Things I Wish I knew as a Freshman

Things I Wish I Knew as a Freshman

Here is an adapted list of things that Chegg student bloggers wish they knew as freshmen.


Jennifer Irocky

Where to find free food

Throughout the year college campuses give away free food. Free food to celebrate that, join us for this, free ice-cream lunch-in, and so on and so on until at least once a week I received a free meal. Groups, such has honor students and sports teams, will often feed their students. Get involved to get free food.

Health services are free

At four year institutions seeing a doctor on campus is typically free. I could have saved a lot of hassle and money if I had known this; I wouldn’t have needed to drive 50 miles home to see my family physician.

Fast food is a waste of time and money

Buying a hamburger and fries to-go may seem like a quick fix to hunger pains during lunch, but eating unhealthy junk food is a sure way to gain the freshman 15. I found out early that packing snacks from home is a much healthier option and also saves money.

I will make a fool out of myself and that’s okay

Every freshman should know they WILL make a fool out of themselves, and making mistakes is okay. Whatever happened, happened – so cry about it, laugh about it, and accept it.

Do my taxes early so I do FASFA early

Did you know students can apply for the FASFA January 1st? But it’s almost impossible to do taxes before February. What I’ve learned to do is estimate my income from the previous year, submit my FASFA, do my taxes, and then re-submit my FASFA if the numbers are different. Saves a lot of time in the end, trust me.

Bonus tip: Don’t overload the schedule and always carry a planner!

And, of course, use the planner. If not, then before you know it you’ll have to be in three places at once and that’s never fun trying to build a cloning machine.


Billy Saefong

Handle Your Money

My first year of college granted me an awesome financial aid packet full of money I didn’t have to pay back. It was amazing while it lasted but it didn’t last as long as it should have. That precious dough was spent on clothes I didn’t need, pizza nights and wild adventures. I wish I had handled my money better as a friend and I frequently talk about what we did with our financial aid checks a couple of year ago because at the moment, I really have nothing important to show for it.

Get Ready for a Switch

I’ve met a lot of high school students who swear they know exactly what they want to do when they’re in college and that’s great but for most of us, all the options can be a little overwhelming. I switched my major about three times before settling but that’s OK. Exploring different subjects can really help you grow as a person. Go ahead and take that guitar class maybe you’re the next Jimi Hendrix!

Open Up

Stepping into college for the first time can be pretty scary and it may take some time before you open up but it’s very important that you do. Opening up, and stepping out of your comfort zone will help build new connections as well as help you learn new things about yourself.

Pick Awesome Classes

I learned this one after a hectic semester that included classes running five days a week, some separated by three hours in a day. I went to school on Monday, had a class at nine in the morning, finished that at 11 and then had another class at three. I was left with strange chunks of free time and too many days of commuting. After that I told myself never again. Now I try to bundle my classes as close together as possible with classes going back to back and making sure I keep Friday off as well as having no classes that start before 11 am. I like my weekends and I like sleeping in.

How to Behave

Sounds strange but some college freshman are stuck in high school mode even after the first week of class. One of my first experiences in a college classroom was complete and utter fail. I was still in high school mode, goofing off in the back of the class while the professor lectured. I quickly realized that my clowning around didn’t help me or anybody else. The other students in that Intro to Statistics class were focused and eventually I just felt like an idiot. College students aren’t messing around in class. Work hard in class so you can play hard outside of it.


Beverly Kim

Prepping for internships is something to look into as a freshman not just an upperclassman.

At my university, having an internship is required in order to graduate. I thought nothing really of it at first, but come near end of junior year, I was panicking. I hadn’t had a single internship, or even held a job for that matter. I was cruising through school, enjoying my time, but not really considering what I would have to do to prepare me for post-graduation. Needless to say, I got my act together. I visited my career center, and with a lot of help and a lot of guidance, I finally landed an internship that gave me my job today. Lesson? Don’t wait till last minute. Prep early and you’ll have a better chance of getting the internship and experience you’ll want. Or if you’re really lazy, try betting your future on Lady Luck.

How you perform as a freshman and sophomore really does impact you later and affects your graduating GPA.

If you haven’t guessed by #3, I can be a pretty lazy person sometimes. Freshman and sophomore year were two years of my college career where I was defined by “conflict avoidance personality” (by which I mean homework avoidance), and IDGAF (look it up if you don’t already know). A toxic combination of personal issues, terrible weather, and lack of motivation had me going through school with the sole intent of doing everything BUT school. I went out to parties, stayed in and played videogames, slept through classes, etc. But the school work you do as an underclassman affects your GPA just as much as your classes as an upperclassmen do, and when the averages come out– will it be something you want a potential employer to see?

Freshman year is just as much about learning to adjust without the family as it is about learning to fit in.

We are always told about how to fit in at college. Whether it is about the kind of the clothes you wear, the people you hang out with, the attitude you have, etc., but while our mothers may be the only one to remember to pack a photo of them in your suitcase, it is important to keep in mind that college isn’t about getting away–it’s about growing up. Growing-up means being able to take on responsibility without the supervision of your family or high school teachers. No one is going to tell you to not go to a party before an exam. No one is going to tell you to not eat the slightly undercooked chicken in the kitchen. No one is going to feed you Nyquil when you come down with a cold. And no one is certainly going to tell you to do your homework. You’ve probably used the excuse “It’s my life” when arguing with your parents about stupid stuff. So, it’s your life. Do it right.


adapted from