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20 Things We Wish We Knew Freshman Year


We all remember the embarrassing things we did or the stupid decisions we made freshman year. Many we can laugh at, while some we'll never mention again. We'd rather today's freshmen feel more prepared than we did tackling our first year of college. That's why we're offering up our sage wisdom with these 20 things we wish we'd known freshman year.

1. Avoid morning classes.

Sitting in an 8 A.M. the morning after binge drinking while watching SNL—or staying up all night to finish a project—will not be enjoyable.

2. Forgo the 3 ½ hour lectures on a Thursday night.

Weekends start on Thursday. While you’re in class texting your friends about outfit decisions, they are trying on outfits with a mixed drink in hand.

3. Don’t purchase textbooks until after your first day of class.

You won’t need half the books your professor wrote in the syllabus anyway.

4. Order your textbooks from Chegg or Amazon.

It will save you (or your parents) some money.

5. Take advantage of your meal plan.

That plastic card with your picture and ID number is crucial. Although we believe the virtual money and meal swipes are magic, your parents did pay for them… so use it!

6. There is a city outside your campus to explore.

Experience wing night, burger night, $3 margarita night and happy hour specials at local restaurants and bars. If you don’t you will always wonder how those two (strong) margaritas got that girl dancing on the table in a sombrero.

7. Go to the gym.

There’s a really good chance you will gain weight, which is completely normal, so look to the gym as your friend to help you stay in shape.

 8. You may have to take a winter or summer course.

If so, do it freshman or sophomore year at a community college where your credits can transfer and classes are cheaper.

9. You’re considered “fresh meat.”

The senior who texts you at 2 A.M. doesn’t actually want to date you.

10. You are allowed to enter college “undecided,” and you don’t need to pick your major right away.

Freshman year is a time to explore your options and take classes you didn’t know existed.

11. Have a balance between social life and studying.

Don’t be that girl who stays in all weekend studying, but don’t be that girl who is getting carried home on a Monday night…and Tuesday night…and Wednesday night. Too much of anything is not good.

12. When your mom cooks for you, appreciate it!

Nothing is better than some homemade meals.

13. People who wear their lanyard around their neck are, by definition, "freshmen."


You're welcome.

14. You aren’t Steven Glansberg if you eat alone.

Eating alone is common, especially for breakfast when not all your friends are awake yet.

15. Save the dress and heels for Saturday night.

Keep the “weeknight-going-out outfits” casual.

16. Pace yourself when day drinking and remember to hydrate.

Water is good for your complexion, and pacing your alcohol consumption will keep you from passing out in your bed before 6 P.M.

17. There’s a difference between a good friend and a good roommate.

You may not be best friends with your roommate but your living styles may be compatible.

18. Use “Rate My Professor” or ask upperclassmen about teachers.

You will start taking classes for the professor instead of the subject.

19. Work on your core.

We’re talking academic credits here. Taking the maximum amount of credits second semester senior year is not good planning; work with your advisor.

20. College flies by…

... so enjoy it!

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