20 Things I Wish I Knew Freshmen Year of College

Now that Labor Day is over and school has started for thousands across the country, our team put together a list of things we wished we knew as college freshmen. We also included a few things we thought students need to know to make it through that first year of independence. If you would like to add to this list, put your suggestions in the comments section or hit us up on Twitter with the hashtag #YUstudentbody.


1) Try a few different study spots and figure out what works best for you. It could be in your dorm, in the library, outside or in a coffee shop, as long as you get your work done, campus is your oyster!

2) Build a relationship with a professor or an adviser. Think of any faculty member as a resource and don’t be afraid to ask for help, it can make a big difference in grades and it will make it a lot simpler to go back and ask for letters of recommendation when you’re applying for jobs and internships.

3) Carry a phone charger with you. We all know the plight of smartphone batteries and you don’t want to turn your phone back on and see 23 missed calls from your mom or dad, that can’t end well.

4) Take a random class. You have plenty of time to complete majors and minors, make sure you take advantage of the unique classes that every university offers and learn about something completely different. Tell me “The Game of Thrones” at Virginia or “Japanese Swordsmanship” at George Washington don’t sound fun, I dare you.

5) Don’t buy textbooks before the first week of class. You might not need it or there could be a free version online. Save your money for snacks, you might be able to study without a text book, but you’ll never be able to study without snacks. If it turns out that the textbook is required, consider renting it (Barnes & Noble has a great deal through "Studentrate" where you can get 6% cash back on rentals)

6) Always use student discounts when shopping online. Studentrate has hundreds of discounts at Forever21, Sephora, Urban Outfitters, Lenovo, and many more so it would be silly to pay full price for anything.

7) Keep in touch with your family. A simple text to your parents can make their day which makes life easier for you. And don’t let your annoying younger brother forget who’s boss. Also, love is the key to care packages.

8) Don’t underestimate your workload. There are so much opportunities for fun at college, procrastination becomes a sport. If you break your workload down in pieces, do a couple of hours a day, it will be more than manageable and you’ll have free time to go see your friends’ ridiculous step show or watch your football team play like they’re in the Super Bowl.

9) Choose a realistic major. We will revisit this later in the school year

10) Exercise. Every college has a gym that is free for students. Use it. Use it as often as possible. Get and stay active.

11) You can steal toilet paper from most public bathrooms. If you’re really strapped for cash, it’s a good way to tide yourself over. It’s more just frowned upon than “stealing” really, since it is free. Same goes for paper towels, plastic silverware, and hot sauce.

12) Dating in college is overrated. If the relationship is causing you any stress at all, end it. College is where you create your “self” by figuring out what you do and don't like. Don’t let someone else affect you becoming you.

13) Never miss an opportunity for a free anything!

14) Taking a 5th year to graduate is nothing to be ashamed of. Getting a college degree is a huge accomplishment, no matter how long it takes you. Plus, if nothing else, it gives you more years of being 21 in college.

15) There is no need to look good on campus. Use that time before class to get some extra sleep.

16) Prioritize. Spend the amount of time on each thing relative to how well you need to do on it. Bouncing between all of them every few minutes is just a waste of time.

17) Make friends with anyone you can, it’ll never be this easy to make friends. Plus, everyone you meet in college could be a helpful contact in the future.

18) Don’t schedule an early morning class if you know you’re going to skip it. Be honest with yourself and choose a different class.


20) Take risks, try new things, explore your passions, meet new people and smile! Remember, if it’s not going so well at first, you have three years to find something on campus you like and if you are enjoying yourself, be sure to spend your time wisely as four years go by quicker than you could ever expect!!