Menu Close

Things I’ve Learned my Freshman Year of College

“Things I’ve learned my freshman year of college” is a touching reflection written by Amanda Brea as she waited for her mom to pick her up from Northeastern University.  Four years later, Amanda is now a graduate and is once again embarking on a new adventure.  (Congratulations, Amanda!)  My students at Test Prep for Success are about to start the adventure that Amanda just completed.  She wrote these insights to share her advice, encouragement, and inspiration with students just like mine.  I hope you love them as much as I do!

Things I’ve learned my freshman year of college for those who have yet to experience it:

  • Get sleep. Sleep is important. Seriously.
  • Go to the gym and make your health a priority.
  • Don’t be afraid to be alone. Having alone time is very important.
  • Stick to your values even if it means you lose people. You will eventually find new ones who are worth your time and make you happy.
  • The dining hall is a great place to come together with friends and talk for hours. Even if you get bored of the food don’t take it for granted- it may not be accessible to you as an upper classmen and you will miss having a place to gather and eat with friends.
  • Don’t forget your family. It’s harder for them than for you, because everything is changing for you while everything at home stays the same.
  • Be safe and make smart choices. You can have fun and try new things while being smart at the same time. Stay true to what you’re comfortable with and don’t feel pressured to try something you wouldn’t otherwise.
  • Take advantage of all the resources available to you. Go to office hours and form relationships with the faculty in your department. You will learn and grow from these experiences.
  • Go to class. It’s not hard. You’re in class way less than you were in high school. That way even if you procrastinate (which you shouldn’t but you might) you have at least engaged.
  • Switch rooms if your rooming situation is causing you anxiety and lost sleep. Switching rooms mid-semester was the best choice I ever made this year. Having someone you coexist with peacefully is honestly the best-case scenario. Being friends is a bonus, not the priority. You can be GREAT friends but HORRIBLE roommates with someone.
  • Drama and cliques don’t disappear. Sorry. You will have drama and there will be people you don’t like. Try to avoid restricting yourself to an exclusive clique of people.
  • Join clubs. Meet upper classmen too. They are great connections to have on campus, having been in your place.
  • With that being said, don’t over commit yourself. Figure out where you feel most at home and prioritize those places and people. Having free time is a great thing.
  • Explore your college town if you can.
  • Know that there WILL be ups and downs. It is not all glamorous and finding the right friends takes time. Be patient and don’t let the hard patches get to you. College is a hard adjustment and it will not be smooth sailing. But it does get better and better.
  • Live in the moment and take it day by day, because it goes by VERY fast. You may think you have 4 equal years of college, but freshman year is truly unique. Everyone is together, excited to make new friends, and ready to have a great time. Don’t let it slip by.
Amanda Brea
Northeastern University Class of 2022
(Used with permission)