Freshman year of college

Otisha Paige graduated from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in African American Studies. Currently, she is a master’s candidate at Louisiana State University. She previously worked as a breaking news reporter for The Daily World and The Daily Advertiser. In addition to being an entertainment and lifestyle blogger for JessicaSimien.com, she has also written for The Westside Journal, The Church Health Center, and HerCampus (Rhodes College).

It’s freshman year. From the car ride over to the first step made on campus, it seems like a million things come to mind. How will I make new friends? How will I find transportation to run errands without a car my first year? Will my professors like me? Is my roommate nice?
RELAX!! Although it’s natural, the worst thing you can do when entering a new environment is think of everything that could go wrong. It’s not unheard of to get anxious about freshman year, but worrying about every little detail can dampen the experience! Find your happy place (literally) and use a checklist that will help navigate through the beginning of freshman year.
For starters, proper preparation is the key. A GPA and other credentials proved to the admissions staff that you’re capable of getting college level work done so stop thinking that success is unobtainable in the classroom. Since parents are usually gushing with excitement for you, they’ll more than likely be very hands- on in helping get dorm supplies and essentials. Their willingness to help should put you at ease so don’t worry about forgetting anything!
Walking across campus with dorm supplies and excited parents in tow, use this time to take in the sights. Seeing other freshmen do the exact same thing creates the atmosphere that we’re all in this together.
After unloading everything in the dorm room, show the parents that you will be fine alone. This is the time to prove your independence. Reassuring parents that you can operate without assistance from them on every little thing will put them at ease (a little).
When they finally leave, get acquainted with your roommate. Find out his/her likes, dislikes, and interests. This may just turn out to be a life-long friend! This step is also important to find out the boundaries of staying together. Knowing what makes your roommate tick can help avoid a year of discomfort and arguments. Learn as much as you can while unpacking supplies. Depending on what time of day it is, suggest a lunch or dinner date with him/her. Now, you have a cafeteria buddy!
Having trouble opening up to strange people or keeping the conversation going? No worries. Heading to the cafeteria with the roommate by your side, just look around! I’m sure something will catch your eye and spark conversation. Maybe it’s the architecture, the reason behind choosing this school, or the classes he/she will be taking this semester. Something will come to mind.
Welcome to the cafeteria! Although it may be bustling with multitudes of people, don’t freak out. This is a great place to step out of your shell to find resources for classes and potential friends. While reaching for pudding, try to spark a conversation with the person right beside you. (In this instance, corny jokes may work in your favor and serve as an ice breaker). If everything goes as planned, you and the roommate will have added one more member to the gang.
Receiving an acceptance letter from desired school? Check. Remembering to bring necessary dorm supplies? Check. Not letting my parents freak out about leaving you alone in a strange environment? Check. Making new friends? It’s a go. See, the first day wasn’t so bad after all.

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