6 Things I Wish I Knew Going Into My Freshman Year at ECU

Words can’t describe how I was feeling the summer before my freshman year of college. It was a bittersweet time. I wanted to enjoy every last minute of hanging out with my high school friends but I was so excited to move on to the next phase of my life at East Carolina University.

Here are six things that I wish I knew going into my freshman year at ECU! 

One of my best friends Marisa and I at our high school graduation!

1. Just because you don’t talk to your high school friends everyday, doesn’t mean they’re not still your friends. I remember when I first arrived at school I felt like I needed to talk to my high school friends constantly. I feared that if I went too long without talking to them I’d lose touch. In reality though, we were all off on new adventures experiencing new things and meeting new people. We were busy writing the next chapter in our books and so keeping in touch every day was hard. I learned with time that an occasional phone call and keeping up with each other on social media was enough for our friendships to survive. Not talking every day to my old friends made coming home that much better too.

2. Don’t join clubs because your friends want you to, join because you want to. At ECU we have over 500 student organizations that range from board game club to habitat for humanity. There is something for everyone. A lot of times students will join clubs just because their friends are joining them and they miss out on an opportunity to do something they truly enjoy. I remember my roommate and I thinking that we needed to do everything together, and we were wrong about that. So if something interests you, go for it. It doesn’t matter if you have friends interested in something, join because you’re interested and you’ll make friends along the way.

Sorority recruitment with two of my good friends from freshman year, we joined different organizations but still remain good friends!

3. Don’t procrastinate. In high school I procrastinated things all of the time. I thought that I could get by in college doing the same and I was very wrong. I learned early that just because it worked in high school doesn’t mean it works in college. This applied to everything from writing a paper to studying last minute for an exam. Classes were harder and I realized that in order to do well I needed to stay on top of my work.

4. It’s a lot easier to bring your GPA down than it is to bring it up. I did not care as much as I should have about my grades freshman year. I did well but I did not put in every ounce of effort I had in me. Looking back, there were a lot of classes I could have given my all to study hard for and made an A instead of a B. Now that I’m entering my senior year I’ve realized that bringing my B average up to an A average is a lot harder than it originally seemed it would be. Get in the habit of giving every assignment your all right off the bat and it will do wonders for your GPA. Also, your freshman GPA comes into important play when it comes to things like applying for your program if your degree requires it.

5. Make time for yourself. Freshman year is filled with new people and with them so many new things to do. It’s important to know when to take time for yourself and just relax. I definitely recommend trying to get as involved as you can and doing things like going to see shows or bowling with friends. Make sure though before you go off with friends that you’re getting your rest and getting your work done. Find a balance that works for you.

Two of my friends and I enjoying the blackout football game!

6. It’s OK to change your major. I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do coming into college. Throughout my freshman year I changed my mind, and then changed it again and again. I remember I was so scared to tell my parents I wanted to change my major. Looking back I don’t know why I was so afraid to change it. Change is a good thing and freshman year is a time to explore interests and figure out what it is that you want to do.

Freshman year in college is an exciting time, so make the most of it and truly enjoy your time in Pirate Nation.