Freshman year of college is a super-formative time full of ups and downs. It will be the most fun experience of your life at times, but there will definitely be a few minor disasters along the way. Being on your own for the first time can often mean that you’ll find yourself in a few compromising situations where you’re giving two options and you naturally choose the wrong one.
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there and we’ve all survived. You might not even realize it at the time, but you’ll definitely look back on a few of your freshman year decisions and find yourself cringing. Here are 19 of those mildly embarrassing things we all did in college:
1. Getting to the party way too early
It’s the first weekend of freshman year, you just met your roommate and you guys are ready to party. Someone on your floor heard from a friend of a friend that there’s a party at some frat or somebody’s house that none of you know. A huge part of being a freshman means you have very limited resources and very limited contacts. You put on your cutest outfit and hit the streets. It’s 9:30 pm and you’re ready to rage. Basically, you end up in the living room of a mostly-empty frat where 5 strange men are tapping a keg. We’ve all been there, and this is a mistake you quickly learn from.
2. Walking into the wrong classroom
Is it just me, or are you given very limited info on how to actually get to your classes? Yes, in hindsight you could’ve gone through your schedule a day or two in advance — but who has time for that? Anyway, you have two minutes to spare when suddenly you find your lecture. After awkwardly shuffling to the front row since all the seats are taken, you take a seat and look at the Powerpoint. Wrong class. You might hear a few people snicker as you take the walk of shame out of the room, but anyone who says they haven’t walked into the wrong class is a straight-up liar.
3. Joining every club possible
After a week or two into freshman year, you might decide it’s time to participate in some activities that don’t involve alcohol. You go the activity fair and immediately sign up for every club that seems interesting. Suddenly you’re a member of the newspaper, the TV station, the knitting club, the hiking club and the French club. There’s nothing wrong with being super involved! However, some of us quickly came to the realization that this was completely unrealistic and you have to either slowly stop showing up to meetings or tell the editor that you will no longer be writing for the newspaper (this may or may not be based on personal experience).
4. Drinking at inappropriate times
Freshman year is pretty much about getting your first taste of freedom and quickly exploiting it for all it’s worth. Your friend offers you a few shots before your super-boring lecture? Sure! Going to a low-key sports game? Drink up! You’re bored at 1 pm on a Tuesday? Shots! While this is definitely fun for a year (if that), your body and your liver will soon start begging for a break. These are absolutely four years where you should let loose and party hard, just know when you’ve had enough. You may have FOMO for an hour, but you’ll be super-thankful tomorrow morning in your 8:30 class.
5. Drinking disgusting and cheap alcohol
Again, you are pretty much a tank freshman year. In one night you can take shots, drink wine, have a fruity mixed drink and chase it all down with beer. Honestly, take advantage of your resilience while you can. Any senior in college can attest that taking a shot without any kind of chaser is straight-up nauseating. If you’re a freshman, there’s pretty much no poison you won’t chug. 4 Lokos, $12 handles of vodka, six fruity mixed drinks — it’s all the same to you. Honestly, if you can stomach it and you’re saving money, more power to you.
6. Getting locked out of your dorm
I can pretty much say with 100% confidence that this will happen to you at least once during your freshman year. Not only will you find yourself locked out of your room, you will most likely be in a towel and flip-flops while the entire lacrosse team decides to pay a visit to your neighbor. This is one of those moments where your RA is suddenly a godsend. Don’t be embarrassed, they most likely deal with this at least three times a day.
7. Wearing a lanyard around your neck
Hopefully, you will learn quickly to stay away from this trend. Sure it’s convenient, but a lanyard around your neck might as well be a sign that says “I’m a freshman and I have no idea what I’m doing.” To be honest though, who the heck cares? Every senior wore that same lanyard around their neck at one point or another. Embrace your freshman status, even if you do end up cringing in retrospect.
8. Getting lost on campus
Again, your teeny high school absolutely did not prepare you for your sprawling college campus. Most of my freshman year was spent aimlessly walking through the green or taking the longest possible route to a building because I had no idea what I was doing. Don’t be afraid to ask, everyone’s been there! Granted, you will definitely ask someone where “Frasier Hall” is while you’re standing right in front of it, but you live and you learn.
9. Trying to do every single reading
It might take you more than a year to learn, but sadly it’s nearly impossible to do every single required reading for all of your classes. College professors don’t communicate — they don’t know that you just got assigned three papers, 200 pages of reading and have two tests to study for. Learn to prioritize! If you know that you won’t be quizzed on a reading the day it’s due, it’s okay to put it off or blow it off altogether. You won’t die, and you’ll end up being way less stressed in the long-run.
10. Going to every campus-organized event
This mostly goes for the first week of your freshman year. The campus will be holding as many silly events offering free food and prizes as they possibly can. This is all in the hopes that freshman will do these instead of drinking. Granted, most people go to these events, get free stuff and then leave to go binge-drink, which honestly isn’t such a bad idea. You may be bored or overwhelmed your first few days and feel like you have to go to all the “welcome” events but you don’t have to. Plus, we can guarantee that about 90% of them will be pretty lame if not straight-up unbearable.
11. Traveling in an absurdly large pack
Freshman year is all about meeting new people, socializing and making lasting friendship. For the first few weeks, pretty much everyone will be your best friend, and you’ll all do everything together. It’s super fun making new friends and traveling in a giant squad, and you’ll definitely find yourself roaming through campus in packs of about twenty people. The only problem is that things get a little tricky when you’re trying to get into a party. The odds of you and your army of pals getting into a closed party are pretty low, so you’ll quickly learn to divide and conquer.
12. Lying to get into parties
Speaking of getting into frat parties, some colleges are a little less open about who they let in. As your freshman year progresses, you’ll find yourself hearing the phrase “who do you know here?” more than you can count. If certain self-important fraternities are being really exclusive, you and your friends will adapt and become masterful liars. The tales you’ll weave about the people you know will become increasingly intricate. “Oh, I know Kevin, he’s my cousin!” “I’m here with John, I babysit his cat!”
13. Having a little too much fun at a party
And of course, once you find your way into these hellish frat parties, there’s an 80% chance you’ll hit the punch or the keg a little too hard and make a fool of yourself. Freshman year is all about learning your limits, and one truly horrible night where you don’t remember face-planting on the floor in the middle of the party or proceeding to yell (loudly) at your friend for laughing at you during the next morning’s subsequent hangover might be what it takes for you to learn yours.
It’s easy to give into peer pressure, and maybe you’ve hit that slippery slope where you suddenly have no idea how much you’ve had to drink and you go careening back to the keg with reckless abandon. Everyone has that one night that makes them reassess their partying habits, take it as an opportunity for growth (until the next time it happens, of course).
14. Being completely lost in class
College is hard. Sometimes with all the partying and socializing you can forget that the purpose of college is to go to class (I know, I was just as surprised as you are). You may be having some trouble keeping up in class, staying on top of readings, or you might just have no idea what’s going on — and that’s okay. Sometimes college is really overwhelming! There’s nothing worse than sitting in a lecture and realizing you have absolutely no clue what the professor is talking about. High school didn’t prepare you for this! Reach out to a friend (or a total stranger) in the class, e-mail your TA, check out tutoring opportunities, it’s actually NOT embarrassing to ask for help!
15. Eating like absolute garbage
Freshman year is a time of pulling all-nighters and staying out late, which pretty much creates a window where you eat an additional daily meal. Whether you’re stress-eating an entire jar of peanut butter in the library, or scarfing down cheesy fries at 2 am with your roommate, you’ll find yourself eating more in college than you have in your entire life. And how could you not? Chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, and ice cream are just one swipe away. You’ll learn to curb your ridiculous eating habits eventually, but if that hasn’t happened yet — keep doing you, girl!
16. Experiencing your first walk of shame
Ah, yes. The dreaded walk of shame. Freshman year especially, you may find yourself experiencing a few of these ~compromising~ mornings since you’re most likely living in a dorm room with a roommate. Not exactly the environment of romance you’re looking for. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of waking up slightly disoriented in someone else’s home with your party clothes on. Unless you find yourself with someone you’re legitimately involved with, you’ll probably wanna scoot out of there as soon as possible.
This means you get to enjoy a leisurely stroll home at 9 am in your heels and skirt, while the people around you are walking to the library, going for jogs, you know — like functioning members of society. You’ll quickly learn to not care.
17.Thinking senior boys are the height of sophistication
There is nothing sadder than the crushing realization that no matter where you go, boys are pretty much the worst. In senior year of high school, you couldn’t wait to get away from high schoolers, and finally start dating college boys. Surely they would be smarter, more sophisticated, and way nicer to you, right? Not quite. You will probably meet a few gems, but you’re gonna have to sort through a whoooole lot of gross dudes. Believe it or not, Kevin in Gamma-whatever will probably ignore your texts and kiss someone right in front of your face. But you will come out stronger and better, I promise.
18. Forgetting everyone’s name
This is definitely one of the biggest challenges of freshman year. You’re constantly meeting new people, seeing new faces and going to parties. It’s pretty much impossible to remember every single person’s name, but you’re gonna be faced with a few awkward situations. Someone will come up to you, give you a super-enthusiastic greeting and call you by name, and you will have absolutely no idea who they are. Did you have a class together? Did you meet at orientation? Maybe you drunkenly bonded in the bathroom of a party? Who the heck knows. Don’t feel bad! Be honest and apologetic, they’ll understand and this way you’ll avoid future awkwardness.
19. Either absolutely loving or absolutely loathing your roommate (there’s no middle ground)
Even if you had the privilege of being able to choose your freshman year roomie, it’s still kind of a gamble as to whether or not you’ll get along. Someone may seem great on paper, but living with them is a whole different story. Some of us were lucky enough to have our first roommates be our best friends, but other people may not have been as lucky. Not liking your roommate can quickly turn into straight-up hatred, since you’re forced to interact on a daily basis. Maybe they were super messy, super mean, or just rubbed you the wrong way — the one good thing about this is that it probably encouraged you to get the heck out of there and meet some new friends. On the other hand, sometimes the one you bunk with becomes your BFF all four years. Whichever it is, you most definitely weren’t apathetic about them. They were either the bane of your existence or the person that guaranteed you’d never transfer.