8 Tips For Incoming College Freshmen

Freshman year of college (Fall 2015-Spring 2016) was a whirlwind for me. My life did a 180 from what it was before. During Freshman year, I was more sad than I've ever been in my life, more happy than I've ever been in my life and made almost all new friends. Through all of the new and crazy experiences I've had, I learned a lot about myself and the world around me and have come out on the other end with some advice for those of you who are about to start the great journey that is college. I'll start with the more surface level stuff and end with the more heavy, deep stuff.

1. Develop healthy eating and exercise habits early on: Learn to resist temptation and always be aware of what you are consuming. It goes beyond just what you eat in the cafeteria. For one, if you plan on participating in the drinking scene, realize that alcohol + the sugary mixers add up fast in sugar and calories. Also, you will be offered food a lot more than you expect. My roommates would bake late night snacks ALL THE TIME and I would also go to events and be offered treats that I would gobble up without giving a second thought.

2. Use a planner: Between social stuff, clubs/activities and class, it is easy to lose track of events and assignments. It is also easy to feel overwhelmed and disorganized. Planners definitely help you feel like you have your life more together.

3. Make your teachers love you: No, don't be a teacher's pet, just make them like you, make them want to help you. You never know, at the end of the year, you could be on the cusp between a B and an A and they will tip the scale in your favor because they like you and think you're a good student. Actively listen in class, ask questions, speak up when you need help, laugh when they tell you jokes (ok so suck up a little...) and act like you enjoy their class even if you hate it.

4. Be the best roommate possible: Right off the bat, say to your roommate, "Listen, I want us to get along and have a great relationship. Please, if you ever have any problem with me, tell me straight up to my face so we don't have any passive built up anger and resentment towards each other." Trust me, having roommate issues SUCKS. It can literally make your life miserable and make your dorm not feel like home anymore (and then you don't have anywhere at school that feels like home and you feel so lost).

5. Write in a journal as often as you can: I WISH I had written down my feelings, thoughts and experiences more during Freshman year. There is a good chance that this year will be the best or one of the best years of your life and I'm sure that it will be a year that is transforming and memorable. You will thank yourself later for being able to remember, reminisce, learn from and reflect on those times when reading your journal entries.

6. Realize that during these four years of your life, you're going to meet more temporary people than you will during any other time of your life: You are going to think you will be best friends with someone then after a few weeks (or even a few days), you will never see them again. People are going to come in and out of your life rapidly and constantly and you just have to be prepared for it and be ok with it.

7. Don't go looking for love but be open to it: Most people will tell you to avoid a relationship your freshman year like you would avoid a plague. Relationships tie you down and you want to be free and independent during college, especially your first couple of years. I use to agree with this but not so much anymore. At my school, a lot of girls stayed with their high school boyfriends throughout the school year. Yes, some girls let these relationships consume them and prevent them from going out, having fun and being a normal college kid. However, others were able to balance their relationship with a very rich and fulfilling social life that involved going to parties and doing typical college kid things. Honestly, the only "college" thing that being in a relationship will prevent you from doing is having random, one night hookups (which isn't something I would ever regret missing out on, personally).

8. Live in the present: this is the tip that I want to emphasize most! If I haven't said it enough already, starting college is one of the craziest and coolest parts of your life you will ever experience. If you find yourself at a pizza place at 2 in the morning, laughing with your best friends until it hurts and everything just feels so right and perfect, take a mental picture. Savor the good moments, no matter how small because those are the moments that will mean the most to you when you are looking back on your life in the future. 

Flowy Ruffles

Top: c/o Mint Julep Boutique | Shorts: Urban Outfitters (similar) | Shoes: Steve Madden (similar) | Bag: Tory Burch | Necklace: Gift | Watch: Kate Spade

Attention all you southern girls out there: I have found the PERFECT boutique for you! Mint Julep Boutique has hundreds of stylish pieces that are perfect for southern college girls. Their pieces mix boho and classy to create the perfect feminine and flirty selection of clothing. Even if you are not southern or not in college, Mint Julep carries such a wide selection and variety of clothing that almost any young girl could find something they like there. I recently got this adorable flowy, ruffled top from Mint Julep that paired perfectly with these lacy shorts. To give the outfit some edge, I styled it with this black double wrap necklace and black lace up flats. This top could be paired with some heels for going out or just as easily worn with white jeans to a casual dress-code job or internship!

Backpacks and Totes for School

1. Street Level Tote | 2. Ju-Ju-Be Backpack | 3. Northface Backpack | 4. Sperry Backpack (check out the other colors/patterns this one comes in) | 5. Madewell Tote | 6. Sole Society Backpack | 7. Herschel Backpack | 8. Longchamp Backpack

A lot of y'all have been requesting me to link my favorite backpacks and totes to carry school supplies in so here is a master post regarding this subject! Another question I get asked a lot is wether it is better to carry school supplies in a backpack or large tote. It depends on who you are and what your preferences are when it comes to comfort and fashion.

If you are a high schooler that walks to school: definitely carry a backpack. If you like to dress cute for school, get a more fashionable backpack (like #2, #4, #6 or #8 in the collage) or if you don't care, get a casual backpack (like #3 or #7 in the collage). 

If you are a high schooler that drives to school: I would personally get a cute tote bag (like #1 or #5 in the collage) since you don't have to walk much carrying around your heavy books. 

If you go to a college in the suburbs or country: comfort definitely trumps fashion at schools like this. Most people wear sweats and big t-shirts to class so using a casual backpack will match that wardrobe easily. Plus you will most likely be walking a long distance between your classes so having a comfortable bag that distributes weight evenly on your shoulders is important. A cuter, more fashionable backpack would work too if you are into that. 

If you go to a college that is incorporated into a big city: It's honestly hard to say because there are so many different types of people at schools like these. A lot of people that go to school in the city opt for fashionable totes because they are easy to transition between campus and city life. You really can't go wrong with any option when living in a city because there are so many good reasons to carry each type of bag. For sophomore year, I personally plan on carrying a cute tote for class. I carried a Northface backpack last year but felt really out of place because almost everyone at FIT carries a tote to class instead of a backpack. 

By no means do you HAVE to follow any of the guidelines that I've mentioned in this post, they are just what I would do personally. Hopefully this post was helpful and I wish you all a great school year!