14 Things You'll Do During Freshman Year of College
With that said, it doesn't matter how unique you are; there are a few things that just about every college freshman will do, especially because being new in a new place is kind of an crazily universal thing.
We now put on our swami turban and gaze into our crystal ball—i.e. we now re-read our college journals—to predict the 14 things you will definitely do during your first year of college.
1. Eat loads of crappy food. Odds are you'll be living on campus, where the quality, nutritional value, and flavor of institutional food will leave something to be desired. (Imagine vending machine food, but lukewarm-er and greasier.) Unless you're part of a sports team and being groomed for Olympic greatness, the only healthy stuff will be on The Salad Bar of Sadness, where you'll be able to choose from several leaves of brownish lettuce and a lone chickpea. Also, since your fridge will be nano-sized, your go-to staples (in no particular order) will include: ramen, Ritz crackers, chips, salsa, Doritos, chips, peanut butter, Ritz crackers, popcorn, Cheez-Its, Snickers, ramen, and ramen.
2. Freak out a little about your weight. The above consumption of the above crappy food usually leads to what is lovingly termed "the Freshman 15," or the 15 lbs. you'll gain while you're living on a steady diet of mozzarella sticks and funnels of Genny Light. There are also those people who head off to school and get so wrapped up in activities and newness and such that they actually lose weight. (It's rare, but it happens.) Either way, you're bound to freak out a little about how much you've gained or lost and why your clothes suddenly fit all weird and junk.
3. Discover the horrors of pre-10am classes. Unless you come into your freshman year with a ton of AP credits, the sadists who made up the registration system will make sure that you (a cloutless freshman) have a teensy window of courses available to you at the worst times imaginable. How's a three-hour lecture on the history of mica schist sound? See you Fridays at 7am, and enjoy your new love affair with espresso!
4. Sleep through at least one class. You'll do it. You'll feel like a dummy. Life will go on.
5. Redefine your weekend: In college, Thursday, Friday and Saturday will constitute "the weekend." Acceptable (but less common) party nights may also include Wednesday and Sunday.
6. Make friends with the person who has the car. This may or may not be just because she has the car.
7. Get up close and personal with the benefits and disadvantages of Greek life. In many places, fraternities and sororities will be your primary social outlet. (In other places, they'll be all, "What are Greeks? We banned those fascist twits in, like, the '80s.") If you're going to a school with a moderate-to-heavy Greek presence, they'll likely be the main source of your weekend entertainment, and you'll learn to act accordingly. (For example, if you tell a Sig Tau brother that his hat makes his head and oversized shoulders look like male genitals, do not expect to be invited back to Sig Tau parties. Clearly, this bit of wisdom does not come from personal experience.) (Nor does the part where a rival Alpha Chi Rho brother overhears you, thinks your comment is hilarious, and makes you an unofficial mascot.) Also, you'll get used to the bi-annual pledging rituals—5am wake-up calls! People running with pillows and sleeping bags and stickers on their faces! Furtive glances from five guys linked at the arms by bacon chains!—and the hilarity they bring.
8. Cram cram cram. You'll probably pull a few all-nighters. When it's 4:15am and you've been up since 8am the day before, you will eventually teach yourself how not to pull all-nighters. You will also discover that too many red eyes can make your body vibrate uncontrollably and in an uncomfortable way.
9. Learn how to deal with a roommate. You'll be bunking in 15 square feet with at least one person who's not a relative. It'll seem weird and tough at first, but there's a good chance your roommate will become one of your best buds. And if you guys don't get along, you'll learn valuable ways to make the most of her sleeping hours. [NOTE: It is preferable to use a non-permanent marker when drawing on her face.]
10. Realize why it's bad to be the leader/slacker in a group project. You can distinguish yourself in other ways, but if there are a bunch of you sharing an assignment and a grade, you'll quickly find out why it sucks to be the organizer (coordination! thankless tasks! deadlines!) or the flake (everybody hates you when you don't get your stuff done! that everybody-hating-you thing!).
11. Mess up. You'll do it. You'll feel like a dummy. Life will go on.
12. Learn your limits. Since you won't have anyone standing over you to say yay or nay or set boundaries on things like timing, homework, socializing and money expenditures, it'll be on you to figure out what your personal limits are. That means making some mistakes, and learning from them. Whether you sign up for 25 credits of grad classes, party for 118 hours straight, max out all your credit cards, or sign up for every extracurricular, you'll figure out what's too much, what's not enough, and what's just right for you.
13. Deal with some degree of sex. So, sex, right? People are gonna be thinking about, talking about, asking you about it, and actually doin' it. Depending on your point of view, that could mean woooo! Or, it could mean, um, woo? Don't panic. You'll get to figure out what you feel comfortable with, whether or not you're willing to join in (and to what degree), and how to form opinions about other people's doin' it habits.
14. Make some pretty amazing friends. True that. The girl with the Wu-Tang poster and the H8A-4-LIFE tattoo will seem a little crazy at first, but six years from now, when you're still besties, you'll look back on that first day and laugh. College peeps can be super surprising and wonderful, and while you won't stay tight with everyone you meet freshman year, those first friends will go a long way towards your future greatness.
How many items have you completed from this list?
Related post: 12 Ways to Spot a Freshman