For those living on campus, everyone experiences that first night of dorm life. The clothes are hung and put away, the bed made, and photos of loved ones and home are tacked to walls.
All belongings from a pre-college life are confined to a tiny room shared with another person. Except it does not feel like home yet. The transition into independence can be daunting. Scary, even.
Yet freshman year does not have to be hard.
Here are a few tips from Pacific juniors and seniors about what they wish they knew about freshman year.
Communicate with your roommate – Most everyone can agree sexiling your roommate is not cool. Regardless if you love your roommate or wish to see as little of them as possible, talking is important. If there is a problem, confront it face on.
Do not stress about advising and registration – Advising and registration can be stressful, but reach out to upperclassmen, faculty, and advisors on how to navigate registration. Remember it is your freshman year. Not everything needs to be figured out.
Take the time to make memories – The first year of college is often when there is the most free time, so make the most out of it. “Most of my memories were made in the dorms,” said senior Fred Kernaghan. “It was not bad. But since I had a lot more time freshman year, I wish I had explored Portland or Forest Grove a little more with my friends.”
Take advantage of every free meal you can – Admittedly, some of the activities put on by Pacific are kind of corny. But ultimately, every student pays for it with the yearly activity fee. Take advantage of the free food and snacks while it is there.
Grades don’t matter – Depending on your major and career path, grades are not as important as they might have been in high school. “Focus on learning,” said senior Michael Relloque. “Too many people focused on their grades to the point they did not enjoy college.”
Be prepared to get sick – Junior Gavin Calhoun advises that sickness is likely going to happen at some point. With loads of people crammed into dorms, all sharing the same bathroom, it is pretty much inevitable. Take time to rest and get better. Many professors are willing to work around sicknesses.
Befriend your professors – Pacific is a small school, so take advantage of that. Senior Tyler Boohm suggests taking the time to build relationships with professors. Not only does it further learning, but in his experience, Boohm also received good references for future jobs.
Have a good time but do not be lazy – Senior Tyler Boohm advises underclassmen to take initiative. He admits he let his senioritis from high school affect his grades freshman year. “Do not put stuff off and keep on top of your work,” he said. “Put your academic career before your social career.”
Freshman year of college is a learning curve for many, but most everyone figures out their own way to adjust.