I remember my first year of college. I regretted my major and hated every second of my life on campus. I recall the moment I realized, “damn, I gotta do this for four years?”. It was one of the most challenging moments in my life. I too, wondered, will this get better?
It’s easier and harder at the same time. Although, most people seem to feel that college gets way easier after freshman year despite some difficulties. In this article, I will discuss how college gets easier and tips on maximizing your freshman year.
What gets easier
- Friendships built
The awkwardness of being alone will most likely be gone. You’ll have at least one or two friends who’ll hang with you after college or even take the same classes as you. This is probably the most important thing on this list. Once you have friends, even if it is just a friend, it will help you a lot in adjusting to college life.
- Adjusting to dorm life
I personally never understood this. Having an Asian family who always controlled my curfew, living in a dorm was freedom to me. But I knew some friends who miss their homes like crazy. So this is for you who may feel homesick in the first year of college. Most likely, you’ll get over the homesick feeling after making a couple of friends, figuring out how to deal with the homesickness, and getting used to living alone. You might even enjoy the independence!
- Adjusting to the studies
Education systems in high school and college are different. But not to worry, it takes a short period of time to get used to studying as a college student. Most people enjoy studying in college since they can choose what they want to learn. In addition, as you’ve made friends and adjusted to your dorm, you’ve successfully adjusted to being a college student!
Maximizing your first year
To have an easier junior year, it’s essential to do your best in your freshman year.
- Make friends
I cannot stress how important it is to try and have a couple of friends in the first few semester of college! You don’t have to have a large circle of friends, but having one or two, especially in class, is really helpful. Imagine receiving a group project assignment, but you know no one in class—a horrible feeling. Additionally, having friends means having people to study with and take classes with, spend your weekends with, and generally make your days in college more manageable. Freshman year is the year of adjusting from high school to college life; having someone else to change with is way better than adjusting alone.
- Be involved in college clubs and activities
Freshman year is probably the perfect time to join college clubs, volunteer, and do other college activities. Don’t drag it! Why? You are most likely to be the least busy in your first year of college. In the next years you will be dealing with heavier studies, assignments, and maybe even have a part-time job.
Joining college clubs is also useful for socializing! You’re going to be able to meet people from different age ranges and majors. Take this time to build friendships and connections. From my personal experience, most of my closest college friends are not from the same major as I am but vary across majors! Additionally, experience in joining clubs or other kinds of organizations will help you develop hard and soft skills useful for work-life in the future.
- Plan and stay organized
As I shared before, your studies will be more difficult as the semester progresses, especially if you take part-time jobs. It is important to make it a habit to plan and journal. Journaling will help you stay organized and manage your time with different schedules. This also involves your finances. If possible, save up and organize your money!
- Always find time to relax
Taking care of your health mentally and physically is crucial. Always try to find time for leisuring regardless of how busy you are. That’s why journaling can be helpful because you can organize your schedule effectively. If you are sick, drained, and depressed, everything will be difficult for you. Happiness and a calm mind are key to dealing with your college problems!
Like the quote “life is like a rollercoaster,” it really is. There will be ups and downs in every stage of your life, and it all depends on how you take it. Although generally, college life will be easier after freshman year if you pay special attention to your first year in college. Be involved in organizations, stay in class, know your limits, and take good care of yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is college life overwhelming?
Yes. It can be overwhelming, especially academic wise as the year goes on.
- Is having a balanced college life difficult?
It can be if you don’t manage your time well.