35 Things I Would Tell Every College Freshman

This past weekend, I went home to spend some time with the hooligans I have the honor of calling my siblings. The triplets are going off to college so this was a special farewell trip. All weekend, I was trying to throw my college tips at them. So I thought, ‘Why don’t I just write them down?’11822279_10207260375408737_425110577808286027_n

Here are 35 pieces of advice I would say to every incoming freshman. Many of these are not specific to college but a little reminder to live a happier life can’t hurt! Check out a previous post, 15 Things 2015 Taught Me Thus Far, because every single one of those apply but I didn’t repeat.

  1. Be careful of who you spend your time with. If you are around them enough, they will rub off on you in some way. My go-to judgement of character is to see how people treat their waitress/waiter. It works. Trust me.
  2. Go to class. And on time. People have sacrificed a lot to get you where you are so do it for them, if not yourself.
  3. Stay in contact with your high school/home friends!! It is tough, especially when you are away from home and all of your friends have different breaks but make it happen. They were placed in your life for a reason.11846608_10206168906054218_3470882074433752676_n
  4. Go to the events that your school/student organizations put on! Even the awkward bingo nights. They take a lot of planning, you will meet great people who you may have never crossed paths with, you will have a great time (with the right attitude) and you may just walk away with a prize and/or a satisfied belly.
  5. Your voice and actions may be the only glimpse of the Gospel a person receives all day. Remember this.
  6. Never stop making friends! It is so easy to get a close-knit group that you do everything with while shutting out other people without meaning to. College brings together lifelong friends so make lifelong friends and plenty of them!
  7. Be prepared to defend yourself. You will meet tons of people that will have different views than you. Sometimes you will feel like you are alone in your beliefs. You are not. Inform yourself and hold true to who you are. ay3Z2TG
  8. Stop picking yourself apart! God doesn’t make mistakes!
  9. Get involved in things you are passionate about. You will meet like-minded people, have something to look forward to when your day seems to be dragging and you will light up when you are talking about something you love. (People tell me this third part all zeee time)
  10. Thank your professors. They do so much and rarely get a simple thank you. They will remember your graciousness.
  11. Turn off Netflix and do something! Netflix is great on occasion but college is thee prime time to try new things, meet new people and prepare yourself for your career. Laziness is not something to brag about in an interview. ac13c4ca0c88ac93e0baa425f9da4e740d70319567a241455eadf73477756eba
  12. Get to know a couple alumni (the more, the better). Alumni love to help current students in all capacities! Don’t hesitate to approach them because exciting opportunities will come from these relationships.
  13. Don’t be afraid to quit. Stopping your involvement in something that doesn’t bring you satisfaction is totally okay! As long as you are absolutely sure that it is what you want to do, make the decision and don’t look back.
  14. Take walks! Don’t bring your phone, just a friend or not a friend. All you need is the great outdoors and your lovely legs. We all need to escape, especially under the breathtaking sky.
  15. Don’t say “I’m tired” when people ask you how you are. You have control of your sleep. 94fe6bc8b78c4b3c6e3ae324235b7469
  16. You aren’t “failing at life” as I hear waaay too much on campus. “God is in its midst; it shall not be shaken” – Psalm 46:6.
  17. Give it time when you want to transfer. Transferring enters a good majority of freshman’s minds. It is an easy option when college is not everything and more that you thought it would be right away. Wait it out (even for years).
  18. Go to the library! There is such a great community atmosphere, you’ll make bunches of friends and there is always someone to help you if you are stuck on an assignment. It’s definitely a social place but if you need to study without distractions, the third floor (or your library’s highest floor) is completely silent.finals
  19. Learn how to accept compliments. Many people, my past self being one of them, will make a weird face and not believe the kind remark. Don’t be one of them. Give an earnest “thank you” right on back.
  20. Back up your files!! This is more important than ever because the things you are doing in class, extracurriculars and internships can be used in your portfolio. You don’t even need a flash drive or hard drive because Google Docs is a miracle worker.
  21. Don’t lose sight of what is important! You will get grades that you aren’t proud of, be overwhelmed quite often and make mistakes all along the way but that is life. Don’t get caught up in the details because this earth is not our home, my friends.e2ef430cc72ef4ce25f7191ce00178b8
  22. If you live in a dorm your freshman year, open your door! Nobody can meet you if you keep it closed all day long. I met one of my current roommates because her door was open, I walked down to it and shared my proposal for a cookie business that we could run in the basement. The business never happened but you can’t put a price on friendship!
  23. Control F will be your best friend. I am surprised at the amount of students who don’t about this incredible quick computer trick. It allows you to find a specific word or phrase in any document. So if you are doing research and need to find one sentence but don’t want to read 58 pages, Control F away!
  24. Don’t forget to be a good daughter/son. It can be easy to stop talking to your parents when they aren’t in your midst every day. They will greatly appreciate when you are the one to take the initiative to reach out to them!
  25. Go to mass. A couple times a week if you can. 1.) THE EUCHARIST. 2.) People around the world are being killed for stepping into a church. Treasure our religious freedom in the United States.f045d4bbfea9ded1f151f4e3c879c8b3
  26. Never stop networking! Meeting people and building relationships throughout your four years is key, no matter what your major is. And something to keep in mind: you never know who you are talking to. If you leave a good impression on someone, you will be amazed at what can happen.
  27. Pray to Mary. She will always lead you back to her Son.
  28. Read every email and respond promptly. Your professors will send important messages (a.k.a. canceled class), you will never miss anything that is going on around campus and people will appreciate when you remain in close communication. My email is the first thing I check when I pick up my phone and it is much more worthwhile than reading tweets about last night’s episode of PLL.
  29. Reject negativity! Like you are a magnet and it is a magnet and the two won’t even come close.  No one likes to be around people who complain day after day.2e7b27d92b59fa5d8ed88428d9eed2e8
  30. Make it a point to become friends with the people in your classes. Once you get more specific in your major, you will be traveling around with the same group of people. It’s basically like a little family! It’s so great!
  31. Don’t be annoyed when you have to teach yourself. English may be your professor’s third language and chances are, they haven’t mastered it. Learn to accept it and start reading that book you paid a fortune for.
  32. Find people who you can pour your heart out to. You will be amazed at how many people are dealing with the same things as you are.
  33. People will see your potential before you notice it in yourself. Don’t doubt them and never doubt yourself.9db88345a8b50e57caff2378882c51de
  34. Become close with your advisor. It took me a year and a half to find one who made time for me but it was well worth the wait. He talks to me more than some of my friends, knows what I’m interested in, is constantly presenting me with opportunities and is basically a stand-in therapist when life becomes overwhelming. You can have the same if you allow it!
  35. You will change. In a wonderful way! In a way that makes you more you! When talking to a friend from home about people changing she put it this way, “Everyone is so much more enhanced!” BINGO.

4 thoughts on “35 Things I Would Tell Every College Freshman

  1. So I have some catching up to do because while you’ve been cranking out posts all summer, I’ve taken a bit of a blog break! But oh my goodness, I love this post so much. I think you could totally just rename it “Advice On How To Live” because all of it is so, so relateable and true. You should just do a commencement speech, Kerigan 😉

    Also…I really enjoyed the post you published after this! AMEN to all of it. I just love that line…you are mine. I pray with that a lot, because I don’t think that I fully understand what that means. I belong to the God of the universe…and He belongs to me. Why should I fear? Why should I regret? Why should I see myself as not good enough if I am perfect to Him? Another thing I’ve come to realize lately in my prayer life is that I try to convince God to do things for me…like increase my belief or take away my fear. It’s almost like I have to present a case as to why He should do it for me. But if I belong to Him, and He belongs to me, and He loves me infinitely…then He WANTS to take away the bad and give me good. Of course, He still wants us to ask for things…but He wants us to ask with the FAITH that He will provide what we need…because we are His. Crazy stuff!!

    Again, you are such a beautiful writer and write with so much honesty…such a gift. Thank you for blessing me by it!


    1. You always give the sweetest compliments! You really don’t know how much it means to me. Your sincerity is an incredible blessing in my life!!

      I am so happy that you like this post! I’m also glad that you got so much out of it even though you haven’t hit college yet. You are surely wise beyond your years!

      I have been diligently checking your blog all summer but we all need a break! I’m glad you lived in the moment and spent time with your loved ones. Once classes start in a few days, I will be posting much less so it’s all a balancing act!

      Your insight is absolutely beautiful! I feel like my conversations with God can often lose the reverence that it deserves. Like you, I also find myself asking for things that seem so silly when we realize His grandeur. We can’t forget that He is the God of the universe! Ahhhh it’s insane! But overwhelming in a joyful and peaceful sense. Anyways, we do belong to Him as His chosen daughters. What a humbling privilege!

      A couple days ago, I read that you will be applying to NET Ministries. That is so awesome!!! Your vulnerability in sharing these parts of your life and responding to God’s call is inspirational. I’ll be praying for you in this time of discernment and new opportunities!


  2. Great advice and well done! Sharing this widely in social media and also with our 2nd son, a freshman at Franciscan University.


    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me and for sharing this post on social media! I hope at least one of these tips will help your son as he enters this new stage of his life. Franciscan is an incredible place! I was fortunate to be able to go to their youth conferences during high school and I will actually be there next weekend for another conference. He will love it!


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