Hey first-years! With the current “___ things I wish I knew before ____” happening I thought I’d jump in on the trend! Here is my personal list of “5 things I wish I knew before my first year at Carolina”:
You will never be bored in college. In between class, clubs, studying, and chilling with friends, you’ll probably only have time to nap. But it’s okay, because who doesn’t like naps?!
About a month into my freshman year, I was exhausted. I had juggled so much; I didn’t know what to put on the back burner so I didn’t do anything about it. I felt like I had to do everything. Turns out, it’s okay to say NO. Don’t feel obligated to go to that club meeting if you have a test the next day. The club will survive without your presence- just don’t ghost on them altogether.
2. Use your resources
UNC is full of opportunities and resources that I wish I took advantage of during freshman year. There are job fairs, cultural events, RHA events, for you to go to. Instead of lounging around, I wish I got my lazy self to some of these places and events. It would have been a better idea to go to The Writing Center for essay help, rather than sit at my desk waiting for “my next big idea!” to happen.
One resource that I HIGHLY encourage is office hours. Your professors are paid to leave time aside for assistance. Stop by and say hi! Going to office hours would’ve made classes WAY less stressful (i.e. Econ 101).
3. Comparison is the thief of joy
UNC is such a bustling hub of bright minded individuals that everyone kind of seems superhuman. Music majors have businesses on the side, that slacker in class actually interned at Google, etc. Don’t get lost in other people’s accomplishments. Remember that life has an infinite number of paths; seek out the one that makes you happy and you won’t need to look where others are headed.
4. Be comfortable with being alone
Suddenly you go from seeing your friends every day to having to schedule them in?! In high school, you had the security of knowing that your classmates were most likely your friends. In college, you will never see some of your classmates outside of class. Sometimes you’ll find yourself alone; don’t feel weird about it.
In fact, you should enjoy your alone time when you can. Living in a shared room makes time by yourself that much harder. Go to the movies alone! Go to the dining hall alone! Trust me, it’s not that big of a deal.
5. It’s okay to not feel “at home”
It’s still possible to be the most outgoing, studious, student and still feel out of place. College is a transitory part of your life. Don’t be afraid to talk to your new friends about being homesick, because chances are they probably feel it too.
At the same time, don’t wallow in nostalgia. You’re starting a new chapter in your life, and it’s going to be great! Being uncomfortable doesn’t mean that you’re not meant to be at UNC. It means you’re growing.
I hope that all of you find these five tidbits of advice at least entertaining. I’m so excited to see all of you guys in the fall!