Top Ten Things I Wish I Had Known My First Year
1) Laundry: Just everything related to laundry. If you were spoiled your entire life and did not have the daunting task of doing your own laundry, do not fret! You are definitely not the only one. I came in not knowing how to complete this task. But then, someone opened my eyes to these wonderful things called Tide Pods! They have both fabric softener and soap so you just pop them in with your laundry. The best part is you are not required to separate clothing by color (you probably still should though)!
2) Sleep should be a priority: Your bed will be the best place to spend time after a long day. Sleep is vitally important in college. There are plenty of times to hang with friends and enjoy life, but take it from me, staying up late will not be your best friend during the week. With new classes, workload, and a different lifestyle, you will need some time to unwind and relax. Keep in mind, that there will no longer be someone directing you to bed, so it is up to you to be your own boss. :)
3) Trying new activities will open doors: I think this has to be the most generic piece of advice that you will hear continuously over your entire life, but it’s true! For example, my freshman year, I tried Ballroom Dance! I ended up loving the classes so much that I started competing on the team and have met some of the most amazing people through the club. College is a great time to try new and exciting things! Step outside of your comfort zone!
4) Homework should come first: I truly sound like a parent for this one but I feel that I didn’t always take this into account. You will experience copious hours of free time (primarily in the evenings) in which you are available to do what you choose. Choosing activities wisely is important.
5) Nutrition is key: When you leave home, there will no longer be someone instructing you on what to eat or when to eat. It is all up to you now! As silly as this sounds, you will get out of your body what you put in. If you eat nutritional and healthy foods with occasional treats, then you will benefit far more with energy as well as being attentive in class. And trust me, it will be challenging and new, but it is all part of the experience.
6) Exercise is a good form of relieving stress: I love sports and I always have, so for me exercising was always on my radar, but for some it is not. Regardless, if you are obsessed with sports or not, exercising for even half an hour will help reduce stress and also help you sleep better! For my freshman year, I wish I had taken more advantage of our amazing facilities in the Cohon Center and around the campus!
7) Taking advantage of opportunities on campus: There are a TON of opportunities on campus to take advantage of! For example, you can take part in one of the 200+ clubs run by students! There are also school jobs, student ambassador rolls, and student council as well!
8) You will not need as much clothing as you think: Trust me on this one. You may think that you need all these different options for clothing, but the reality of it is you will most likely be wearing the same outfit or cycle of outfits every week.
9) Utilize the benefits that come with your Student ID: Your Carnegie Mellon Student ID comes with so many benefits! For example, it is your entry pass on public transportation! Additionally, it will get you into some of the museums in Pittsburgh for free or at a discounted price! I wish I took more advantage of this during my first year.
10) Explore your city: Pittsburgh! Pittsburgh is an amazingly wonderful city with much to offer. For example, Phipps Conservatory, the Andy Warhol Museum, Heinz Field, Schenley Park, PPG Place, and much more! I personally wish that I had gotten to see more of my surroundings during the year so make sure to take advantage of that this year!