It’s really weird for me to think that in a few short weeks, I’ll be a junior in college. It’s something people say over and over again that the time will fly by, but it’s true. Some days I think back to orientation and I can’t believe that was almost two years ago. Of course, other times it also seems like an eternity away but in the best sense. I’ve had so much fun and learned so much in college that how could that be only two years away?
Freshman year in particular is a lot of fun. You’re learning a lot in class and a lot out side of class. Especially since, for most people, it’s their first time away from home and their families (it definitely was for me) and it’s their first time own their own in any significant capacity. It’s a lot of freedom kind of all at once. There are so many things happening at once and it feels like everything’s changing at the same time. But it’s also arguably the most fun year of college.
So here are my pieces of advice for freshman year:
Go to football games
Even if you’re pretty sure you don’t like football, if your school has football go to at least a couple of games, especially rivalry games. College football has a whole different feel than high school football, and tailgating is a great way to meet people and generally have fun. Try tailgating and going to a couple different games just to see if it’s something that you’ll enjoy. Rivalry games are especially fun because people get really into it. If it turns out it’s not for you, then at least you know for sure. And maybe you don’t go to the game but you still tailgate – it’s all up to you! If you know you love football, then you’ll really love college game days. There are lots of fun traditions that you don’t really know about until you get to school – at USC whenever we score, a group of guys will get together and toss a girl in the air for the same number of times as points we’ve scored. It’s really fun and something that I didn’t know about until I went to my first game and saw it for myself.
College is about school, yes, but because your classes are more focused than in high school you spend less time in classes that don’t meet a certain requirement for your graduation (unless you want to!). This leads to a lot of free time. Use that time and join clubs and get involved. There are lots of different ways to get involved and USC has hundreds of organizations for every interest you may have. Getting involved is the best way to meet people and become a leader in something you really care about. You can get involved in so many clubs and organizations no matter what your major is so long as you’re interested in it. Practically all the student orgs line Trousdale Parkway with tables at the involvement fair so finding something to do is really easy.
College is busy. Between classes, extracurriculars, spending time with friends, exploring, and events on campus your schedule fills up pretty quickly. However you keep a calendar – in a paper planner, on your phone/computer – doesn’t matter. I suggest keeping homework, projects, meetings, and classes all in that calendar. If you take down something as soon as it’s assigned, no matter how small, the less likely it is that you’ll forget it. It’s really easy to let something slip through the cracks (I definitely have made that mistake!) and then you have to do something last minute. Staying organized makes sure that you’re prioritizing and staying aware of what you need to do. It’s definitely what’s helped me most in staying on top of all my assignments in college.