Tag: Lessons

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!

Last Week of Summer!

Last Week of Summer!

So this week is the week when all the freshmen are moving in, so as I walked to work this morning, I got to witness many eager new students with their parents unloading their cars to move into their dorm rooms. Their expressions got me thinking about what I was like as an incoming freshman versus how I am now, about to start my junior year.

For one thing, I’m calmer and more collected than I was when I came in to school. Back then, I was hyper and excited and worried- about my classes and teachers, about my family and old friends, about the new friends I wanted to make, and overall about the person I wanted to be. I wanted to make a good first impression, and I’ll admit that I wasn’t very successful at it. I made mistakes with how I approached people, but with trial and error and time, I grew into my college self.

Freshman year was full of experimentation, with friends and with interests. Not all of it was good. But overall, my freshman taught me so much about my new self.

After a crazy first year of college, I came back from the summer eager to begin my second year. It was a tough year all around, and it taught me as many important lessons as my first year.

One lesson that I learned was that all of the friends that you make your first year won’t be there the second year, and that you need to pick your friends wisely. The keepers aren’t the ones who are free to go out with you on Friday night or who are all fun and games. Though having a few of those people around is awesome, and even essential, the best of friends are those who will listen when you are having a bad day, who put you in your place when you are out of line, and who are by your side. Whether you’ve been apart for months for the summer or too close together in a small apartment.

This lesson was crucial for me during my sophomore year, and it was the main year I got to formulate my relationships with friends and see people for who they are, whether good or bad.

I’m going into my junior year now with the best knowledge of who I am and whom I want in my life. My goals now are clearly defined, and I’m confident that though this semester is going to be very challenging, it’s going to be one of my most memorable ones. I look back at my freshman self and the journey I went through to get to where I am today, and I’m proud of myself. Though I made many stupid mistakes and had to overcome hard trials, I wouldn’t change anything about my college experience thus far.

So therefore, I welcome myself, as well as the incoming freshmen and returning students, back to Loyola for what I hope to be the best school year yet!