Ah, freshman year. ‘Tis a time us seniors look back on and cringe at how foolish we once were. Yet, at the same time, we yearn for these simpler times. Life can be confusing freshman year. It’s a huge transition period for many of us, going from living a sheltered life with parents to having all the freedom in the world. Well, we seniors can empathize with freshmen who are still getting into the college swing of things. We’ve compiled a list of advice that we wish we had been told freshmen year.

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(gif via giphy)

1. This is the year to make mistakes.

What we’re saying is, if you’re gonna make a fool of yourself, this is the year to do it. Freshman year is like the “trial” year of college. Get all of your embarrassing moments out of the way now – it’s expected of you, after all. Party a little too hard, fail a calculus exam or two, and be friends with that interesting individual that you probably won’t keep in touch with in the future. Come sophomore, junior, and senior year, you won’t be able to get away with what you can now. Enjoy being young n’ reckless.

2. If you have no idea what to do with your life yet, go in undecided.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having an undeclared major. It’s a whole lot better than studying something that you think will pay well someday, but you lack passion for it. You don’t want to graduate with a major that you’re not proud of or excited about. College is about finding out who you are. Take freshmen year to learn more about yourself, to explore your options, and to discover what your passion is. You have time, trust us.

3. Don’t run to class. Just don’t.

There is absolutely no excuse to run to class. It’s a safety hazard. Your professor will understand. Give yourself enough time to casually stroll to class like a normal person. Spare yourself sticking out [as a freshmen] like a sore thumb.

4. Focus on making friends, not on having a significant other.

College is exciting because you’re surrounded by so many new faces… so many new attractive faces. As tempting as it is to find your soulmate at orientation or at a crappy house party, don’t waste your time searching. Like we said before, freshman year is about finding out who you are, which can get kinda tricky if you have a new relationship in the way. Don’t let a freshman year relationship take up all of your time – make friends with a lot of people and focus on making memories with them. Your friendship with those friends will more likely last longer than a lusty freshman romance.

5. Registering for classes gets better.

Registering for classes is a nightmare, we know. We feel your pain… we were in your shoes not too long ago. All we can tell you is that it gets better as the years go on. You’re temporarily at the bottom of the totem pole. We’ve all been there – it’s just your turn to take one for the team (the team being all upperclassmen. You’ll understand someday… aka next year.)

6. It’s normal to feel homesick.

If we told you that we don’t sometimes get homesick as seniors, we’d be lying. During your first year away from home, it’s weird if you don’t miss your bed and mom’s home cookin’. Sure, all your new friends at college are great and so are the parties. But sometimes it’s okay to escape the college life, go home for the weekend, visit with your parents, and hug your dog.

7. You won’t remember anything you learned in your freshman classes.

Well, they call them intro classes for a reason. Don’t study too hard – but also don’t fail your classes. You’re paying for college so you better be motivated enough to do what it take to pass a class. Just remember not to take these classes too seriously. Hate to break it to ya, but you won’t remember the majority of the material from these intro courses anyway.

8. It’s okay to take a mental health day.

We’ve been in the position of debating whether or not to get up for class many, many times throughout our college careers. We’re here to make the decision easy for you: 1) Do you have any skips left? Yes. 2) Do you have homework due today? Nothing I can’t turn in online. 3) Do you have a test today? No. If you answered those three questions correctly, then you’re good to catch up on some sleep and recuperate. We’ve been following this rule of thumb for four years, and we’re on track to graduate on time. Taking care of your mental health = taking care of your health.

9. Don’t do something you’re uncomfortable with.

Sure, college is for trying new things. But what peer pressure-rs don’t tell you is that it’s only okay do something if you’re 100% comfortable with it. If you have hesitations about trying something, don’t do it. Reconsider who you’re hanging out with if your “friends” keep prying you to do something that you really don’t want to do.

10. Don’t waste your days away – join a club.

We loveeee binge watching Netflix, don’t get us wrong. But you have to find a balance when it comes to being a lazy and being productive. Joining a club not only boosts your resume, but also you meet people who have the same interests as you. New friends and a medium to help you get a job someday? Not bad. Now get out of bed. You don’t want to regret not being a part of something once your senior year rolls around.

11. We see a little bit of ourselves in you.

This is the part where we tell you that it feels like we were freshmen just yesterday. Part of us wishes that we were in your place right now. Freshmen year is a nerve-racking, yet exciting time. Us seniors may seem like we have our lives together and have this whole college thing figured out, but the truth is, we were freshmen like you just three years ago. College can be an amazing four years if you let it be. Soon, you’ll be seniors like us dishing out your own advice to lost freshmen. But for now, enjoy being a freshman while you can! This is only the beginning of an incredible experience at your college.

(feautred image via iStock)

What did you learn freshman year?