The “Freshman 20”

When you tell people that you’re going to college they get so excited and tell you that you’re going to have the time of your life. Don’t get me wrong, college is great, but no one tells you about what might happen to you mentally your first semester. If you have just finished your first semester I hope you can relate to this, and if you haven’t started college yet this is a good thing to read before you do. Everyone talks about the “Freshman 15” and how college classes are different than high school. I went to Florida Gulf Coast University through their early-admission program my senior year of high school so I thought that I knew what college was like when I went to Florida State University. I loved my year at FGCU and I had high expectations for FSU. At FGCU I had a perfect GPA, internships, multiple close groups of friends, and I had time to be part of tons of organizations. I thought that having that year under my belt would prepare me for Florida State and anything it had to throw at me, the only difference would be I would be living on my own 6.5 hours away from home. That wasn’t entirely true.

If you search “college health” on google you get so many results talking about conquering the “Freshman 15”, but there’s little talk about the anxiety and depression that you will likely experience. I thought I was alone with experiencing some of these things my first semester, but the more I talked with my friends the more I realized that we all went through the same things. You pretty much get dropped off away from home and have to learn how to fend for yourself all while remembering to eat, sleep, and study. Your first semester will probably be an emotional roller coaster and that’s totally normal. I created a list of things that might happen to you your first semester of college:

  1. You might make high standards for your first semester
  2. You might think you’ll make friends immediately
  3. You might think college will just be one big party
  4. You might get overwhelmed
  5. You might get super stressed out
  6. You might have mental breakdowns
  7. You might cry, a lot
  8. You might not make a close group of friends immediately
  9. You might lose old friends
  10. You might not find your place
  11. You might be left to your own thoughts too often
  12. You might hate being by yourself
  13. You might get depressed
  14. You might consider transferring schools
  15. You might consider dropping out all together
  16. You might lose your faith
  17. You might find your faith
  18. You might realize you’re not alone
  19. You might realize that other people are feeling the same way
  20. You might realize you’re going to be ok

This list is a combination of things that happened to me and my friends this semester so not every single thing on this list might happen to you; not every single thing happened to me. My advice to you is just keep pushing through. It’s going to be ok and you’ll realize that soon enough, but it’s also ok to admit to yourself that you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed. You are not alone! Find someone who is feeling like you and talk to them. Don’t try to rush into anything either, don’t try to force friendships, and just keep working hard. Remember to take some time for yourself and enjoy just being a freshman in college. I recommend you join at least one organization that you love so that you don’t feel like you’re only doing schoolwork all the time. It’s the best way to make friends. Just keep your head up and look to the future because the best feeling in the world is when you finish a hard semester that you didn’t think you could. Keep pushing because you got this!


12 thoughts on “The “Freshman 20”

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  1. I can relate to this a lot! I took classes while I was in HS too and by the time I was in college, I thought I knew exactly what to do to get the best of the experience. Little did I know, at the end of my freshman year, I struggled with depression! I always felt like I was in a hole I couldn’t crawl out of. My thoughts were just not… happy. I was miserable. On top of that, I don’t think I have ever cried so much until college. Classes are so overwhelming, priorities gets mixed up and sometimes you just want to give up. It was incredibly important for me to push through, stick with “trusted friends” because quality is ALWAYS better than quantity, be open about my feelings, ask for help when I’m struggling (let that be school or personal stuff), etc. I love this post, it’s so close to home.

    Good luck! I hope at the end of your college career, you’ll look back and laugh about it 🙂 it’s just another stage in life after all.



  2. I’ve since graduated, but I vividly remember being so overwhelmed my first semester that I sat on a bench in the quad and cried. I called my brother (who had gone to the same college) for support. In the midst of my blabbering I said “…and now people think I’m just a crazy girl crying on a bench!” To which he said “No, people think you’re a freshman crying on a bench.”
    Some people have no problem with the transition, but there are a ton of us who struggle(d). No shame there! Like you said, just keep moving forward one day at a time.


  3. I just found your blog but I totally love what I’ve read on it so far! 🙂
    By the way thank you for taking the time to write a post like this. College is looming up in my future (I’ll be a high school senior this fall) and I’m both excited and anxious for it, but its nice to know what some of the ‘might-be’s’ may be, if that makes sense haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for following! I’ll be posting more college blogs soon. That’s actually the whole reason I started my blog so that I can bring focus to college anxiety and depression freshman year of college.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome!! 🙂 Oh I can’t wait! That’s really cool, because I don’t think there’s enough said about those kind of things that can happen during college.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. A key thing to remember is to enjoy life more than school. School is just a means to an end while life is what really matters. As a grad student now, I know that school is something that should be taken with a grain of salt. Just do your best and focus on whats most important to yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

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