Hello, hello! Happy Monday! This is my third week of classes, but I already feel like I've been at Lehigh for months! I've definitely come to a lot of realizations about college since I've arrived, and I wanted to share a few of these along with some tips for any other college freshman (or future college freshman!) out there.
Don't make decisions for yourself based on what other people want you to do // It's so easy to feel pressured to go out every single night because you want to meet more people, look good for the sorority girls, meet a boy, or maintain your new friendships. It's only been two weeks for me, but I learned on my third night here that I do not need to go out if I don't feel like. College is exhausting, and if you're tired and not in the mood to go out, then don't go out! The parties are never going to be that much more fun or exciting on the nights you miss out, and you'll feel so much better in the morning for getting in extra hours of sleep and avoiding a hangover or any other morning-after feeling. I've actually been staying in about equal to how often I go out, and I think the balance is perfect because I'm having fun while also getting enough sleep and getting my work done. It's hard every night to explain to your friends that you're staying in again when you told them you'd go out, but they always understand the next day when you're feeling good and they're way too tired from being out late.
It's okay to be homesick // Going off of the first one, college is a big change in a lot of ways. Doing what's best for yourself if the best thing you can do! I can't tell you how much I've been calling my mom, my boyfriend, and my best friends and saying I want to come home. I love my new classes and I'm having so much fun meeting a bunch of new girls and forming a friend group here, but it's true that college is hard and it involves a lot of independence and new situations that aren't the easiest to adjust to at first. There are good days and bad days, so taking time for yourself is so important, telling people you miss them really goes a long way, and always remember to try and make the most of college. It can be the best time if you take advantage of it, but if you're feeling homesick (like I am!), keep in mind that you're still adjusting and getting comfortable takes time, but you'll get there! If it helps, I have been talking to a bunch of my friends, and even older girls, and I have found that everyone really does feel the same way too.
Making healthy choices in the dining hall shouldn't be that hard // The dining halls at Lehigh have a ton of options for every meal for all sorts of food, as I imagine most dining halls do. The ice cream bar, custom crepe station (oh yes, we have one of those), pizza, burger and pasta stations, and the cases full of cupcakes and cookies are all available at one's excess every single day. However, so is the salad bar, custom omelet station, selection of fruit, wrap and sandwich station, etc. If you fill up a plate with fruits and veggies (sautéed or roasted mixed veggies are almost always available next to the main courses as sides) and then some other healthy proteins and starches, you can eat your meal, feel full, and then go for a cookie if you're still craving one. I personally eat breakfast in my dorm, so when I am at dining hall for lunch and dinner I usually get some sort of quinoa/farro salad (they're always serving some variation of that mixed with veggies which is pretty yummy!), a piece of fruit and peanut butter, and then something random that's available that day like a quesadilla, wrap, or slice of quiche. It's really all about balance, so making sure you're not eating the pizza everyday along with having the crepe lady make you a crepe every time she sees you, you should be good ;)
You'll do a lot of walking, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't exercise or eat unhealthy // Lehigh is situated on a mountain so I swear, it doesn't even matter where I'm trying to go, I will probably have to walk up some stairs to get there. Of course, this means I'm burning a lot more calories than I would be otherwise in high school just walking short distances from period to period. However, once your body gets used to walking uphill or walking a lot all of the time, it won't register as exercise anymore, and it'll just be more of your daily habits. This means that getting into the groove of continuing a good exercise regimen and eating healthy will keep you in better health in the long run. Not only that, but exercise and a good diet are so beneficial for keeping stress levels low and brain function high, both equally important in being a successful student academically!
Do you have any first tips for college freshman?