Feb 21, 2013

The 5 Things Every College Freshmen Should Know

I first must say thank you so much to Royar for asking me to guest blog for her! Royar and I work together on The Smart Girls Group, an international sisterhood for girls from middle school to college that works to connect, inspire, and empower girls through contribution to the community. We have a monthly digital magazine, a daily blog (which is about to get a facelift!), and campus chapters throughout the country. Royar writes an AMAZING column for our magazine called “The Smart Girl Is Aware” and it is a column all on current events going on in our world. I’m so lucky to be able to work with her and I’m so excited to guest blog for her today!

I am in the midst of my second semester at Fordham University in New York City. Just like every college freshmen, there are ups and downs, and lots of adjusting, in more ways than I ever imagined. So when Royar asked me to write about college, I decided I would write about the 5 Things Every Incoming College Freshmen Should Know. 

1. Schedule everything and follow that schedule. 
This is a big one! You may follow a strict schedule in high school now, but with more freedom, less time in class, and an entire campus at your fingertips, trust me, it can be hard to stay as disciplined as you may have at home. My suggestion is to use Google Calendar. I schedule in every minute of every day, and then add in my to-do list to the task area. This way, I get notifications on my phone, my Mac’s iCal, and via email (you can change these settings as well). I am held completely responsible to sticking to my schedule that way! I also use an agenda for daily goals, specific homework assignments, and reminders. It’s a system that works for me, but may not work for everyone. Just remember to stick to your schedule. 

2. Don’t have any social expectations.
I made this mistake. I went in with expectations for what I would do socially, who I wanted to hang out with, how I wanted certain relationships to be. I assumed the first people I met would be my best friends. In all honesty, that idea came because my boyfriend, who is a sophomore at another school, is still best friends with the same people he met the very first day. The truth is, it doesn’t usually work out like that. Most people I know have different friends now than they had at the beginning of last semester, and that’s totally normal. My problem was I wasn’t particularly open to that concept. However, after I opened up my mind, let go of my expectations, and just did my thing, I met the best people and now, I couldn’t be happier. I do what I want to do when I want to do it, which can be hard because most people do the same things as far as the college social scene. You don’t have to, though. The key is to surround yourself with people who will lift you higher, not knock you down, and at the end of the day, you must be independent. The people that fail to see college as an opportunity are those who are too dependent on their friend group. 

3. Buy a lot of socks and bobby pins.
Seriously. I’ve seen chocolate last in my room longer than socks and bobby pins. And that’s saying something.

4. Dive in, again and again.
Some may disagree with me on this, but freshman year is the year for you to discover in more depth your interests and who you are. The only way to do this is to take initiative and just try things. At the club fair, sign up for the email list for any and every club that interests you. If you hear about an internship, see if it fits into your schedule. No matter what, don’t play the “I’m only a freshman and I have time for all that.” The people that get ahead are the people that get started from the very beginning. If something becomes too much, prioritize and drop those activities that don’t hold a high spot on the list. I took on a lot from the beginning and my schedule is jam packed, but I have learned more about myself in one semester than in four years of high school. Bottom line: dive in!

5. Find something that keeps you stable.
College can be a high stress environment.  Find one or two things that keep you sane. Personally, I know that if I work out every day, even if it is just 10 minutes of high intensity interval training, I feel at ease with things. I started doing that more this semester and I’m proud to say, I’ve worked out every day of 2013 so far! I also meditate on a daily basis. I know that may sound funny, but usually I just will take 5 to 15 minutes, find a guided meditation video on YouTube, and I’m in good shape. It just clears my mind and is very relaxing. No matter what keeps you sane, make sure that you always find something that will keep you relaxed for a few minutes every day. You will find that taking the time to do this leads to a healthier, happier you.

Well, thank you so much for reading and thank you so much to Royar for having me! I hope you have a great day!

Be smart share smarts,
Emily :] 

Thanks Emily! xx


  1. Does Emily have a blog? I love her post and would like to check it out!

  2. When you first go to college it's soo overwhelming. Your classes are going to be way harder and it's really hard not to feel discouraged walking out of your first midterm feeling like you failed it. (Before the curve.) Cut yourself some slack. And I so agree that it's important to have something that de-stresses you! Mine is working out too... And blogging!


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