NAU Senior, Karringtan Bell, gives her top 5 tips you wish you would have known coming to campus!
Despite the nerves that come along with starting a new chapter of your life, college isn’t as scary as you might think. It’s actually pretty awesome! I’m in my last year of college and I have to say I have grown in so many ways that I didn’t even think were possible. I have definitely become more independent and well-rounded through my encounters and experiences so far!
With that being said, there are a few things that would have been helpful to know before I jumped into this brand new environment. If you’re just starting out or just need some extra help this year, here are five things I wish I had known before starting college.
Number one — no matter how much you “LOVE” your roommate you will eventually get tired of seeing them every day, especially if you’re living in the residence halls on campus!
It can be difficult detaching yourself from your roommate, especially if you are feeling a little sparse in the friends department, but it’s always a good idea to branch out and get involved in activities that will allow you to meet new people!
For me personally, it was hard to do my homework in my actual residence hall, it was monotonous staring at the same four white walls all the time. I was able to get out of my comfort zone — and out of my room — by studying at Starbucks on campus and the 3rd floor of the HLC! Believe it or not, its a great way to meet new people!
Finding a place on campus or off campus to change the scenery can help you switch up your environment and can really make a difference in your attitude. Bottom line: getting out of your comfort zone will lead you to experiences you won’t get anywhere else and will help make this time in your life unforgettable!
Number two — you might want to invest in some thermals, scarfs, winter coats, and boots; especially if you are coming from out of state areas such as California, Florida, etc, basically places where it does not snow. Because in Flagstaff winters, sweatshirts and Ugg’s won’t cut it.
My freshman year at NAU ended up being a pretty bad winter and coming from California I had no idea what cold was until coming to Flagstaff. A trick I learned while struggling through Flag winters is to double up on everything and LAYER LAYER LAYER!!! Even when you think you have on enough layers, you probably don’t so go head and add more 😉.
Number three — living on your own far away from home can be nerve-wracking, and there is a possibility of home sickness but fear not, it does not last forever!
Being away from my home and my family was hard enough let alone being in a different state on my own for the first time. Going through this experience played huge part in my personal growth, and it also taught me how to be more independent and self-sufficient in ways that I never thought I could be!
Number four — In all the craziness of college life, make sure that you are taking time for yourself, and that means taking care of yourself physically as well as mentally.
If you don’t have your health then you don’t have anything. It’s always a good idea to take time for yourself to make sure you are functioning at your highest level. Go for a walk, call your mom, or just even reward yourself for getting through a challenging week. Just remember to take care of you while your grinding to get your degree. Taking one day off isn’t that big of a deal 😜
The Freshman 15, sophomore 15, junior 15, and senior 15, are a real thing, and can creep up on you. If you don’t keep in mind what you are eating you and how much activity you are doing, YOU WILL GAIN WEIGHT!
It can be hard to eat healthy when you’re feeling stretched thin with classes, but taking the extra time to eat something full of nutritious goodness will be worth it in the long run. Flagstaff is such a beautiful place to go hiking or even walking to class are great ways to get in exercise if you don’t just want to go to the gym!
Last but not least, number five — it’s absolutely fine to go into your freshman year undecided about your major. You don’t have to have it all figured out right off the bat, and chances are you will change your mind anyway!
When I was a freshman I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I just recently found something that I’m really interested in pursuing as a career. If you don’t know what you want to study, don’t just pick a random major that you have no interest in at all.
Your freshman year and first semester of your sophomore year is the time to figure out what you are passionate about.
Find something that you love that you can support yourself by doing, so you can love what you do later!
Take a deep breath, calm your nerves, and remember this: you got this far, you can succeed here. NAU is home to so many resources, friends, and faculty members who want to see you succeed and make the most of your time here.
So get out there, and here’s to a great rest of the semester, Jacks!