the college survival guide

So I had this idea at 4 AM the other night, and woke up and wrote pretty much this whole thing. It’s a lot, I know, and in no particular order, but here is some advice for before you start your freshman year of college because its one wild ride. You’re welcome:

Number one, welcome week is going to be insane (especially after we’ve all been in quarantine), so take it as it comes and enjoy yourself, because the academics are about to whoop your ass. Also, utilize this time to meet as many people as you can. I met some of my best friends during welcome week!

If you haven’t already picked a roommate, I suggest rooming with someone you meet in the facebook group or someone who isn’t from your high school/in your immediate circle of friends. Coming from a high school where a lot of kids went to Michigan, I wanted to branch out and start fresh. Going in with someone you don’t know well can be so good because it pushes you out of your comfort zone and forces you to meet new people. It was honestly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I love Georgie with all my heart. I really could not have had a better experience with it. Here’s a cute pic of us:

Leave your door open during the first few weeks and get to know people in your hall. There are a lot of social dorms at umich, but I lived in a dorm where it wasn’t that social, and I wished I had made it more social and actually met the girls in my hall. One of my family friends randomly lived down the hall from me, and her roommate was in nursing. (Mak and Nat I miss you 😦 ) We became so close so fast, but besides them, I really didn’t know many of them. I had neighbors from hell, on both sides. I maybe met them once, but if we had become friends or even just acquaintances, I would have been able to face them and tell them what was wrong instead of all of us being passive aggressive about it. For example, one of the girls would leave her alarm running for literally an hour at a time, and I’m not even exaggerating. It was like that triggering alarm sound too, and it would go off for so long. Another time, my neighbors went out the week of finals, and came back at 4 am, blasted music, and played spin the bottle for an hour with random guys. And I had an early class the next morning. So yeah, become friends with your neighbors. It will make your life so much easier.

Don’t let yourself get too overwhelmed with work, focus on time management and don’t put things off until the last minute. Time management was something that I really struggled with in high school, but learning to balance my social life with my academics was one of the best things freshman year taught me. Take it slow, work at your own pace, and don’t feel like you need to compete with your classmates.

Have a safe word at parties, and keep your friends close. Pick something that can be casually brought up in conversation, and never leave your girls hanging. Getting split up is really stressful and can be bad, especially if you’re put in a situation that makes you feel unsafe. Get each other’s locations, so that if you do get split up, you can find each other. And always have your phone charged before you go out!! Also, never walk alone at night. And if there is no way for you to avoid it, call a Lyft (they do background checks) or be on the phone with a friend until you are safe.

Find your balance. Don’t be going out 4 nights a week if you’re taking 18 credits and swamped in work. Finding the balance between school and your social life is the key to your happiness in college. It’s okay if your friends go out and you don’t, there will always be another opportunity. Prioritizing what is best for you is hard, but its definitely a lesson I’ve learned over the last year.