You get a lot of advice your freshman year; you’ve probably already had scores of parents and upperclassmen telling you all the things you “need to know.” I don’t want to overwhelm you with more advice piled upon the homework tips and the discussions of the best professors and classes, but there are some things that I wished people had told me as a freshman.
Take some time to relax. That seems like counterproductive advice, right? When I was a freshman, everyone kept telling me, “Study study study! Don’t let yourself fall behind!”
That is true – you need to study and work hard if you want to have a successful college career. But at the same time, you need to remember that you are NOT a robot. It’s okay to let yourself watch that episode of “Arrested Development” that you have queued up on Netflix. It’s okay to go shopping with your roommates, or play a game of volleyball with your friends.
If you’re on work mode all the time you’ll find yourself burning out fast; finding a good balance of work and play is vital.
Be adventurous! College is a completely new experience; for a lot of people, it’s their first time away from home. You’re already out of your comfort zone, so take this opportunity to try some things that you never would have considered doing before.
My freshman year I tried sushi for the first time (I loved it), went ice skating (I ended up skating into an unsuspecting elderly couple and swore I would never attempt skating again) and went to a concert in a really sketchy part of Dallas. Don’t let yourself miss out on great experiences because you’re too scared to try something new.
Talk to strangers. UD is a pretty tight-knit community, so don’t feel the need to scream “STRANGER DANGER!” whenever you meet someone new. Everyone you meet your freshman year has the potential to be your new best friend, so don’t write someone off before you get to know them.
Wear bug spray and sunscreen. I know they can smell funky, but there are mosquitoes the size of small dogs here in Texas, and nobody looks cute covered in a sunburn and bug bites. Nobody.
Whether you take this advice or not, I hope that your freshman year is one of the best of your life!