A UNC junior shares her tips for starting off the year as freshmen

Leah Moore, collegetownnc.com

Photo by the News & Observer

Your first year at college can feel overwhelming. Here’s what UNC junior Leah Moore suggests to make it feel less crazy.

Be selective about who you choose to be your best friends. The first people you meet in college will probably not be your best friends for life, and that’s OK. Take your time finding friends — it’s better to be looking for friends for a while during freshman year than further on down the road when social groups are more cemented.

Don’t wait until midterm season to start studying. Keep up with readings and your workload when it’s assigned so you won’t be overwhelmed later.

You don’t need to have decided on a major just yet. Just work on fulfilling your gen eds and take classes that interest you. You’ll figure it out, and you’ve got time — at UNC, for example, you don’t have to declare a major until the end of your sophomore year.

Dining hall food gets old and monotonous, especially if you only eat pizza, salad and M&M cookies like I did my first year. There are lots of different foods served in the dining halls, so try to diversify your palate. You could also get a lower number of swipes in your meal plan if you think you might not want to eat only dining hall food. Also, a note about those M&M cookies: They’re both delicious and dangerous. Don’t eat too many.

Always wear shower shoes. Do you want to catch some rare foot disease? Didn’t think so.

There’s no need to bring your entire wardrobe. You won’t have much room anyway. Bring clothes you like and wear regularly, and leave the rest at home. If you live close enough, leave your winter clothes at home until fall break.

Bring an umbrella, a raincoat and rain-appropriate footwear. It will rain. If you’re living on South Campus at UNC, you’ll be stuck in it for a while.

Your room will probably have a strange odor when you get there, and it is persistent. Bring lots of air freshener, or you’ll start to smell gross like your room.

Sleep is not optional. It may be fun to stay up until the wee hours of the morning talking to your suitemates, but don’t make a habit of it, or you’ll be constantly sleep-deprived and miserable.

Make time for yourself, whatever that may mean for you. College is a great time to be social, but it’s OK to need time alone to recharge.

If there is occasion for rushing Franklin, do it! This might be a given for sensible people, but I never rushed Franklin Street when I was a freshman because there was always an exam or I was always too busy. Study later! You’ll regret it if you’re the only one who didn’t rush.

You get out of college what you put in. Your classes aren’t as hard as some people say they are if you put in the effort and do the work. Go to class and study hard.


Leah Moore is a contributor to collegetownnc.com, where this article originally ran.