Lessons I Learned My Freshman Year
With the year winding down, nights of reckless inebriation are replaced with all-nighters in the library preparing for finals. As the caffeine from my third Rockstar begins to course through my veins, a feeling of nostalgia takes over. Less than a year ago I was just a newly minted, incoming freshman, unaware of the ins and outs of college life. Now, as I travel home for the summer, I can’t help but look back on my first year and think, “Wow, that was the most insane time of my life!”
All the parties, the girls, the wild adventures that we could only remember part of. It was truly an experience I will never forget. Along the way I learned a lot, not just about life as a college kid, but also about who I am as a person.
Move in day is probably the most awkward day of year. Parents swarming campus, teenagers thrust into a new environment, it’s intimidating. All the comforts of home are gone and you are literally forced to make new friends. Coming from an all-male, Jesuit high school, I was amped to meet new people (and by people I mean females). I jumped at every opportunity to introduce myself; saying hi to all my neighbors on my floor, meeting people in the dining halls, even participating in the tacky welcome week events. It was great getting to meet people I can now call good friends.
Call it social conditioning, but I couldn’t help but judge certain people that I thought didn’t fit my social group. Maybe it was my years of high school (even at an all guys one) that altered my way of thinking, silently categorizing people. But little did I know how wrong I was.
I remember the first weekend of college, I invited a group of people over to party in my dorm room. We moved the party to the room next door as more people joined. My suitemate seemed apprehensive at first, a bit shy as he sat at his desk, chatting with friends on Facebook while the rest of us took shots and shotgunned some beers. Initially I thought he was the type of kid who didn’t party much and was more school oriented, as he didn’t really look pleased that we had taken over his room.
At first I thought that we didn’t really have the same lifestyle. Only a week or two later I found out this kid raged hard. Throwing back beers like nothing, he was pouring shots like there was no tomorrow as he pregamed with my roommate and me. We talked, joked around and I found out he was a really chill and funny guy. As the year went on, we became pretty good friends. If I could give any piece of advice to kids entering college is to set aside your preconceived notions and be friendly with everyone.
It seems that almost everyone in my group of friends has at least one mind blowing drunken adventure. From walking fourteen miles away from campus in the freezing cold to climbing barbed wire fences and falling face first into the pavement, students will tell you the morning after a crazy night, you find your limits pretty quickly.
Although drinking seems synonymous with college life, it shouldn’t be the bane of your existence. Drunkenly stumbling towards girls on the dance floor is definitely not attractive and getting beat up by a bouncer at a bar isn’t the best way to spend your Saturday night. I’m not saying not to drink, I mean let’s face it, booze is the social lubricant that lightens the mood. But blacking out every night only leads to awkward encounters after drunken make outs and waking up to a not so attractive female in your bed. It’s best to find your limit before you either get in trouble with authorities or accidentally harm yourself (or find a grenade sleeping next to you).
I still can’t believe that my first year is over. Here’s to a great three more years (four for all my Huskies out there)!
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About Matt Juul Matt Juul is loving college life as he pursues a career in journalism and cinema. A freelance writer, his interests and expertise range from personal development and dating to fitness and the martial arts. Currently based out of Boston, Matt spends his free time training in MMA, as he hopes to get in the cage soon!