Gain the Freshmen 15: Tips for College Freshmen

Congrats, you've made to to college! Now what? For many new college students, their first year away from home can be trying. There's a lot to deal with: new school, new friends, and the dreaded "Freshman 15." Well, maybe not that last part. 

We're taking that old weight-gain worry turning it on it's head. Here are 15 tips that’ll help you get the most out of your first year of college!

 

 

1. freshman 15 slide 01 College isn't a race.

College Isn't A Race

The next four years of your life will fly by, but that doesn’t mean that college is a race.

Take your time, mi’ja! Take time to expand your talents, explore new interests and meet new people. You don’t need to have it all figured out in the first year; just have fun building a foundation. The rest will come. 

2. freshman 15 slide 03 roommate

Learn to Tolerate Your Roommate

Whether you and your roomie are BFFs or you guys are one dirty sock away from a throwdown, it's important that you learn how to communicate with each other. 

Passive-aggressive sticky notes will not cut it here. Be vocal about what bothers you--but don't forget to also say what makes you happy. 

If for some reason, you all just can't get along, seek the help of an RA. They'll mediate the situation and help you to find some common ground. 

Remember: You don't have to be best friends with your roommate, but you do have to live with them! 

3. freshman 15 slide 02 Sorority

Go Greek! 

Consider pledging a sorority! Despite the mean girl reputation some sororities have garnered, the organizations promote a sense of sisterhood and community. 

For the most part, sororities are a lot like an extended family. Though the media has often misrepresented the Greek system as promoting a party lifestyle, many sororities expect their sisters to give back to community, improve their public speaking skills, and maintain meaningful relationships with current and former members. 

For a list of Latina sororities, visit NALFO

 

 

4. freshman 15 slide 14 Go to class

Go To Class!

This may seem like a given, but you’d be surprised to know just how many Freshmen fail out of college simply because they failed to show up to class.

Now that mami isn’t there to wake you up and send you off to school, you’ll have to do that all on your own. Invest in a good alarm clock and forget about relying on your phone. Your phone will inevitably get lost or die. Also, be mindful of your sleeping habits. If you’re an early riser whose energy dwindles at the end of the day, take early classes and avoid late non-essential late classes. If you’re not a morning person, do the opposite.

The point is: you’re in school to get an education, so go out and get it! 

5. freshman 15 slide 04 party

Go Party!

No, seriously! Go out and have some fun--responsibly. 

It's absolutely healthy to let off some steam after a long week of studying. Go to a party, be social, get silly, and have fun. It's important that you have an active social life while at college, because if we're all being honest, these are the experiences that you remember for the rest of your life. 

Just remember: Be responsible and be safe! 

 

6. freshman 15 slide 05 FB

Adjust Your Social Media Privacy Settings 

In a day and age where just about everything you do is documented via social media, it’s important that you curate the pieces of your life that make it onto the web. Remember that a lot of this content lives online forever, meaning that though you may not be embarrassed by those party pics now, you’ll be mortified when a future employer digs them up later.

Do yourself a favor, set your social media privacy settings so that only people who you know can view your profile, tag you in photos, or comment on your page. You’ll be glad you did it!

7. freshman 15 slide 06 Join a club and/or sport

Join A Club or A Team

If you're going away for school, you may be leaving a lot of your friends behind. A good way to make new friends with similar interests is to join a student group or a sports team. 

During orientation, many campus groups host open houses. During these open houses, you'll have the opportunity to learn about each group's mission and decide whether or not you'd like to join. Student groups may vary based on interests, hobbies, and cultural relevancy. Explore as many as you can.

Also, consider joining a sports team, even if you're not necessarily the most athletic person in the world. You're a Freshman, so chances are you won't be a starting player. Join the team for the comradery that comes with conquering new physical feats with a group of people! 

 

 

8. freshman 15 slide 07 Tupperware

Tupperware Will Save Your Life--or at Least, Your Food!

Unlike mami's cocina, dining halls are not open 24/7. So unless you want to spend money at local restaurants and fast food joints, you're going to have to start using Tupperware!

Take Tupperware with you to the dining hall to collect leftovers, snacks, and anything else your belly desires, then store your comida in your room. Trust us, you'll thank us for this tip come midterms! 

9. freshman 15 slide 08 study style

Find Your Study Sweet Spot

Even if you scored straight-As throughout high school, it's important that you reassess your study habits now that you're in college.

First thing's first: Figure out your learning style. Some students kinesthetic learners, whereas others may be auditory or visual learners. Whatever your learning style, it's imperative that you identify it right away. To have your learning style assessed, go to your school's student tutoring center. They're equipped to identify your learning style and recommend the most productive ways for you to take notes, study, and even take tests.

Next, find your study sweet spot; with roommates crowding your personal space, you may find that your room is far from the ideal place for you to get your work done! Test out a few locations, including the library, the student lounge, or even a social house. Wherever your study sweet spot is, it'll be the place where you feel the most productive.

 

10. freshman 15 slide 09 Borrow as little money

Borrow As Little Money As Possible 

We know that this one is easier said than done. With tuition costs skyrocketing and interest rates for loans doing the same, it's nearly impossible to make it through college financially unscathed. Nearly. 

Chances are, your college budget for this semester has already been set. However, that doesn't mean you can't plan ahead for next year. Start looking for grants, scholarship, and work-study programs that'll help offset future costs.

Also, look into becoming an RA. Student residential advisors often earn free room and board! 

If you're absolutely stumped, visit a the bursar's office. They'll be able to connect you with a plethora of financial resources that'll help you spend less and gain more while at school. 

 

11. freshman 15 slide 10 know your professors

Know Your Professors

Believe us when we say your professors will be your greatest academic ally.

Many professors set aside time every week to speak with their students about their academic goals, their class work, and their pitfalls. It's during these conversations that you have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of their expectations of you, as well as gain a new, meaningful relationship with a potential mentor.

12. freshman 15 slide 11 homesick

It's Okay to Feel Homesick 

Whether this is your first time away from home or your tenth, it's totally normal to feel homesick while on campus. However, don't allow homesickness pull you away from the world around you. 

Commit to calling your loved ones a certain number of times a week, with the promise that you won't do it so often that it interferes with campus life. That being said, get more involved with activities and groups on campus. Doing so allows you to build a new community of friends and will make your new surroundings feel like home. 

13. freshman 15 slide 12 don't have to dress up

You Don't Always Have to Dress Up

Sure, on the first day of school, you'll rock you cutest clothes and a pair of your hottest shoes; your bag will be neat and tidy, and your accessories will pull together your entire look. But fast-forward a few weeks, and you'll probably be wearing sweatpants and a pair of old, comfy Uggs. And that's okay! That's college—especially if you live on campus.

When you live, study, and party with the same people all week long, you feel a certain level of comfort that allows you to let your guard down. These people have seen you at your sleep-deprived worst, so why not let them see you wearing a pair of worn-in jeans or your favorite pair of yoga pants? 

 

14. freshman 15 slide 13 Accept change.

Accept Change

You're in college; you HAD to know that life was going to change, right? 

Believe it or not, plenty of Freshmen just aren't prepared for the changes that come with starting college. You're making new friends, taking new classes, living in a new town, and sleeping in a new bed! It's a lot, we know.

But you're going to have to deal with it!

Welcome these new changes and challenges, and accept the lessons that they'll surely bring. We promise, most of these changes will be for the better! Just keep an open mind! 

 

15. freshman 15 slide 15 Don't be afraid

Don't Be Afraid of the "Freshman 15"

The "Freshman 15" weight-gain thing is a myth.

Sure, the dining hall is filled with a wide array of unlimited food and snacks, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll eat it all. Approach the dining hall like you do your mother’s kitchen—be mindful of portion control and serve yourself a healthy balance of fruit, veggies and protein. 

And if you do gain a weight, it's totally fine. Get active, move around more, or join a sports team. It's not the end of the world!