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The Hooligan: Advice to the first years

This Monday, my mom called me and updated me on a family friend who just started their first year at college. It’s not going well, is what she told me. Everything she said just kept hitting me blow after blow. It reminded me of how I felt my first year at college, almost to the tee. 

I reached out to them just to check in and the texts were few and far between. The stubbornness, the isolation, the hyper-fixation on school work— it was damaging. College is not just about a degree; it’s teaching you how to be a person with the independence sought at a young age. I don’t think anyone has ever said that to me, and from the conversations that I’ve had with peers, they were not informed of that either. It’s something that we have to figure out on our own. I don’t know if that is a good or a bad thing. Whatever it is, it Regardless, it kind of fucking sucks. The freshmen depression hits everyone, if not in their freshmen year, it’s gonna get you eventually.

I talked with many people to get their recommendations on beating freshmen depression. The overall consensus was to force yourself to get out and meet people. Clubs were the number one suggestion. Getting a job was another. Having someone who is an extrovert or an upperclassman adopt you and take you under your wing was another idea. Stay away from the RA events, but a few of the campus events can be very fun, depending on what they are. 

At our university, the sex mingo is very popular. School-sanctioned trips to big cities are a great opportunity to meet new people since you are kind of forced to spend hours with people in a car and in the city. What better way than that?

Of course, everything that I have suggested I did not do. Same with many of the people I talked to. For me, it was just kind of luck. Likewise, when you enter your second year, you tend to feel more confident and comfortable in your skin.  If you’ve ever been in that funk, you know how difficult it is to get out of it. It takes time; do not expect it to happen immediately. Of course, it is important to do well in classes, but they’re not everything. 

College is not going to be something to remember if you spend most of your time writing lab reports and papers. Time management is crucial; completing work in smaller chunks can really help in the long run. Meeting an assignment goal so that you can go hang out with friends can make things all the better.

But from someone who had kind of fallen out of the depression, go ahead and take these words with a grain of salt. But if you want your mom to continue to send you events on campus over text or have her make a post on the Facebook page asking for someone to be your friend, take the initiative and make the most out of your college career.

 Some people don’t go to college and find it very difficult to make friends outside of school. You’ve been handed a thousand-dollar ticket to make connections with people your own age. Likewise, the purpose of freshman friends is to ditch them immediately; they just help the process of making friends. The start is the hardest, but once it starts, it burns like wildfire, and then you’re on your way to making a fool of yourself in front of strangers, and that lab report isn’t everything anymore. 

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