my first year experience
hello from…NOT four floors up,
It’s weird, I know, trust me – I am no longer four floors up! I am currently back home in Maryland and feeling sentimental that my freshman year is officially over. However, I am so happy that I have been able to share my first year experience with you through four floors up. I hope that my blog will continue to inspire and spread good vibes in the future.
BUT you may be thinking, “okay so she was four floors up, but now what?” No need to worry – I will be continuing to blog throughout the summer and feature my daily lifestyle advice and inspo, such as trips to NYC and summer style. When I return back to school in the fall, I will also continue to post about ~ apartment style ~ décor and all things college lifestyle inspiration. Since my blog originated when I was living four floors up in Villiger, I will be keeping my name as four floors up (whew!)
Now that I have updated you all, I want to skip to the more important subject – my takeaways from freshman year / inspiration for my future college readers! Keep reading to learn more…
(ALSO shout out to my fourth floor girls – I could not have survived freshman year without you)
BE OPEN // TRY NEW THINGS
I managed to figure this out pretty quickly into my freshman year. After moving in and participating in an early move in program where we volunteered throughout the Philadelphia area, I understood the importance of being open to trying new things. You never know what you will really enjoy / click with until you try it. This tip applies to both trying new things and meeting people. I am looking forward to further trying this in the future. There are so many activities, clubs, and trips that my school offers that I want to get involved in, as well as many people that I have still yet to meet.
DON’T RUSH IT
I think that there is a certain hype around freshman year and a rush to make new friends and meet as many people as possible. While you should be open and passionate about getting involved, don’t rush into things and get overwhelmed. The same goes for making friends – don’t feel rush or obliged to have your squad of best friends set by the second week of school. Making friends takes time and you shouldn’t worry if you feel like you haven’t clicked with anyone in the beginning of the semester.
My advice – take advantage of the various events your RA plans for your floor. I was lucky enough to have Greta (our 4th floor RA). She planned floor events for us to get to know each other, such as team bonding and road trips.
EXPLORE YOUR SCHOOL & CITY
Once you feel comfortable with your school’s campus and buildings, begin to explore and find your favorite parts of campus. I love walking around St. Joe’s campus and exploring all the different areas.
This didn’t happen for my friends and I until second semester, but once you feel confident enough, take trips into the city / surrounding areas around your school! After getting lost and taking about 2 hours to get to the city of Philly (all for Hibachi) my friends and I were a little scared to try Philly transportation ever again. However, I think we have now conquered Septa transportation and make city trips almost every weekend. It’s important to get away from campus, if only for a few hours. If you are planning to go to school in Philly, check out Rittenhouse Square or Suburban Square – just some of our fav areas.
ALONE TIME IS IMPORTANT TOO
As an introvert, I know that I need time throughout the week to spend alone / reflect on whatever has happened in my life. College was vastly different for me, as it involved constant social interaction, something that I was not used to. If you ever feel overwhelmed or feel like you need time to yourself, find a relatively quiet spot on campus. Everyone needs time to refocus, recharge, and center their thoughts and feelings.
IT’S OK TO FEEL HOMESICK
It’s okay, really! It’s natural for you to miss your parents, family, or dogs at home. After move in, all I could think about was going home and seeing my parents. However, after I got busy and my schoolwork began to increase, I forgot about how much I missed my home. If you are feeling consistently homesick, I would suggest getting more involved in activities that your school offers. For me, the busier I was, the less time I had to think about how much I missed my family / home / friends.
STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF
I also realized this pretty quickly into my freshman year. There are certain qualities and characteristics that you possess that some people may not like. However, these qualities make you who you are as an individual and differentiate you from the rest of your class. People will be naturally drawn to you for who you are, so don’t try and be something different.
Now…special shout out to my fourth floor girls. I mentioned you guys earlier, but I really appreciate everything ~ all of the laughs, memories, and stories that we all shared this year. I cannot imagine living doors away from anyone else. I know that you guys are going to kill it this summer and I can’t wait to reunite soon.
Greta – thank you for being an amazing RA. You were the best neighbor and our floor could always count on you to be there for us. You were always down for a dance party or to listen to our problems, whatever time it may be. I can’t wait to see everything you accomplish and where the world takes you in the future. Can’t wait to see you super soon and talk about your trip to España!