Survival Tips for College Freshmen

29 Jul

If you’re about to start your first year as a college freshmen, you’re probably a bit nervous and really excited. You’re about to live away from home for the first time, in a building filled with other kids your age! What could be more exciting? Follow these survival tips for college freshmen and you’re sure to be a raging success:

  • Sharing a Room: I don’t care what anyone says, no one is too pampered to share a college dorm room. I’m an only child, and before my
    freshman year everyone wondered how I would survive having to share a teeny, tiny pie-shaped dorm room with another person. A person I had never met. I shocked them all when I loved it! I mean really, who needs personal space when you’re in college?
  • My half of our freshman dorm room.

  • Community Bathrooms: These can get kind of gross, but thankfully as a college freshman you won’t really care. We had a floor      Halloween decorating contest when I was a freshman, during which we used ketchup to make fake “blood” in the shower. The cleaning guy wasn’t willing to clean this mess up, so we just showered with it until the end of the semester. No big deal. Whatever you do though, never, ever go in the bathroom without proper foot protection.
  • Parties: Of course you’re going to go to parties, you’re in college now! Be (somewhat) responsible with it though. Arrive with your friends, and leave with your friends. Say no to participating in jello wrestling contests (eww, on many levels). Don’t drink yourself into oblivion – you’ll feel awful for two days, and make a damn fool of yourself while you’re at it. And of course, don’t accept drinks from boys unless you’ve seen it pumped from a keg, or you’ve watched him open it.
  • Food: Don’t be one of those freshmen that gets fat. Between walking all over campus to your classes, and trudging through who knows
    where to get to off-campus parties, you’ll get plenty of exercise. Don’t fall into the “I’m a poor college student” trap of Ramen and Easy Mac. I made it through four years of college without eating that garbage, and so can you. Follow my lead and make Special K with strawberries your late night, post-drinking snack. When in the dining halls, you know what you shouldn’t be eating each day. Pizza, fried food, ice cream, and everything else in that category is fine in moderation, but if you eat it frequently (or even semi-frequently) you will inflate.
  • Making Friends: Keep your door open when you’re home, so your floormates can stop in and visit. Everyone on a freshman dorm floor is eager to make new friends. Since your floor is your home while at school, your floormates become somewhat of a family away from home. When I was a freshman, I spent most of my free time with my roommate, and the other girls that lived on our floor. We would go to dinner together every night, make sure we were all in attendance before leaving a party, and gather together to watch tv every night. And even though we moved around each year, most of our same little group was still in tact through our senior year.
  • Decorating: If your freshman dorm room is anything like mine was, you will be greeted with white-washed concrete walls and fluorescent lights. No one can survive in this atmosphere for more than 48 hours without becoming morbidly depressed. Thankfully, you can easily (and cheaply) transform this into a palace of freshman freedom. Get a couple of cheapo area rugs, a few lamps, and some wall art (find a cheap frame for it if possible). You’re also going to need tons of picture frames, and pictures of your family and high school friends to display. Trust me, everyone does it.

This is my freshman year of college dorm room building. It resembled a beer can. Coincidence?

  • Cleaning:  You may be a college freshman, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a slob. With the amount of time you spend in your dorm room, you need it to be clean. Keep a small vacuum stashed in the corner of your room, don’t let smelly laundry pile up, and make your bed! My roommate and I followed these rules, and as a result everyone always wanted to hang out in our room, because it was the nicest place to be on the block (okay, well the floor, but you get my point).
  • Hygiene:  Just because your mom can’t force you to shower doesn’t mean you can get away with being dirty. No one likes to be around someone who smells, especially your roommate, so keep up with that daily (or twice daily) shower schedule. This may seem obvious, but judging from the smell of the boys’ floors in my college dorm, it is not. C’mon boys, freshman girls might be naive, but they do have noses.
  • Going to Class:  You’re first real “adult” challenge is showing that you have the common sense to both stay alive and attend your classes. Typically, most college freshmen can handle this, but there’s always that handful who cannot. If you stop going to class after the first week of school, you will not pass your finals. It really is that simple.


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