Perspective: Things I Wish I Had Known When I Started College

By Mollie Bradford

Ole Miss senior Mollie Bradford has three years of college under her belt. We asked her to share some things she knows now that she wishes she would have known when she started college.

Freshman year is a whirlwind of new faces, nervous freedom and hectic schedules. It can be overwhelming, but it can also be liberating. College is whatever you make of it. I absolutely loved my freshman year, but looking back, there are some things I wish I had known that could have made it even better. So, here are 10 things I wish freshman-me had known:

  • If you don’t want to go to the party, don’t go to the party. Every social event is considered the “most fun” moment in college, so missing a few is fine.
  • You don’t have to have your whole life figured out, no matter how many people around you do. College is a great time to figure out who you are.
  • Get involved in a campus organization that interests you, even if you’ve never participated in that sort of activity before. It’s a great way to try new things and meet people with similar interests.
  • Become friends with your teachers — you’ll need a reference for a job one day. And when teachers advise you to do something, do it. They’ve been teaching that class longer than you’ve been taking it, so they know what they’re talking about.
  • The way you studied in high school most likely won’t work for college. Start rethinking your study habits right away and stick to what works for you. For example: Begin studying for the test a few days before instead of the night before.
  • Embrace your quirks. They’re what make you stand out on these campuses and will help you find people like you.
  • Get used to introducing yourself to people. It’s hard to make friends if you never leave your dorm room or stand silently in a corner, so put yourself out there! There are so many wonderful people to meet and they’re just as nervous as you.
  • Form deep friendships with a few people instead of worrying about being a part of a larger group. It’s tempting to focus on being friends with the “right” friend group, but if you don’t have a few close friends then you’ll end up just feeling lonely.
  • It’s OK to be lonely. It’s a normal part of freshman year, and it doesn’t mean you’re failing.
  • Keep in touch with your family, even if it’s just a short phone call between classes. They miss you and hearing about your day at school. You’ll miss hearing about their days, too.

Through it all, remember to give yourself time to slow down and process everything. With so much happening at once, you’ll need to set aside some time to breathe. I felt like I constantly needed to be busy, but it’s OK to give yourself a break. Now go make some memories!

 

 

 

 

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