Please visit DU’s COVID-19 website and subscribe to @uofdenver Twitter for updates regarding COVID-19.

As a new college student, you’re embarking on an exciting new chapter and exposed to many new opportunities. New friends, social clubs, majors and independent living can be equally as exciting as overwhelming. We might not know where to start when navigating as a freshman student and it can be easy to feel burnt out. I learned so much throughout my time in college, but I wish I was prepared with certain knowledge before I stepped onto campus. Here’s my list of five things I wish I knew during freshman year.

1. Your Path Doesn’t Need to be Linear

Having your life planned out is daunting. What you study freshman year can change from what you study senior year. Don’t put yourself into a box. If you want to explore different avenues, freshman year is when to do it.

2. “Don’t Let FOMO Kill Your Mojo”

When people’s nights out are plastered all over social media, it may make us feel left out. However, don’t let anticipatory anxiety consume you. It’s OK not to go out every night and to say “no” when you’re not feeling it. Do what makes you happy and what actually energizes you. Be realistic, there’s no way you can attend everything and life will go on regardless. It helps to ignore snap maps, stories or other social temptations for a while.

3. Be Open

Be open to new experiences, and not just for resume building. It’s easy to get caught up in building credentials, but find clubs that truly interest you. Get out of your comfort zone.

4. Know About Burnout

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by stress. The more you stress, the less motivated you are to do things—even the activities you enjoy. Focus on time management and your priorities. What’s more important, the party tonight or Monday’s exam? Break down responsibilities by creating smaller achievable benchmarks for larger projects. Always remember to maintain personal needs and never forget that you’re allowed to take those mental breathers.

5. Take Care of Yourself

Be willing to challenge yourself. Be aware of committing to long-term obligations that stretch your resources thin. Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to join every club and event, to the point where you have no time to study. Eat well, exercise, sleep and make sure you have fun!


Marissa Lowe’s blog was part of an assignment and blog contest for the Daniels BUS3000 Business Communication class.