Lara’s Declassified Freshman Survival Guide: A Year of Learning and Growing

Lara Coby ‘26

Guest Writer

Everyone always says that freshman year flies by in an instant. As much as I believed them, I felt that everyone just said that to say it. However, having lived through the entirety of my Freshman year, people do not just say it to say it. Move-in feels like a century ago but also like yesterday. I feel like I have lived nine lives in nine months, but I also learned that college is here to show us who we really are and help us grow as people. My first edition of this piece was written during a time when I had not started all the new experiences I would experience in my second semester and my college experience still felt so raw. This second rendition is necessary for the completion of the chronicles of my freshman year here on the hill.

Both surface level and deep advice, here are all the pieces of knowledge I have gained these past few months:

  1. Make friends in classes

Whether you sit next to them on the first day or constantly see them around campus after class, it is pertinent to how you perform in a class and make friends by your interactions with your peers. I have found that this has helped me make really close friends because the classes that I take unite people who are similar to me. I have made friends with people in class that I probably would have never interacted with outside of the class. These connections are great for building friendships, but also can be academic support through study groups. I always work better when I can split up my work, especially for midterms and final exams, and can collaborate with people who may share key information I would have otherwise forgotten about. Knowing friendly faces in a class can really make a difference in your semester.

  1. Get a planner

There is not much deep thought put into this advice, rather it is a command. Get a planner and write down all of your assignments in the calendar, or somewhere where you can refer back to their due dates. This never fails to keep me organized. I promise, just do it.

  1. Do not compare yourself to the way other people perform and work

This was something that I have struggled with since the beginning of the year. Coming to Holy Cross, I knew that I would be encountering people who were probably a lot smarter than me and had different work ethics than I did. The truth is that there are always going to be people smarter than you, but that does not mean that you are less deserving at Holy Cross. Everyone is at the same college, and no matter what honors they graduated with at High School or what they will accomplish on the hill, the degree we all get is the same. Furthermore, you do not have to spend 1,000 hours in the library everyday to be successful. I have found that If I do not have downtime to be by myself, to workout, and to do anything that makes me happy, I will not be the best student I can be. I schedule my work so that I can hand everything in on time, but also so that I will not be overwhelmed trying to cram for an essay that is due the next day. People work in different modes for different reasons. If you are handing in your work on time and in its best form, how you got there does not matter.

  1. It is better to be alone rather with other people and still feeling lonely

This was a hard pill for me to swallow for a really long time. There is nothing like scrolling on instagram and seeing everyone go out and have a good time when you are cooped up in your dorm with nobody to talk to. It is important to remind yourself that if you were out with people who may have left you out previously or were not good friends, that there is no way you would be having a good time. There is beauty in being alone and enjoying your own company. It can be hard knowing that other people are having a good time without you, but it is better to learn to be by yourself and enjoy that time than always needing someone around.

Featured flyer courtesy of Shanil Perez ’24

Categories: Opinions

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