Raise your hand if you feel personally victimized by the portrayal of college in movies and television.

If you’re like me, my hands are both so high in the air they shot through the roof. And I don’t even work out.

It seems like none of the college tips online mention the possibility of a difficult freshman year of college. They talk about classes and adjusting to university culture, but never the chance that transitioning can be really hard…even if you were Miss Social Butterfly in high school.

Thus, I made a list of 27 things I would have told my past self, had I the blessing of a more honest upperclassmen friend.

Entity discusses your freshman year of college

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1. It really doesn’t matter how cute your dorm looks. Feel free to have fun with decor, but don’t obsess over it.

2. You will have friends, especially if you didn’t have a problem making friends in high school. However, it may take a while until you can consider someone your “close” friend.

3. Join clubs sooner than you did, and stay after to see if anyone wants to hang out. You’re missing the golden opportunities for friendship because you fly out the door the second an event ends. Wait and see what happens — people aren’t that scary.

4. For the love of Pete, stop eating top Ramen and drinking Diet Coke. At least, don’t do this every day. The chemicals in these foods are making your brain implode.

Entity discusses your freshman year of college

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5. Please, please, please stop cutting your bangs yourself.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help — there are literally a hundred people on campus who are paid to listen to your problems.

7. Don’t assume people hate you before you’ve even mentioned your name. No one wants to come to a pity party.

8. 8:30 classes are a lot easier if you go to bed before 4 a.m.

9. Don’t quit everything just because you’re overwhelmed. Quit maybe one thing, then re-evaluate your stress levels.

Entity discusses your freshman year of college

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10. You won’t meet the “one” this year, but you might in about a year or so. He’ll be worth the wait.

11. If you don’t do everything perfectly, that doesn’t reinforce the idea that you’re the worst person ever. It just means you have room for growth. It’s your freshman year of college, so there’s plenty of time for that.

12. You’re not fat. You’re just never fat.

13. Don’t wear that grody grey sweatshirt more than once a week. Invest in another jacket that makes you feel cuter, warmer, and happier.

14. If you dress like literal depression, you will feel like literal depression.

Entity discusses your freshman year of college

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15. If you eat crap all the time, you will feel like crap all the time.

16. Don’t wait until 13 minutes before a class starts to start an assignment. This should go without saying, but here we are.

17. Invest in an alarm that you won’t sleep through. I suggest a fog horn.

18. Do not exit your dorm until you’ve physically seen your phone, keys, and ID card in your purse.

19. Don’t switch purses every day just so your shoes can match. You will have literally no idea where anything is.

20. You should probably get that whole attention-deficit thing checked out.

Entity discusses your freshman year of college

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21. Don’t hang out with people that somehow make you feel more lonely than when you’re alone. You don’t want to get to the end of your freshman year of college and realize you spent it with people who brought you down.

22. Boys aren’t that important.

23. Your looks aren’t that important, but you will feel better if you do your makeup and hair. Every day you wear a messy bun, you will feel like a messy bun. Don’t feel like a messy bun.

24. Your true friends will hang out with you regardless of how many times you screw up.

Entity discusses your freshman year of college

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25. Have I mentioned boys aren’t that important?

26. Don’t bring your entire room with you to college. There’s not enough space and you won’t even touch or use 90% of it.

27. Stay off eBay. You will waste too much money on useless crap from eBay.

28. Also just don’t even look at Amazon.

29. A lot of people have a hard time transitioning during their freshman year of college, they just don’t show it on social media. That tiny Lutheran school will grow on you. I promise 🙂

Entity discusses your first year of college

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