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REAL Advice: 5 Things Nobody Tells You about Freshman Year

Feeling excited but a little nervous about your freshman year of college? Fear not, we’re here to help! We asked students across our campus what advice they wish they knew before their freshman year. Here are five of our favorite nuggets of wisdom that no one tells you about starting college!

People aren’t paying as much attention to your every move as you think they are.

It’s easy to fall into the mindset that everybody is watching you and noticing every little thing you do, but honestly, everybody is too focused on what they’re doing to notice when you trip on a brick on the Horseshoe. Live your life and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks of it! (And we all have tripped on a brick before, so don’t sweat it, seriously).

Live in the moment and enjoy every second of it.

You only get to be a freshman once, so enjoy it while you can! It can seem like a very “freshman thing” to always eat on campus, study in the library, hang out in the dorms, etc., but that’s literally the whole point of it! Chances are you’ll miss it once you move off-campus, so take advantage of the convenience of being in the heart of campus before it’s gone. Go sit in that dining hall for hours with your friends, go to Gamecock Entertainment events, go join that intramural sports team, and have fun while doing it. College really does fly by faster than the blink of an eye, so make the most out of the time you have!

Your friend group will probably change over time and that’s okay.

You’re going to meet so many new people when you start college, and that’s super exciting! Make an effort to step out of your comfort zone and get to know your peers, but understand that not everyone has to be your forever friend. That first group of friends you spend your time with freshman year might not be the same group of people you’re spending all your time with by your sophomore or junior year, and that’s completely normal. You’re going to meet new people every single semester of college, so give it some time and don’t stress too much about it!

Time management is actually super important.

Freshman year is a serious adjustment period, and sometimes making the transition from high school can feel kind of overwhelming, but it can be a lot easier if you learn how to manage your time! Every student has a different system that works best for them—for example, some people like to block out specific time to study for each class, and other people prefer making a to-do list for each day. What’s important is that you find a method that works for you. Staying on top of your schoolwork should be a top priority (after all, the whole point of higher education is to teach you something), but it’s also critical that you make time for your brain to recharge by indulging in a little bit of self-care or spending time with friends. A healthy balance will lead you to success!


It’s okay to not have your entire life figured out yet.

If we’re being honest, most 18-year-olds don’t have everything figured out. It’s not the end of the world if you need to drop a class or switch your major; in fact, they’re both common occurrences! Don’t be afraid of exploring new passions that might change what you want to do with your life—be excited and take every opportunity you have to get involved with a new organization or explore a new field of study! As you grow as a person, your goals for your future may change with you, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Learn to go with the flow and enjoy the present moment, and everything else will sort itself out in time.

Hopefully these tips will help ease your freshman nerves and guide you in having a great experience. We’re so excited to welcome a new class of Gamecocks to our campus this fall!


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