doing it. Your interests can change, so don't force yourself to dedicate a huge amount of your time to something you don't really love anymore. Remember that freshman grades DO count for college admissions, and the grades you get will also determine what classes you can take later in high school. Make sure that you are really enjoying your life. Be studious and happy at the same time. Take electives in subjects that genuinely interest you! Try to get your work done during the school day so that you don't have as much work to do at home! Trust me, this almost eliminates procrastination!” —Grace, 16

 

 

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