5 Tips I Wish I Had Gotten as a Freshman

Elissa Sanci

It’s hard to believe that this year marks my third here at the University of New Haven. I still remember how I felt as I helped my mom unpack my bags, staring at the campus that would become home to me for the next four years. I didn’t know it at the time, but I would go on to do some pretty great things, meet amazing people and make unforgettable memories.


Being a freshman is hard. You don’t really know what’s going on yet. You wear your lanyard with your keys around your neck, scared to put it down anywhere in fear of losing it. The feeling of being pushed into something you don’t quite know how to handle yet is ever-present; you don’t know where you belong yet, and it’s a scary feeling.

Everyone feels like this—everyone. Even the most confident kid has his doubts; I promise you that. But once you realize it’s okay to feel like this, once you realize that it’s normal to feel tentative and apprehensive, you’re on the right track to being just fine.

I wish someone had been around to give me that advice two years ago when I felt so unsure of myself. There are a lot of things I wish I had known then; here are five tips I wish someone had given me at the beginning of my freshman year.
1.Get involved: There’s a reason everyone says this; it’s true! It’s the best way to feel apart of something and it’s the first step in making UNH a new home.
Join clubs that interest you; it’s a great way to make new friends with the same hobbies and outlooks on life.

2.Stay active: I encourage you to stay active. Go to the gym, join a RecSports Team, the Quidditch team, or go to classes offered at the Rec Center. Do something to get your blood pumping. It’s good way to relieve tension when you’re stressed out, and it’s even better to fight off the Freshmen 15 (which is, in fact, a real thing).

3.Eat as healthy as you can: Like I said before, the Freshmen 15 is not just a myth, and if you’re not careful, it can creep on you before you even realize it.
You’re away from home for the first time, so it may seem like a good idea to have pizza for breakfast and ice cream for dinner. I’ll let you know upfront—it’s not. Forego the chicken fingers and fries for every meal and you’ll feel less sluggish during the day. A salad every once in a while won’t kill you, and you’ll even have more energy—promise.

4.Don’t forget to study: Remember that you came to college to go to class, to learn, and most importantly, to earn a degree.
It’s important to schedule time for studying, whether you do it in the library or in your room. Don’t forget to take advantage of the Center for Learning Resources (located in the basement of the library) if you’re struggling with any of your work.

5.But also don’t forget to have fun: Doing well in school is important, but so is having fun. If you put all your efforts into studying, soon you’ll run out of steam.
It’s important to relax every once in a while and spend time with friends. College is a balancing act and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you’ll get used to it and start making the most of your college experience.

College is tricky, but once you get the hang of balancing your school work and your social life, you’ll be just fine. The moment you begin to make friends is the moment all the aprehensive feelings fade away; it’s when the fun begins. The same goes for when you get back your first paper (the paper you pulled an all-nighter writing) and see a shiny red “A+” at the top.
Soon enough, you’ll get to the steps that overlook the quad, and instead of just looking at the quad, you’ll be looking at home.