It’s hard being a freshman, people! It is most likely your first time away from family and friends. If you’re going to an out of state college or maybe three hours away, you are about to feel what it’s like to be homesick. Being homesick in college is not like a sleepover at your friend’s house, and you’re suddenly missing home for a minute.
Homesickness is starting a new journey in a dorm room where you’re missing your friends and family because you have not met people yet. You’re continually crying because you can’t go home immediately after classes. I will never forget my freshman year because it started out as a horrible year and became so much better by the end of the year.
To start off my freshmen year, I had a terrible roommate, and she had a horrible partner in crime (best friend). I’m going to keep it short because this would be an extremely long post. My roommate would wait to talk on the phone loud while I was sleep. She would get ready for the next day at 3 am frequently. Instead of using her desk lamp at 3 am, she would turn on the overhead lights which caused me to wake up because I am a light sleeper. My roommate and her best friend would purposely try to disrespect my nap times during the day. She stole one of my classwork folders which caused me not to do well in the class, and she would use things of mine without my permission. But that’s just a couple of things to give you an idea of how disrespectful she was.
It was a complicated process to move to another room because the Community Coordinator (a person you go to when you have roommate problems to change your room) didn’t see my moving situation as serious as it was. I honestly think that I was also too calm about the situation. I stayed in the room with my disrespectful roommate from July (went to school early for a summer program) until October. I dealt with sleepless nights for three months, and my grades were not the best. I would cry myself to sleep almost every night not only because of homesickness, but I had to deal with an unpleasant roommate for the first half of my freshman year.
The devil wanted me to go home and just stop, but Jesus was giving me the strength to keep going because He knew I would get through the year. I remember when I was packing and heading to my new room and I became nervous. Thoughts ran through my mind like “what if I have to deal with another bad roommate, what if she doesn’t like me, or what if she is worse than my first roommate.” I suddenly heard the Lord say to me “It will get better.” My first year became better when I moved to my new room. My second roommate was friendly, and we would have conversations with each other. I felt like I was obtaining the roommate experience that I wanted in the beginning.
Don’t go to college thinking that your roommate will be your best friend. You may start out with a roommate that doesn’t like you, disrespectful, intimidating, and controlling. If you get a roommate that does not want to respect your space, then you try your best to leave that room. Trust me, it will not end well for your sleep or your grades. If you happen to get a roommate that is prejudice towards you, definitely leave that room. It’s okay to have quiet and respectful roommates, but not roommates that do not care about you or your shared space. I pray that you have a good roommate for your first year and the rest of your years in college.
College can be a scary place for rising or current freshmen’s. I want to give you some advice to try to have a smooth first year. The keyword is TRY because anything could happen during your first year of college. This advice is not guaranteed to a good freshman year.
First I want to advise you if you’re an introvert, try your best to open up to people that you are interested in befriending. Continue to talk to people whether they like you or not because you’ll become comfortable with rejection and acceptance. It will help you come out of your shell. I know because I am an introvert that is developing outgoing qualities. It may take time, but college will help you learn to communicate better.
Another thing is becoming involved in a club that’s provided at your college. Clubs are great for you to get to know your peers. I attempted to join two clubs, but neither one of them worked out well. One was an art club where they held fun activities off campus, and I had no transportation. I would try to carpool with people in my class that were in the same club, but they supposedly were always busy. The second was a club that was dedicated to women of color. It seemed like a friendly club to connect with young women, but the girls in the first meeting did not make me feel welcomed. Don’t ever join an organization that does not make you feel welcomed. Join something that you will enjoy and for the friendly environment.
Professors are entirely different from high school. You’re probably like “yeah yeah yeah I heard this before.” Well, have you heard that most professors want to be called by their first name? It’s different because in high school you’re supposed to call teachers by their last name. Also, professors will curse with you in a conversation or directly to the class. Yeah, you read that right, but don’t just go into the classroom being profane because all teachers do not curse.
When classes start, take the syllabus that the professor gives you seriously. Most of the time, professors give you an outline that shows all your test dates, projects, or homework due dates. If you’re in class one day and do not realize that it is a test day, professors are liable to say it was on the syllabus. You cannot have an excuse for something not being done if it was stated in the syllabus. Some teachers may not ever talk about a project until it is almost due or the due date. Buy a calendar and a planner to keep up with your due dates and other appointments.
Studying for exams and quizzes is essential. You will not slip by without reviewing notes like you may have done in high school. Without studying, you could make your first D or F in a class. Yes, it is very serious to review notes! Procrastination becomes very challenging in college because you become tired of studying. Remember to take 10-20 minute breaks while you’re examining your notes because it can get overwhelming. You cannot review without outstanding notes, so make sure you take proper notations in class. If you don’t understand what you are supposed to be writing, I advise you to see your professor in their office.
Something I learned recently is that you may get an unreasonable teacher. What do I mean by that? Well, you may get a teacher that teaches from PowerPoints showing only pictures. They can go off topic in their lecture several times, and you may not know what is vital in their lessons. During test or quiz times, they may not have multiple choice questions, just short answers and essay prompts. Who doesn’t make multiple choice test? A teacher I have taken in the past has done that. The teacher may not care that you pass or fail the class and will show no mercy when grading papers or test. You may get a teacher that does not believe in extra credit. Crazy right? If you ever feel like you’re dealing with an unreasonable teacher, don’t be afraid to drop the class.
These are some essential tips to help you conquer your first year whether you are about to go to college or you’ve just started college. I could go on about tips in college, but it will be very long. I hope that you make new friends, have understanding teachers, and have fun with your independence! I hope these tips and my small story time helps guide you in the right direction.
For more college tips, check out the post here. Any comments or questions, leave them down below!
Prayer: Lord bless all the rising and current freshmen’s as they start or continue their journey in college. Let them have great memories and enjoy their first year. Help them to find You in the process of college and get to know You so that You can get them through this first year. Keep them safe from hurt, harm, evil and danger. In Jesus name, Amen!
Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me!