College Life: 5 Things Every Freshman Girl Should Know

Hey, Ladies!! Congratulations on your decision to go to college!! Whether you’ve decided to attend a local college in the city where you currently live, or you’re traveling to attend a university a few states over—freshman year is always exciting! Let’s be honest, though—trading the comfort of your familiar home, familiar friends, and familiar home cooked meals for sharing a room with a random person, making new friends, and eating in the café can be scary, to say the least. But not to worry you’ll be fine darling! Read on for a few tips on everything you need to know for a successful freshman year.

About Me: I just wanted to share a brief bit about myself to show you that I’ve been there and I totally understand what you are feeling right now. I graduated from Saint Augustine’s University back in 2011 (GO FALCONS!) and since graduation I’ve worked at two HBCU’s- Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina and Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio. I’ve planned first-year leadership training’s, freshmen focused institutes, and worked directly with admissions offices to prepare for freshman students arriving on campus. Please note that there are COUNTLESS tips out there to prepare for freshman year, but for the sake of time and space I’m going to outline my TOP 5 outline a few others at the end.

Let’s get to it:

    • Pay Attention @ Orientation: Some institutions are better than others at making orientation a less painful process, but at the end of the day, orientation is nothing more than the dissemination of a crapload of information. The key here, though, is that the information being disseminated is important and for your own good. From how to receive textbooks, to where you pick up your refund check, orientation is put in place to get you used to life on a college campus. Pay attention and don’t complain, even though it may seem boring.

      • Stay Organized: For many freshman young ladies, college will be your first time truly being in charge of yourself. In high school, your teacher constantly reminded you about when assignments were due and you leaned on your parents to keep you in line. College is really different. Some professors may give you a syllabus and never mention when assignments are due. They will assume that since you are now an adult, you took the time to read the class syllabus and they will expect you to adhere to their policies accordingly. A weekly planner or agenda is absolutely necessary. Invest in one or two in case you want to keep professional and personal events/programs/assignments separate.

      • The Roommate Situation: If you’re lucky, you’ll end up with a great roommate with whom you’ll get very close to, and will remain friends with well after college. However, it doesn’t always happen this way. Know that your roommate doesn’t have to be someone you’re ALWAYS with. A lot of times, freshman girls get caught up thinking that they MUST do everything with their roommate. Not true. Do you boo! I would suggest, however, communicating with your roommate, being respectful of their space and items and having their back even if you don’t always hang out. Since you all will be living together, you may want to put some space between yourselves by purposely befriending other young ladies within your residence hall. If for any reason you are having serious issues with your roommate, reach out to your Resident Assistant to assist with mediating those issues.

        • Fighting the “Freshman 15”: You’ve heard of it. The terrible beast is known as the freshman 15 that refers to the extra 15 lbs you’re going to potentially gain during your freshman year. Most freshmen have a meal plan, and while the experience of convening in the café, not having to pay cash, and eating as much as you want is pretty amazing, be mindful of what and how much you’re eating. With all the studying you’re going to be doing, working out may take a back seat (although you should still hit the gym at least twice per week) so you want to make extra sure you’re eating as healthy as possible to avoid your parents saying “My—you’ve gotten a little plump” when you return home during Christmas break.

      • Greek Life: Having gone to an HBCU and because of the fact that CampusLATELY is a platform that is all things “black collegiate” I felt that this one was important to mention. This information is sort of two-fold so pay close attention. FRATERNITIES: Firstly, DO NOT-I repeat DO NOT become TOO mesmerized by the purple and gold, blue and white, black and gold, or crimson and crème guys walking around campus. These young men are members of fraternities that are part of the National PanHellenic Council (NPHC) and although their “neck roll” and “shimmy” may give you a tingle ( insert heart eye emoji) my best advice is to focus on getting acclimated to college life and don’t worry about any guys let alone Greek guys.
      • SORORITIES: Secondly, in addition to the fraternities on campus, you’ll come across females wearing colors too. These ladies are also members of the NPHC and collectively, all nine organizations are referred to as the “Divine 9.” The female organizations consist of the AKA’s, Delta’s, Rho’s and Zeta’s.  One day, you may want to join one of these organizations, some of you may have family members who have already associated you with a particular sorority. From my experience, the quickest way to ruin your chance at becoming a member is to be a groupie, ask too many of the wrong questions at the wrong times and/or always be seen entertaining Greek guys. Let me be clear-I am not saying that members of “Divine 9” sororities are not approachable or friendly, but truth be told, members don’t take too kindly to randoms approaching them, seeking information that can be googled and researched. Also, I’m not saying you can’t speak to Greek guys, participate in their programs, or support their causes. Just be cautious and don’t be extra. Always use discretion, while showing deference and respect. Lastly, if you do nothing else that I suggest please please please stay away from the plot/tree areas unless you are invited. These are member-only areas that are sacred. Trust me this is a problem that you DO NOT want.

You’ll also want to keep these things in mind:

        • Abide by the Campus Rules
        • Complete an Internship
        • Don’t Overpack
        • Ask Questions
        • Join Clubs/Organizations
        • Watch the Company you Keep
        • Use Student Discounts
        • Don’t Trip Over ONE Bad Grade

So, there you have it. Hopefully, you feel better about your freshman year and are ready to start your college career with confidence. At all cost, let the gif above serve as a reminder of what NOT to do. SMH. Feel free to comment other tips freshman young ladies should know. Let’s support all freshmen women and do our part to make sure they are not caught off guard during their freshman year.

Kendra Sharp5 Posts

Kendra Sharp: Scholar. Entrepreneur. Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Black Higher Education Advocate.

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