As I start my last year of college, I find myself thinking more and more about my first. I would give anything to be a freshman in college again, with so much time in front of me and not yet having to worry about internships, a job and where I will end up post-grad. I know that the transition from home to college can be rough, but the first semester of freshman year was still one of my favorites. It wasn’t all smooth sailing from orientation. Your RA doesn’t hand you a guidebook on how to survive this new chapter of your life, so consider this Freshman Year 101.
For me, the easiest way to get through a hard time is to keep busy. Getting involved in extracurricular activities that pertain to your interests is a great way to not only keep your mind off of how much you miss your dog, but also to meet people who have similar interests. We are lucky enough to attend a school that has so much to offer outside of the classroom. Whether it’s a student publication (cough cough, get distracted), student government, Greek life, and IM sports just to name a few. There is no limit to the organizations you can be a part of.
Make the Best of Dorm Life
Though it’s hard going from having your own space at home to sharing a cramped box with someone you just met, living in a dorm is actually fun. It is the only time during your four years at UM that you will be within walking distance to all of your friends. Your dorm becomes your own little corner of the universe on campus. Make it a sanctuary that you look forward going back to after a long day of class or a long night of partying. Cover your futon with pillows and blankets. Hang up tapestries or lights or band posters to cover up those bland white walls. It may sound crazy, but you actually might miss waiting in the long omelette line in your pajamas and having an hour-long breakfast with your new squad.
It’s the Grove, not South Beach
This one is for the ladies. The Grove is probably the most casual (and ratchet) bar scene in Miami. Use Thursday nights as a break from your short skirts and heels and throw on a pair of jean shorts and converse. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t that freshman who wore a dress and heels to Cudas’s, and looking back on it I have so many #ragrets, know what I’m saying?
Take Advantage of Miami
We go to school in one of the coolest cities in the world. Miami is so diverse and there are so many different things to do. Going into my fourth year living in this city, I still have a bucket list of places I want to go. Not many universities are located in an area with so much to offer. Spend a day in Key Biscayne or South Beach, go to Art Walk and walk around Wynwood, take a road trip to the Keys, go snorkeling in Pennekamp Coral Reef Sate Park, rent paddle boards, tour the Everglades, the list goes on. The 305 is such a fun place to live, go out and explore all that it has to offer.
With love from a nostalgic senior,
words and photo_lizzie_wilcox.