I got a request for a blog topic on “UP tips for Freshies,” but since it’s pretty much the start of school for most colleges (UP starts on August due to academic shift), I’ll be including general tips for college freshies! I’ll also be sharing a few things I learned during my first days in college (ok, now I feel old lol) and if you’re no longer a freshie maybe you can relate to a few stories I’ll be sharing! Hopefully I’ll be able to give tips not only to help adjust to college life but life advice as well!
Warning: Lengthy post ahead!
1. Make friends
The first days of college may seem like a Hunger Games arena but if you find the right allies-slash-friends you’ll survive! Haha! (sorry for the harsh analogy). I swear, I still remember my rainy first day; I was so lost and clueless about everything, but it wasn’t so bad because I was with people who felt the same way. I’m naturally a reaaally shy person but college definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to make friends and meet people I know I will never have met if I just kept my tiny mouth shut. So go put a smile on your face and introduce yourselves, but remember not to be overly friendly (I’m sure you know what I mean)!
2. Explore the campus
This is very important especially if your classes are located in different buildings and if you have a grace period of about 10 minutes only to dash to your next class (#haggard). For UP freshies, a map of UP will be your best friend in your first sem in college. I remember during my first sem, me and my college BFF, Kat, would just walk, walk, and walk all over UP (ex. imagine walking from Math building to Shopping center– it still makes me wonder how much energy we had back then and how no wonder I got so tan during my first year, haha!) To be honest until now (incoming 3rd year), I still get lost in my own campus. I’m really bad with directions… Anyways, so yes, time to be Dora the Explorer!
3. Join orgs
I remember during my first sem of college, I was done on Wednesdays and Fridays by NOON. It was such a joy, but most of the time I spent it studying (ew) and at tambayan for an org I was applying for. For UP freshies, I really advice you guys to join orgs while you still have the time! As you get to your next years in college, you’ll be so preoccupied with your majors and acads, it will be so hard to attend all the events required in the org application process. I also advise this because org work is such a different learning experience that I believe no subject or major will be able to give you. It’s where you are able to meet friends you will have forever (or even meet your boyfriend/girlfriend, lol), create innovative projects successful or not, work with great and inspiring minds and where you will see yourself grow. I’m currently handling three org positions this semester and each is so different, that’s why I like it. So much to learn from! Org work, despite being stressful, ironically is also a good break from acads and can be a creative outlet of sorts. I also really think that even if you may be at the top of your class and get the highest grades, but if you have zero org experience or don’t know how to work in a team, you will only be just as smart as your books. And the person who knows how to carry and present himself/herself in front of others will get the job. How competitive this life is. *sigh*
4. Invest in Basics
For some quick fashion advice, if your school doesn’t require you to wear uniforms, this could be a good and a bad thing. Good, because you’re free to wear anything you want! Bad, because you might not want to keep repeating clothes or have those I-don’t-know-what-to-weaaaar moments before heading to school. For your “college closet,” it’s best to start building it by investing in basics, such as a plain simple black and white top (or other colors of the same style), which you can mix and match. A good one or two pairs of jeans, sneakers, flats, and sandals, is also essential. My personal school style always prioritizes comfort above anything, as you can see in my outfit here. I don’t want to stress over what I’m wearing, since I’m already stressed from school to begin with -__-
5. Be open
College is a lot different from high school and there will always be fear and doubt but if you open your heart to the endless possibilities, opportunities and people, it can be as good or even better than your high school years! They say high school friends are forever, but I I’d like to think college friends are just the same. 🙂 Being in UP (although, I think this is also true for all colleges) they say, you will meet people from all walks of life and it’s true, I have met people from very diverse backgrounds and places. I have met the weirdest, silliest, kindest, smartest, happiest, amazing and inspiring people in college, and sometimes I can’t help but smile because there is so much beauty in meeting so many types of people, who each have their own story. And you can only know that story, if you open your heart to them! You must be open to failure as well. College has made me so numb to failure already, but it has also made me so much stronger. In college, you will experience so many unfair (and cruel huhu) profs, who don’t give you the grade you think you deserve, but you will also meet best ones, who will make you careless about the grade you get because the learning and inspiration you receive is that in itself enough.
6. Take risks!
And to end, this is my last advice. I personally have had my own share of regrets in college, but I am constantly trying to stop doubting myself and overcome my inhibitions when I’m presented opportunities. Although, during the times I did take risks, I have to say that these have to be the best decisions I’ve made in my life. And even if there were times when taking risks didn’t end so well, I always get a good laugh remembering all my stupid ten-seconds-of-courage sort of moments. For me, those moments are what I live for and will forever treasure. 🙂 So don’t live on “what-ifs” instead, “oh wells!” I’m happy to say that my first year of college was a roller coaster ride – not boring at all and so fun! It will always have a special place in my heart. So hopefully with my advice, you can also make yours special too!
Hope you enjoyed reading and good luck to all the Freshies on your first days of college! Make it count & memorable! 🙂
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