The Unofficial Guide to Freshman Year of College

Facebook

I graduated from high school in 2006 – aka the year Facebook really came to life. It was not just for college students anymore – you could now be invited to the social networking site by a college student. However, it was invite only, and lucky me got invited by an older friend who left for college that year – I was officially in – 17 with a Facebook.

Throughout the year, high school students were getting Facebook pages left and right. And eventually, we all started recieving our “college emails” so we could join our respective network! How exciting. At some point during the year, Facebook became pretty much available to everyone- you just had to somehow confirm that you belonged to a network. (I can’t remember back to this era, since Facebook is now a part of my every day life).

At this point, summer was approaching and various Facebook groups were created. “Incoming Fresman Class of 2010!!!” Everyone was so excited… and so nice. It was almost fake – Oh wait! That’s because it was fake…. Anyway, my young , social media loving self was determined to make as many friends as I could via Facebook.

– Facebook Pictures

I uploaded all of my pictures to my Facebook page… Pics of Smirnoff Ices, beer bottles, cheerleading competitions, and friends puking in bathrooms were everywhere. I figured that since my FB pictures showed me drinking, partying, and having fun, everyone would think I was cool. We all thought that. When you saw that someone had no pictures of him/her drinking, partying, and having fun you immediately thought they were boring and didn’t want to be their friend (unless they were hot). And if you knew someone (aka a “friend” you made at orientation or your Freshman roommate) didn’t have a Facebook, you were automatically like WTF, who doesn’t have FB? They must be anti-soshh.”

During Freshman year, pictures played a huge part as well. You no longer were trying to impress your future classmates, but you were trying to one up your friends from home and other peers from high school. FB pictures are a way to show people that your college experience is way more fun than their college experience. It is also a way to show people that your friends are good looking, you are communicating with the opposite sex on a regular basis, you have an unnecessary number of friends, and you drink copious amounts of alcohol – and not just on the weekend.

– Facebook Friends: AIM, Messaging, The Wall

Over the summer, I started talking to other kids who would also be entering Ithaca College in August as Freshman as well. I chatted with people through AIM… I wrote on FB walls… I messaged people…

I wanted to do cheerleading in college, so I somehow was put in touch with other girls who wanted to do cheerleading. We exchanged IM screennames and wrote on each other’s walls. I had never met these people, but was somehow talking to them on a regular basis almost everyday- and I wasn’t just talking to cheerleaders. Anyone who had a similar interest as me talked to me. If someone saw my pictures, they would talk to me. I was making cyber friends… It was weird.

So, just like everyone else, I got to school and never met probably 3/4ths of these people I used to be online BFFs with. And if I did meet them at a random, over-crowded freshman party – I sure as hell never talked to them ever again.

Just a word to you prospective college students – don’t make friends online. Of course I ended up being best friends with some of the people I chatted with prior to attending the school… but if you’re going to meet these people – it won’t be because you talked online for a summer! And it just makes things more awkward when you actually do come face to face with them in August/September. Really avoid this situation!

Orientation

This section goes with the above section on making friends online. Just like you will most likely never be friends with your cyber friends, you will most likely never be friends with your orientation friends.

I didn’t meet my orientation roommate until we woke up in the same room the next morning. By the time I arrived for orientation, she wasn’t in the room. And when I got back from mingling with strangers all night, she was already sleeping. Unfortunately, that’s an awkward situation you can’t avoid.

Anyway, I met a lot of people during orientation. I actually met a few people that I would end up being very good friends with… BUT the majority of the people, I actually never saw again. I did recognize some people from Facebook… I had even talked to some people online already… Orientation is going to be awkward no matter what. There is no way you can avoid this. Just know that you are going to meet tons more people when you start college… and that you might never see these people ever again.

The Roommate

One of my now best friends actually sent me a facebook message before we met… the summer before Freshman year. She said:

“dude lets be roomates we could have so much fun together do you like drinking??”

I said no to being roommates… duh. I wanted the whole random roommate experience. I thought maybe fate would come into play and give me my future bff. But no… My freshman year roommate wasn’t a “drinker” – and I was. However, we were friends at first. We went shopping together. Ate dinner together. And I think we did other things together too? But then, we realized that our personalities severely clashed. She had a boyfriend that was there constantly and we had opposite sleeping schedules. Basically, we suddenly got into a fight and didn’t really speak the rest of the semester. Luckily I had my group of “Freshman Friends” and cheerleading team and didn’t need my roommate to be my bff.

You can probably avoid this situation nowadays. Most colleges have online surveys where you fill out your interests, sleep times, etc and put you with someone who is like you. It is also much easier to find roommates online… After experiencing the ultra random roommate, I definitely suggest finding someone who has things in common with you… Perhaps a non-smoker if you are… Someone who has the same sleep schedule as you… If you like to go out, they should too… If they have a bf, that’s fine – as long as he doesn’t go to the same college. That could involve you being sexiled, and that is never fun 🙁

All in all, college is a fabulous experience and you should experience at least one bad roommate/apartmentmate/housemate just for life purposes!

The Freshman Friend

We have all seen them. We have all had them. We have all stopped talking to at least one of them. The Freshman Friend.

When you get to college, you live in a dorm… You are assigned to a room in a building. And because of this, you are basically assigned friends. If you do not know anyone from high school or life in general at your new school, you will be stuck meeting only the people you can. Sometimes, you make friends from class or from a sport/activity/club… but its pretty hard to go out with someone on the weekends when they live in a dorm far from you and/or have a totally different group of “Freshman Friends.” So basically, you are forced to be friends with the people on your floor and in your building.

As a freshman, you are meeting people everywhere you go. You actually meet people right up until graduation day (and, depending on the size of your school, you will find out on graduation that you don’t know more than half your graduating class, even though you thought you did).

Anyway, Freshman Friends are not hard to spot on a college campus – They travel in herds. They enter house parties, having no idea who actually lives in the house. They attempt to get into bars with their fake IDs and mingle with older guys. They wear dresses without tights when its snowing out. They make out with someone of the opposite or same sex every weekend (sometimes 2 or 3 people in one night) right on the dance floor at a party. They eat in dining halls at the same time every night with the same large group of people. And they socialize at the gym more than they actually work out.

It has been said by many, that during sophomore year you hit a “sophomore slump.” You live in a new place, surrounded by new people… and you’re finally making good friends. However, you’re still meeting new people… Maybe you live closer to people who you didn’t the year before. Maybe you grow to fit in better with another group of people, rather than your freshman friends…

How many of you do not speak to more than half the people you were friends/friendly/acquaintances with Freshman year? I bet a lot of you… You can’t just be friends with someone because they happen to be your roommate or next door neighbor. But don’t worry… if you’re a freshman – or even a sophomore – and you feel like you don’t fit in yet… you will find your group! Don’t worry. College is fun – and you will meet so many people. Just don’t get depressed and transfer quite yet if this is your reason 🙂

Samantha Matt

Hi I’m Sam. I made this website in 2011 and it’s still going. My first book, AVERAGE IS THE NEW AWESOME, is coming out in January (you can buy it right now on Amazon or from your fave bookstore!). I like pizza, French fries, barre, spin, more pizza, more French fries, and buying clothes. Writing is fun. Follow me on twitter & Instagram at @samanthamatt1... and on this site's meme account on IG at @20somethingproblems. OKAY GREAT THANKS BYE.

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