Unless you have a metabolism that is out of this world, you’ve experienced, or are preparing to experience, the dreaded “freshman fifteen”. For those who are unaware, the term refers to pesky pounds that creep up as a result of eating noodles, junk, and grease-laden foods during late night study sessions. This is college life at its finest! When mom and dad are not around to prepare balanced meals, give reminders to study, or enforce a curfew, those who have not developed discipline tend to suffer in more ways than one.
Freshman year is not an extension of high school, and if students aren't careful, poor performance could lead to regrets, time wasted, and mounds of seemingly insurmountable debt. Though this all sounds pretty daunting, it is possible to enjoy the college experience while making wise financial and academic decisions. As many prepare to enroll or transfer, we are sharing a different kind of freshman fifteen. Buckle up! You’re in for what could be the wildest, and possibly most enjoyable, ride of your life.
More than one hundred college attendees and graduates were asked the following question, “if you could somehow give advice to your college freshman self, what would you say?” Some people shared regrets, while others had no regrets at all. Of the hundreds of responses shared, fifteenish were chosen. Some are serious, others funny, but all meant to help as students embark on their college journey.
Freshman Fifteen You’ll Want includes:
“Enjoy the college experience. Invest in friendships; participate in extracurricular activities. Study hard but take time to have fun!”
“Go to an HBCU”
“The best decision I made at 18 was to walk by the guys offering you T-shirts for a credit card…. Watch your credit and be smart.”
“Start at a community college first to save money.”
“Do that study abroad you signed up for.”
“Take a career test. You are smarter than you think.”
“SIS, DON’T GIVE HIM YOUR NUMBER EVEN IF HE POSTED A PICTURE OF HIMSELF HOLDIN’ A BIBLE WITH A CAPTION THAT SAYS ‘Best book ever!’ SIS, DON’T FALL FOR THE OKIE DOKE!! YOU WILL WASTE 2-3 YEARS OF YOUR LIFE!!!!!”
“Follow your heart's desire, w/o fear.”
“Find a group of friends in your major where you take all the same classes together and study together. This helped me in grad school.”
“ Do not sign up for that 8am class!!”
“Start saving in a Roth IRA.”
“If you don't have the will or want to go to school at that moment, don't. Give yourself time if you need it. Speak to someone about the real financial situation if you won’t be working. Learn to coupon lol.”
“Pursue ownership...from the owner's perspective-not the owned.”
“Don’t spend all your time in the rec center forgetting you have a scholarship to keep up.”
Finally, a three-for-one special:
a) Take out the least amount of student loans possible. Even if you have to take a
semester off. You’ll be happy you did.
b) Learn Spanish. Just trust me on this one. Learn Spanish.
c) Focus. The women will be there later. Almost all of them….”
Each bit of counsel may not apply, and that’s ok. The key is to learn from the experiences and wisdom of others. I hope that you build lifelong friendships, listen keenly to the still voice of right, and develop an undeniable sense of purpose. Cheers to the Class of 2025!!!