The Truth About Your First Year Of College | My Freshman Year At The University Of Alabama

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This post is all about freshman year college life.

freshman year college life

Note from Sophia - I am SO excited about this post!! One of my friends, Charli, just finished her freshman year at University of Alabama. I asked her to write a post going over everything that incoming college freshman would find helpful. It is SO good!!

Going from living with your parents to moving to college and living on your own can be super scary. I remember being so nervous and worried I would just want to move back home. But after my first year of school I can tell you by the end of the year you will never want to leave.

I just finished my freshman year at The University of Alabama and had the absolute best time. I'm going to give you all my tips, advice, go-to products, and decor items, and the TRUTH about your freshman year of college!!

This post is all about freshman year college life.

What Living In A Dorm Is Actually Like + Tips For Dorm Living:

1. Keep Your Dorm Key On A Bracelet

college dorm ideas

I lost my key within the first couple weeks and ended up having to pay $100 dollars to replace it. Keep your key on a bracelet that won't fall off! 

I actually just discovered these scrunchies that zipper up so you can put a key in it. This would have SAVED me freshman year!!

2. Talk To Everyone

how to make friends in college

Seriously, talk to everyone!!! The first couple of weeks of school, everyone is looking for new friends. I know it can be hard to talk to someone you don't know but it really does pay off.

I had a girl I met in the elevator the first day ask me to come to her room later and I'm still friends with her. You never know who or when you will meet your new friends!

3. Become Friends With Your R.A

I remember my roommate and I were the only ones to follow our RA on instagram and she remembered us ever since. Your RA is not much older than you and they want friends too! Plus, making friends with your RA will keep you from getting in trouble 😉


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4. Community Bathrooms Are Gross - Prepare Well

I could tell you the horrors I saw in our community bathroom but I will spare you. Seriously, you would think an all girls community bathroom would be decently clean - yeah it's not... Just prepare yourself and please buy shower shoes!

5. Clean Your Dorm Often

rustic dorm room

School can be stressful enough as it is and having a messy room will only make things worse. You will get busy and it's easy to put cleaning your room off but seriously a clean room always makes you feel more productive.

My roommate and I decided to clean our room every Sunday and it always gave us a nice fresh start to our week.

6. Invest In A Dehumidifier

I made the mistake of leaving a dehumidifier off my college dorm list and I quickly found that was a huge mistake. The dorm I lived in was old and SO musty and humid. Our clothes and beds even felt damp. Definitely invest in a dehumidifier or damp rid.

7. You Will Get Sick A lot

I have always been a pretty healthy person and very rarely got sick. But when your'e living in a dorm with that many people you're bound to get sick. I would definitely suggest bringing a range of medicine to keep around. 

8. Bring A Fan

In my dorm we had no control over the AC which totally sucked. I would definitely bring a fan. I can't tell you how many times I woke up sweating because they had turned the AC off. No fun!

How To Stay Organized + Succeed In College

9. Keep An Agenda/Online Calendar

how to stay organized in college

It is absolutely necessary to keep some sort of calendar or agenda with all your school work. I personally kept all my assignments on my Google calendar since I always had my computer on me but if your more of a hands-on person a written agenda is perfect too!

10. Make Sure You Have Extra Room When You Move In For New Clothes

By the end of first semester I was pretty much out of room for anything. Don't pack your room full of clothes at the beginning of the year so that you will have plenty of room for new clothes!

11. Check Your School Email Regularly

You NEED to be checking your school email all the time. Make sure to have your email notifications on! This is how professors will communicate with you about assignments and class cancelations.

Even check your school email BEFORE the semester starts. Some teachers expect you to have homework done for the first class.

12. Use The Space Under Your Bed For Storage

The space under your bed is the best way to hide your extra clothes and keep it organized. Buy storage containers to keep everything under your bed!

13. Don't Be Afraid To Ask Your Professors For Help

Your professors are there to help you! Pretty much every professor will have office hours so if you are having a hard time in the class don't be afraid to go and ask them questions!

dorm room essentials

14. Take Advantage Of Free Tutoring

Do NOT, and I repeat, do NOT waste money on tutors in college. There are tons of free tutoring services for pretty much any subject on campus. Get to know where they are and use them!

General Tips For Freshman Year College Life:

15. Go To The Student Organization Fair 

Most schools will have some kind of fair where every club/organization on campus will have tables set up. I would highly suggest going to this! It is a fun and easy way to learn more about the clubs on campus and find ones to join. 

16. Join A Club Or Greek Life

alabama sorority

Joining some sort of organization on campus is key to being involved in your school and feeling at home.

Personally, I joined greek life and have loved every second of it. I met so many people through my sorority and it was a great way to make friends and new connections.

If greek life isn't your thing that's totally okay too! There are hundreds of clubs for literally ANY hobby on campus so you will be sure to find one that you love.

17. Don't Be Afraid To Ask Someone To Hang Out Even If You Don't Know Them Well Yet

the university of alabama

Like I said before, pretty much everyone is looking for new friends so don't be afraid to reach out to a person you have met once or twice and ask them to hang out! I had people do this to me and it honesty made me feel so good.

18. Go To Sporting Events

gameday outfit ideas

Most sporting events are actually free for students! Take advantage of this and support all your school's sports teams. At Alabama, football is the only game that isn't free but the tickets are super cheap for students!

Your school will usually send out the option to buy a game package at the beginning of the year which I would definitely recommend buying. Plus, if there is a game that isn't in your ticket package, there are always students selling their tickets last minute.

19. Research Community Service Opportunities On Campus

There are tons of community service opportunities around campus. At the beginning of the year I would definitely recommend getting to know how you can serve your community. Not only does this help others, it will also look good on your resume.

20. Amazon Will Be Your Best Friend

date party outfit ideas

There will be lots of themed parties in college and most of the time you are not going to have anything to wear. Amazon has pretty much everything you could possibly need for a themed party. If you're really in a pinch Goodwill and Platos Closet are life savers too.

21. Take Advantage Of Your Freedom

music festival outfit ideas

When people say these are the best four years of your life, they aren't kidding. Take advantage of this time in your life! One of the best parts about college is your ability to get up and go anywhere.

One of my favorite things about my freshman year was how much I was able to travel. Wether it was visiting my friends at other colleges or going to music festivals, college gave me the ability to do whatever I wanted! 

22. Avoid Early Classes

I don't care how early you got up in high school. You may think an 8AM class is great compared to your 7AM high school start time but I'm telling you something changes your freshman year at college. If you have a hard time getting up early do yourself a favor and schedule your classes later.

23. Schedule Classes Smart

Something I totally forgot about when scheduling my classes was giving myself time to eat. My first semester I had three days a week I couldn't even eat lunch until 2PM and I was miserable. Give yourself time in your day to for lunch!

I also would recommend scheduling your classes close together. Yes having back to back classes may seem hard at first but it gets your done day faster. I thought it was a good idea to schedule my classes far apart and I ended up going back to my dorm, falling back asleep, and not wanting to go to my next class. Just get them over with all at once! 

**Sophia here and I COMPLETELY agree

24. Beware Of Parking Tickets

Most schools will have designated parking zones so make sure you know where you can and can't park. For me, parking tickets were $50 which was a pain and money I did NOT have. Just beware!

25. Take Advantage Of School Public Transit

Since Alabama's campus is so big I honestly rode the bus all the time. This is free and is great for rainy days!

I had tons of friends that just never used it because they didn't know how. So learn how it works and use it.

I would also look into other ride share options your campus offers. At UA they pretty much had free Ubers. Not many people knew about it so it's definitely something to look into. 

Best Products For Your Freshman Year Of College:

26. Scrunchie With Hidden Pocket

This is by far one of the best products to buy for going out. Seriously, how cool is this?!

This scrunchie has a pocket with a zipper to store things in when going out! This would have saved me from losing all the money that fell out of my pockets at the bars. You could also keep your dorm key in here. HIGHLY recommend!!

27. Phone Card Holder

Having a card holder on the back of your phone is super helpful in college. You will need to keep your debit card, license, and student ID with you at all times and this makes it super easy to keep with you.

29. HydroFlask

Everyone needs a water bottle and a HydroFlask is the best one out there for keeping your drinks cold all day.

30. AirPods

I always had my AirPods in walking around campus. They are also super great to have when studying somewhere that is loud.

This post was all about freshman year college life.

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