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10 Tips For College Freshman (And Anyone Else Who Needs to Hear Them)

College can be a scary time, and not just for those who are about to graduate. That’s why 47Magazine has decided to provide college tips for freshmen and students of any age. Now, before I start with the life advice I want to warn you that this probably won’t be your first time hearing most of this advice and I can promise you it’s not gonna be your last. These tips are well-known and widely spread for a reason, and it’s always good to have a reminder of things that can help you through some of the most important years of your life.

Get Your Sh!t Together! - Listen, and I mean this in the kindest way possible, college is the perfect time to learn how to get your sh!t together. This can mean anything from learning how to do laundry, budgeting for the first time, or (for those of us who are a little more advanced) applying for jobs and internships… and remembering to call your mom every once in a while. It is okay to go at your own pace and take time for yourself…more on that later.

Make Connections at Every Opportunity - College is the time for making connections, platonic, romantic, or otherwise. Attend community events! Make friends in the cafeteria. Join clubs with people of your major (and outside of your major.) A huge advantage of going to college, which isn’t earning your degree, is being able to network and make connections that can benefit you career-wise. And who knows, you might end up finding your new best friend or the love of your life!

Nobody Knows What They’re Doing - I don’t know about the other college students reading this, but for me, coming to college was a huge wake-up call of adulthood. It also came with a huge realization. Nobody knows what they’re doing! Everyone around you, yes even the girl with a double major who’s the president of every club, is just trying to do their best. A huge part of college (and life in general) is figuring things out as you go. As long as you do that in a way that is true to you, you’re on the right track.

Not Everyone Wants to be Best Friends - College is the time in your life when you discover who your people are, and who you want to surround yourself with. With that being said, not everyone you meet is going to be your type of person. It is okay to make friends with someone, follow them on Instagram, and then never hang out. It is also okay to have falling outs and grow apart. However, you should always remember to be clear with your boundaries and understand that some people just aren’t your people.

Take Time For Yourself - Speaking of friends… It’s okay to not be surrounded by people 24/7. Learn to enjoy your own company and decompress. College is the time to not only find what type of friendship works best for you but also the best ways to spend time with yourself. My personal favorite form of alone time is traveling to a restaurant I’ve never been to before, having a meal alone (scary, I know), and exploring the area around it. Spending time with yourself can also mean sitting in your dorm curled up next to your laptop with your comfort show playing in the background of the TikToks you’re scrolling through (though I wouldn’t recommend this option.)

Be Respectful of the Space Around You - College is also the time to get a better understanding of not only the people around you but the space you are in. This is also something you will want to learn quickly. Pro-tip: Nobody wants to hear you watching a YouTube video in the library. Put your headphones in!!! On that same note, don’t leave your laundry in the washer/dryer for longer than 5 minutes after the timer is done. In short, be aware of the space around you and understand the fact that the majority of the spaces you will be interacting with in college are

You Are Still Learning - Remember when earlier I mentioned that nobody knows what they’re doing? Okay, good. Along those same lines, everyone is still learning…Yes including you. It is okay to make mistakes, or say something shitty to someone you love (as long as you apologize), or take the wrong train, or miss a class because you slept through your alarm. But, you have to be willing to learn from these missteps for them to truly matter. By treating each mistake as an opportunity to learn and grow you will not only learn to be kinder to yourself, you will also learn more about the world around you and your place in it.

Be Conscious of What You Post - As much as I hate to admit it, and as much as we as a generation hate to admit it, our digital footprints can truly affect us. No, I’m not talking about your account from middle school, but your public accounts. Though it’s weird to discuss, those public accounts truly are public, and even though it might be scary, it’s better to present an authentic version of yourself on those accounts. Or, just make them private. Universities will look at those accounts. Sororities/Fraternities, clubs, and even future employers.

You Are Allowed to Say “No” - Sticking with the theme of setting boundaries and taking care of yourself, you are allowed to say no! If you need to get work done but your friends all want to go out, ask them to reschedule! The double whammy in this piece of advice is that everyone experiences FOMO. I promise that even though your friends' stories will be filled with memories (and you feel like you’re missing out.)

Be Your Most Authentic Self - To finish off the article I want to restate something everyone has heard at least once in their lifetime. This is such a common saying for a reason, and that’s because it’s simply true. To accomplish all of the advice listed in this article the only way to do it in the most impactful and helpful way for you is to be the most you you can be.

Hopefully, at least some of this advice was helpful. To all the incoming college freshmen reading this (and everyone else) good luck, and have fun.

Written by Lucy Anderson

Creative Direction, Casting, and Production Management: Jake Pranian

Photography: Mark Bluemle

Styling by Diamond Durant

Asst Photography, BTS Content: Lucy Anderson

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