Every college student I have ever known talks about freshman year like it’s their most cherished friend. Therefore as I entered my first year at university clutching a newly printed student I.D. and a detailed map of the campus (no one told me that this was dorky or that there’s an app!), I felt pressure to have a year that lived up to the picture- perfect expectation I had conjured up in my mind. Now as I swiftly approach the end of my freshman year, I can see why year one holds such weight in the minds of upperclassmen. Everything that only six months ago held no personal meaning to me whatsoever, from library nooks to bus routes to hefty textbooks, is now chock full of specific memories, some good and some bad, but all strangely sentimental now that the year is coming to a close and I survived it. Mine is scribbled on and etched forever with moments I cannot repeat nor get back, but many graduating seniors are clenching a blank sheet of college paper. This one’s for all of you.
The Sit Down
Q: What is one thing you’re glad you did your freshman year?
Jessica: I’m glad that I utilized all of the resources that my campus had to offer. Like the gym, SI sessions, sporting events, social events (campus bringing in outside speakers to lecture) etc. I was already paying for these things and I’m glad that I didn’t let it go to waste.
Drake: I’m glad that I applied for organizations and opportunities this year. Even though they didn’t all work out, I still had the opportunity to be involved and meet people as a result.
McKenzie: I am glad I chose people this year. I chose to get involved in the church first of all, then one to two things on campus. I lived off campus this past year so I got to understand and love four other incredible girls. With living away from freshman dorm life I got to seek specific people through Antioch, Fish Aides, Diversity Commission, and life in general to be my friends. College is a crazy place of choosing the people you will pursue and doing it. I loved the way I got to seek, serve and love people this past year!
Sophie: I’m most glad I joined an organization on campus. Initially coming into freshman year, I thought most people met friends in classes, their dorm hall, or just by sitting next to a person. What I discovered was that although not exactly similar, meeting people in college is a lot like meeting people in normal life. Just like adults, college students are pretty much in their own world riding buses, eating lunch, and walking to class. That aren’t really in the mood to just have friendly conversations and if they are, it mostly ends there. And before you know it, it’s November of first semester and everyone has already found their friends and they aren’t really looking for any more. To this day, after almost two semesters of college, I can only think of one friend I made in a class that I’m still friends with. So if I hadn’t have joined an organization (mine being a leadership organization but anything from sorority/fraternity to a scholarship group) I don’t know where I would’ve met people.
Q: What is one thing you wish you would’ve done differently this year?
Jessica: I wish I had dedicated more of my time to having a social life. My grades were awesome, my sleep schedule was decent, and I still had friends but homework and my trips back home kind of prohibited be from really exploring [my city]. I had heard that when you’re in college you can have good grades, a fun social life, and a healthy sleep schedule, but in actuality you can only have two of the three. I chose good grades and sleep but I am a little disappointed that I didn’t challenge the ‘saying.’
Drake: Something I wish I would have done differently is finding an older guy to meet with on a pretty consistent basis. I think that relationship would have been really cool to see progress throughout the year.
McKenzie: The main thing I would have done differently would be to put my phone away. Technology has really taken over my life and it isn’t social media or tv but just communicating with people. I would have and plan to set times apart when I am on my phone and when I am not. Technology is an important way of communication, and I see the importance but I needed to use it in moderation and specific time!
Sophie: One thing I wish I would’ve done differently in college, is not be SO worried about sleep. I know that sounds weird, and I don’t condone a “go to sleep at 4 am and wake up at noon” lifestyle, I missed a lot of fun experiences because I “needed sleep.” Partly this was because I had 8 ams but I truly believe that I could’ve had a lot more fun and the same grades but just been a bit more tired during the day than being notorious for “leaving early.” I think sleep is VITAL in college for mental, emotional, and physical health but I also believe that too much of it can cause us to miss out.
As for me, my only piece of advice is to distance yourself from judging others. I hate to admit it, but I spent a good portion of my high school years criticizing the way my older sister “did” college. I remember thinking to myself how I was going to do so much better than her when I got . I was going to maintain a perfect balance between my social life, school, and personal health. The truth is that perfection is an awful thing to strive for in college, because it’s unattainable. I am doing a lot of the same things I saw my sister do that I judgmentally saw as