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What You Need to Know as an Incoming College Freshman

Haley Kurisky
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Haley Kurisky, Sierra Cowan

Haley Kurisky (on left) with her roommate, Sierra Cowan, at a Rice football game. 

Going to college is a huge step, filled with excitement, new possibilities, and maybe a little fear. Don’t worry, incoming college freshmen! As a rising college junior, I’ve got you covered. Read on for some tips on what to bring and what you can expect. 

  1. Don’t bring the clothes you know you’ll never wear: Especially for girls, there is a tendency to over pack. Be honest with yourself and recognize what clothes you will and will not wear. 
  2. Bring a pair of shoes you don’t mind getting dirty: For parties, concerts, park visits or anything else that you might do/go to in college, be sure you have a pair of shoes that you don’t mind if something is spilled on them. Inevitably, it will happen. Never wear all-white shoes. 
  3. Take risks, but you should never feel uncomfortable doing something: College is a time to push yourself and try new things, but it doesn’t mean you have to reinvent yourself. Make yourself nervous and excited to try new things, but if you feel uncomfortable doing something, don’t feel like you have to go through with it in the name of college! You’ll find the right balance. 
  4. Ask upperclassmen questions: The best advice will come from people who were recently in your situation! Ask upperclassmen in your residential college, sorority, dorm room or classes questions. They’ll love to answer them, and you’ll gain insider knowledge. Everyone was once the scared freshman, so don’t worry about feeling silly or young. 
  5. Don’t be scared if you haven’t immediately gotten into the “groove”: College is a huge transition, and not everyone finds their niche immediately. Sometimes it even takes a while to find the right friends. It’s not a race, so take your time and find your people and groove. 
  6. Classes will definitely be tougher: This seems obvious, but it’s a good reminder- classes are tougher, so be more meticulous about checking to see if you’ve done your homework and necessary studying. Don’t let the opportunity to learn get away from you!
  7. You will miss your parents: Even if you’re dying to leave home, you will at some point during college miss your parents. Call home and update your parents on your life. They’ll appreciate it, and you’ll appreciate it more than you think. 
  8. Get to know your professors and go to their office hours: Build connections and improve your understanding of class material by visiting your professors in their offices. Definitely worth it. 
  9. Bring food for your room, but try to keep it healthy: You don’t want only junk food when you’re studying late and get hungry. Also, share your food. You’ll gain best friends out of doing this.
  10. It’s important to keep an open mind: Foster discussion and learn from others. You’ll meet a lot of people with incredibly different perspectives. See if you can gain some insight on what others are thinking and how the rest of the world works. 

For tips and recipes on healthy eating from a current college student, see Cooking with Karina

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