It’s that time of year again, just as every other year as August quickly approaches, so does the beginning of school. It’s the time of year when hundreds of nervous college freshmen and their mothers pack the aisles of Target and Wal-Mart stocking up on extra long bedding and Ramen noodles. Amongst all of this chaos and madness, college veterans take the time to reminisce upon their freshman year. For me, these memories are still fresh in my mind, as I was a freshman myself only a short year ago. Although college may seem scary and intimidating now, these really are some of the best years of your life. In hopes to ease you into your freshman year, I thought I’d share a few tid-bits of advice for incoming freshman students.

First and foremost, move-in day is going to be hectic and crazy, but have no fear it is just one day and once you are all settled in and all of your goodbyes have been said, the real fun begins. The first few days of college are nothing like the rest of your college experience, which leads me to my next few pieces of advice.
Go to the freshman activities! Although the welcome week activities may seem lame and completely unnecessary, they are a great way to meet people. Even if you feel beyond embarrassed going to the Midnight 5K, or the outdoor movie on the lawn, go and have fun. Talk to people, talk to everyone! Because you never know what could happen; the girl sitting next to you could be your maid of honor one day.
Making friends is one of the most important aspects of college. Step outside of your comfort zone and knock on your neighbors' door and introduce yourself or ask them to go to dinner with you. At the dining hall sit next to people you don’t know and strike up a conversation. No matter how awkward and shy you feel, just remember everyone else is in the same boat as you.
Another piece of advice is the ever so cheesy, “get involved.” In high school many of my friends were made through the clubs and organizations I was involved in. The same goes for college, no matter how nerdy and lame college clubs seem they really are a great way to meet people. For me, I decided I would go to sorority rush and see what the campus sororities were all about. Although I decided that joining a sisterhood wasn’t for me, I met some of my closest friends during the process.
Now what about homesickness? Moving out and being away from your friends and family is tough, it’s weird and it’s definitely an adjustment. Whether you’re an hour from home or 10 hours, you’re going to miss things about home. The good news is the homesickness goes away over time. It does get better, trust me! Going home every weekend might make the homesickness go away, however it’ll make your college life much worse. Weekends are the time to meet people, to make lifelong friends and everlasting memories. If you’re at home every weekend hanging out with mom and dad you might strengthen your familial bonds, but you will suffer at school. If you get a job at school try your hardest to get one that gives you weekends off. Although it might seem impossible, trust me when I say that you are going to want your weekends to yourself. Whether you choose to go home, to go out, or to just stay in with some friends, weekends are the time to socialize and truly experience college.
What about roommates? Whether you share a room with someone from high school or a complete stranger, it is safe to say that you are not going to see eye to eye on everything. Although your personalities are most likely going to clash if you stay calm and address the situation politely things should be resolved easily. However, if you find yourself in a living situation that is less than ideal, talk to your RA or hall director. They are there to help you, and to make your freshman year a great experience.
My last piece of advice is don’t do anything you aren’t comfortable with. Unlike high school, college introduces you to all different people from all different backgrounds. If you don’t like to drink or go out on the weekends, then don’t. If you’d rather spend your Saturday night at the library, go for it! There are other people that share the same interests as you, it might take time for you to find them, but if you do the things you like, and ignore the peer pressure you will find yourself as well as a great group of friends.
College is a complete 360 from high school. It is a time to reinvent yourself and be whomever you want to. Even though you can eat Taco Bell for supper every night and stay up until 3 a.m., trust me when I say don’t do it. Instead of being scared and intimidated by college, embrace it and dive in headfirst. You’ll never get another freshman year so live it up, and love every minute of it.