What I wish I knew my freshman year


Courtesy / Maddie Zimmerman

Maddie Zimmerman, Staff Writer

Buying dorm decor, moving out, moving into a dorm, making new friends, exploring campus for the first time: these are just a few things that freshman year entails.

When it comes down to freshman year there are some things I wish I would have had an older sibling or friend to help guide me through. Since I don’t have an older sibling or older friends that went to college before me, I am here to be the guide I wish I had my freshman year.

Starting with getting ready to move in, there comes the process of packing.

Packing can be overwhelming, but you can also make it easier on yourself when moving into your dorm.

My biggest tip is to take all the tags off of your belongings you bought and are bringing to college. This saves an abundance of time and effort when you are moving into your dorm room.

Also when packing, a list is essential to tracking what you need to buy, what you already have and what you have already packed. You can use different colored pens or highlighters to show what you need to get or already have.

Lastly, don’t overwhelm yourself when moving in and only bring what you really need. You don’t need to bring 100 tank tops (it’s cold in Allendale anyways). Slim down what you are bringing and move in will go smoother and faster for you.

Secondly is your roommate situation.

The vast majority of freshmen have roommates and most people do throughout their college career. I strongly suggest you try to get to know your roommate as soon as you know you are living together. Ask them all the important questions. When do you wake up? When do you go to bed? Are you school driven? Will you have people over a lot?

By asking all of these questions, you can make sure that your living style aligns with theirs. You don’t want to live with someone that is a complete night owl if you are a morning person and vice versa. Make sure you are both compatible and know each other’s comfort zones.

Another great thing to find out about is how clean they like their living space. Cleaning is a huge deal in your dorm. Make sure that your roommate likes to keep their space like you do to ensure a stress free environment for the year. 

Next comes tackling the challenge of making new friends.

Making friends is a concept I believe that is never fully mastered because you can always make more friends.

Making friends in college can be intimidating when you are moving away from home for the first time and going to college. 

I promise you that everyone is in the same boat as you.

You are not alone in feeling anxious and lonely when it comes to making friends. Even if it seems like friend groups are forming, you are still going to make friends.

There is never a point in college where there is a “cut off” to make new friends. Give yourself some time and some grace. Your people will come. I met one of my closest friends so far in my college journey at the end of the sophomore year. This goes to show that you can always make new friends when you put yourself out there.

Relax as you enjoy the last few weeks of the summer and prep for move in day.

It’s going to be a great year.