Written by Amy Dauer The honest thing that no one ever tells you: freshman year might suck at first.
Now before you make a sound like the breathing part from Radioactive, let me explain. As a fourth year, I kind of make it seem like I have it all together, but in my first year I was so incredibly awkward. I would literally burst into other people’s conversations and act super enthusiastic about whatever they were talking about until they accepted that I was going to keep talking to them. That’s my method to friendship. But that’s okay because this time in your life is so cool! Seriously, this time first year I had my make-up planned out for the week to match my outfits. I HAD OUTFITS. Now it’s like, well, this shirt doesn’t smell yet.
This year you’ll grow so much, but it’s also going to be hard. Or worse, lonely. But mostly awkward. This is my advice about awkwardness. Believe me when I say you’re getting it from the pro.
1. If you’re trying to be cool, stop. Forget everything you know about high school hierarchy because dorks are really awesome in university. This is because dorks do what they love even if it’s not “cool”. That’s how to be cool in university: become passionate.
2. You’re probably going to offend people. Deal with it. Seriously. You’re in university now; even a TCK like me wasn’t prepared for how different everyone is here. From the kids with something to prove, to the ones who don’t believe in alcohol, you have to fit in somewhere on the spectrum. Your best friends this year might be completely different from you. That’s rad! Just be careful.
3. Remember that everyone is worried about themselves. One of my very best friends now came across horribly rude to me in my first conversation with her. It’s just how things go. I worked up the courage all morning long, promised myself I would reach out to one person- one person- and that would make the day a success. In choir, the prof openly complimented the girl next me. This is it, I thought. Do it, Amy. DO IT. I turned to her and said, “You’re really good at sight reading.” “I know.”
She shot me down. It was so horrible, and I gave up trying to reach out for the rest of the day. Why’d she do that? Turns out she was super embarrassed by the attention, and because her dad is a music prof. Did I mention she’s one of my best friends now?
So that’s it. Accept being an awkward dork, and roll with it. That’s my advice. You probably will get lost, there may be some classes in which you don’t make friends, you may get yanked back by your lanyard getting stuck on a door knob as you run to your room to throw on something because the fire alarm interrupted your shower. Just remember to never call Hkin ‘P.E.’ and to not refer to your prof as Mr. or Ms. Oh, and try not to date in your first year… just, yeah.