Things I wish I knew as a College Freshman

I’m Victoria Romano, a senior at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island. Transfer student from University of Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut. Psychology major, Criminal Justice minor and American Studies Core concentration. Aiming to do majority of my work in criminal justice with the help of my psychology background to help criminal offenders get back on their feet.

Sitting here typing now as a senior at Roger Williams University, I cant help but think about my experiences and what I wish I had known upon walking onto campus my first day as a college student.
• My first word of wisdom that I cannot stress enough is that GPA and your grades should be your TOP priority. Despite that being told to you your entire academic life, when starting your college career, this honestly cannot be stressed enough. This is not to say you shouldn’t have as much fun as possible during what might be the best your 4 years of your life, but its how you manage and prioritize that will be in your best benefit in the long run.
• Second, I learn this the hard way but do not make your life in school revolve around a new love interest/ significant other. As a freshman you are still new to this whole “College thing” and although is may seem like the best thing to be doing at this time, I promise you now it will be the absolute opposite. Sure there are those few lucky people who find love so early in life, but the amount of those individuals are low and you should realize that, someone may seem perfect and a forever lover, but chances are this wont be the case and you’ll only be jeopardizing your full potential in the classroom but also adding more stress to your life than you already may have between school work and social life. This is not a pessimistic outlook; it’s a realistic one, go out, date different people, but you must be conscientious of the pros and cons of your actions and if this person is bringing you down or lifting you up. Falling in love can be great as well as a life-learning tool, but it can also affect your performance as a college student.
• Third, going off of the second bullet, be ever so careful with “hooking up” and casual sex. I say this because unlike in high school, you haven’t known these people most of your life. You don’t know their past and you don’t know their intentions. This is not to say everyone you hook up with is going to be a bad person but if you’re going to play the field you need to be smart. If you ever feel worried that you may have contracted something never be afraid to visit your school’s health services. I know it may seem uncomfortable going in to inquire about your sexual health, you’d be surprised at how many of these types of appointments they see on a weekly basis. And over all, it will keep you healthy.
• Fourth, I cannot stress this enough, STUDY ABROAD! I am one of the unlucky few that didn’t get to do this in my four years of college due to my low GPA score which was due in part by some of the issues listed above. From what I’ve heard/ seen from my friends who have had this wonderfully opportunity, you will have the time of your life and it will be a life changing experience. Even if your one of those introverted people who are scared of the idea of living in another country for a full semester, you just have to push yourself. You will be glad you did.
• Lastly, In order to maintain that good GPA I mentioned earlier, time management is in fact key. Stay on top of your workload and if you need help or do not completely understand the material you are learning, your professors are there to help and encourage you to see them. It’ll benefit you in the end and I can guarantee it will help you prosper further as you make your way through these amazing 4 years.

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