Congratulations! You did it! You survived your first month in college! Easier than you thought, right? You’re probably saying to yourself “what is this girl talking about, I’ve barely survived this first month.” But before you stop reading, just think back to move-in day. The day where you left your parents for this new place, where you didn’t know anything or anyone. You were probably stressed about a million different things. Will I make friends? Will I like my major? Will I find my way around campus? 

Those stressors that you felt the first day are hopefully gone. Hopefully, you’ve met some friends, become got involved, and have figured out your way around campus. Your stress may still be running high after this first month but probably because you have three midterms on the same day. Well, welcome to college! 


In just one month, you’ve learned a lot, but there is still plenty to discover. Many lessons, students won’t learn until they are seniors. Reflecting on my time as a freshman, I remember a few things I wish I had known early on.


Here are 10 lessons for the first month at SJU:


  1. Carry your swipe EVERYWHERE.
    • Your swipe is your lifeline on campus. It allows you to sleep, eat and study. Besides, no one wants to pay $25 for a new card. 
  2. It’s ok (and healthy) to do things alone.
    • If you’re hungry, go to Campion. If you need to study, go to the library. If you want to go for a run, go to O’Pake. You don’t NEED to go with another person. Doing things alone doesn’t mean you have no friends! In reality, people probably envy you because constantly talking and being around others can be exhausting. 
  3. Find balance.
    • I encourage everyone to get involved and participate in events happening on campus! It’s a great way to meet people, learn new things and be a part of the community, but don’t overwhelm yourself. It’s ok to only be a part of one club or even no clubs. Balancing work and play is difficult, especially in college. It is different for each person. Focus on what is best for you and don’t judge others for doing what is best for them. 
  4. Who you were in high school does not matter.
    • College is a fresh start. Whether you were the class clown or the introvert, it doesn’t matter. College is this incredible opportunity to rewrite who you want to be!
  5. Go to class and go to office hours. 
    • Your professors are your best resource! Don’t be afraid to shoot them an email or stop in during their office hours. The main purpose of having office hours is for students to ask questions! 
  6. Build a relationship with your roommate!
    • You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate, but it’s important to be friendly, especially since you are living 10 feet away from them. Ask them about their day or support them in their activities. Communication is key to having a successful year with your roommate!
  7. Sleep is important, but staying up until 2 am talking to your friends is also worth it – every now and then!
    • If you have time to take a 10-minute power nap, do it! If you want to stay up until 2 am to watch a movie with the people on your floor, do it! College is full of experiences, so don’t stress out if you want to stay up late or go to bed early.
  8. Coffee is your best friend.
    • Einsteins, Saxby’s, Starbucks, Dunkin or the Wawa coffee in Campion. Whatever you prefer, drink up because it’ll help you accomplish all of your daily tasks! 
  9. Call home! Your parents miss you!
    • Your parents understand you are busy so you don’t need to call them every day for 3 hours, but shoot them a text or give them a call every few days! Also, parents give great advice and know you better than anyone else, so remember that when you are up all night contemplating major life choices! 
  10. The next four years will fly by, so make the most of your time!
    • Don’t stress about the bio quiz you failed or the paper you only got a B on. In 5 years, it won’t even matter! But what you will remember is the time that you impulsively drove to the Jersey Shore with your roommates or went into Philadelphia to see your favorite singer live. Go on adventures, relax and have fun! You don’t want to look back on your four years and only remember studying.