Going off to college is one of life’s most challenging transitions. Keeping your mind, body and spirit balanced during this dynamic time is difficult. Hopefully, my eldest daughter’s freshman experience at University of Arizona will give you and your child a heads-up.
Nine Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me Before My Freshman Year in College
by Emily Forman
- You don’t need to attend a college out of your home state to be away from your parents’ rules. Whether you venture off to college an hour away from home or 7, you are still away from home! However, don’t underestimate being able to go home occasionally because you will have plenty of time to be independent. Your parents will cherish the visit and you will really understand the importance of what a sanctuary home can be.
- I would not recommend taking any classes before noon. For students seeking the full college experience: Understand that you never know what to expect on any given day, and that spontaneity is a major facet of college. For example, you plan a night in watching movies and by the end of the night you are partying because a friend convinced you to come out with her.
- Don’t eat breakfast on the run, or you may run over your breakfast. I rode my bike to classes everyday and decided to eat my breakfast bagel on the way. I wasn’t looking ahead and ran over a curb. The remaining half of my bagel flew out of my hand and scattered in the street – I never did that again!
- Don’t rush to Rush. You may think joining a sorority is a great benefit to meeting people in college, it is! However, there are plenty of ways to meet people. You may hit it off with your roommates and there are many clubs and sports programs you can participate in that are equally as social as Greek life. My roommates became my best friends and I ended up spending more time with them and my waterpolo team mates than I did with my sorority.
- Most schools require freshman to live on campus the first year – this is a good thing! You will get to hang out with people all the time, acquire a healthy school spirit and really grasp the collegiate way of life.
- Regarding parties, I recommend no more than 2 nights in a row. Friends once convinced me to spend 4 nights out and about, I spent the whole next week miserable with strep throat. Without you parents to nurse you back to health, you will truly be “home sick” - pun intended.
- A cardinal rule for parties is most definitely: No Girl Left Behind! If you came with 5 girls, you should be leaving with 5.
- You can be a serious student and also have serious fun. I had a friend who got straight A’s both semesters and she partied as much as any other kid at U of A. So know that balancing your time is possible for anyone.
- “Always be grateful or you will never be happy”, my father’s favorite saying reminds me that you should thank your parents. They don’t necessarily speak of their efforts, you should know that they have sacrificed a lot to make college happen for you. A simple thank you may not mean much to you, but it will mean the world to your parents! Go Wild Cats!