What I Learned Freshman Year

What I Learned Freshman Year

Freshman Convocation Walk

Moving away to college is one of the most intimidating, exciting, nerve-racking adventures you will ever have. There are so many wonderful opportunities to lose yourself in pure awe of Chicago, find yourself while taking challenging classes, and being yourself in every experience. But I hate to break it to you, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, you are bound to make a mistake or two in year one. So buckle up, because you are in for quite the trip. To help you on your journey take note of what I learned freshman year.


  1. You can’t study like you did in high school. I didn’t always buy it when people told me, “One hour of class means three hours of homework!” This certainly isn’t always the case, but if you’re spending less than two hours on homework you might want to read your syllabi again to see what you are forgetting to do. Reading fifty pages, writing a two page essay, and prepping a study guide for your exam next week are all in a night’s work so staying on top of your schedule is key.


  1. Everyone knows you’re a freshman. This is one thing I didn’t learn until the very beginning of this year, because as soon as you walk on campus as an upperclassman it becomes painstakingly obvious who belongs in the freshman class. You can do your best to look like you know what you’re doing, but the lanyard on your neck and class schedule in hand are dead giveaways. Since every already knows you’re new here don’t be afraid to ask “freshman questions” like, “Which one is Cuneo?” or “How do I print in the IC?” We’ve all been there, embrace it. Next year be sure to return the favor.


  1. No parents, no bedtime. In college you have the luxury of scheduling your classes at any time you see fit. But trust me when I say that an 8 a.m. class is so much earlier in college than it was in high school. You no longer have the help of your parents to get you to bed at decent time. Which means plenty of students are still studying in the wee hours of the morning. Keep that in mind before you schedule early morning classes all week.


  1. Making friends is awkward for everyone. Whether you came to Loyola knowing 10 people from high school or not knowing a soul, you want to meet cool, new people in college. However, introducing yourself to strangers is awkward. Once you get passed the “Name, major, where are you from?” questions you might get a little stuck. Trust me when I say that everyone is nervous about making good impressions. Just approach your fellow classmates and ask them about their favorite movies or if they know any fun things to do in the city. Whether they become your best friend or you never see them again, people will appreciate you mixing up the average we-just-met conversation.


  1. It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to walk into the wrong classroom, it’s okay to take the redline the wrong direction, it’s okay to make some awkward first impressions, it’s okay to cry when you miss your family, and it’s okay to eat an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s in one sitting. Be prepared to mess up a few times, but shrug it off when you do.


College is a time to learn and grow academically, emotionally, and socially. Honestly, freshman year will be a bit of a mess, but it’s nothing you can’t handle. Go get ‘em Ramblers!

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