Regine Boykin

My freshman year of college was one for the books.  My nights were equally filled with deep belly laughs and streams of tears.  It’s important to make the most of this one-time experience and understand that yours will be unique to another’s.  But no matter where you’ve decided to go, every freshman needs to hear this advice.


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1)  Nobody Expects You to be Perfect

Upon entering college, I convinced myself that I would be the most undeserving person on campus.  As I scrolled through the Instagram and Twitter feeds of those broadcasting the university’s hashtag with our graduating year attached, I found myself becoming intimidated.  I thought, ‘Wow, these kids are legit.’  Universities can be full of people who have traveled the world, written a book, or even sung for the president, while you could just be the person who forgets how many times ‘s’ is in the word ‘businesses.’  Regardless, you’ve proven yourself worthy to the admissions department of acceptance, just like the kid with the 5.9 GPA.  Becoming a college freshman puts everyone back at level zero.  Use this clean slate to your advantage, and don’t discredit yourself before you’ve even begun.

2)  It’s Okay to Go to Sleep

I’m not a part of ‘#TeamNoSleep,’ and I’m okay with that.  For some reason, our generation admires this insane idea that missing out on sleep to overwork yourself is a good thing.  There are so many conversations around who’s staying up the latest and how many coffee cups or energy shots it took for them to get there.  I am mindful that there are days where you may have to sacrifice sleep in order to finish an assignment or read that last chapter; however, a 3 AM bed time every night will earn you nothing but bags under your eyes and possibly a panic attack.  Truth is, going to sleep before 12 AM IS cool and everyone wants to do it.  Don’t let anyone tell you different.

3)  Parties, Drugs And Sex Don’t Make You A ‘Real’ College Student

Apparently, these three things should make up 90% of my college experience, but I beg to differ.  You'll find that there are things that you’d much rather do than go to a crowded place pungently filled with fumes of marijuana smoke, crack sweat, and booze.  Beauty can be found in something other than burning your throat with gulps of alcohol that you don’t even like the taste of.  There's a higher cloud to reach that marijuana can’t take you to.  And lastly, you'll certainly find enjoyment in something other than the five-minute pleasure someone intends to use your body for.  Simply put, there's more to life.  There are so many talents and interests that college gives you an opportunity to explore, from the arts, to student engagement clubs, and even sports.  Trying these different things allows you to discover a different side of yourself.

4)  The Way You Learn and Make Mistakes is Beautiful

College can be a time in your life where you unconsciously merge your identity with those around you.  It’s easy to get caught up in how well your friends are doing and beat yourself up for not doing as well as them.  You may start to accuse yourself of being underproductive or just not smart enough.  Every time you make a mistake, you see it as your biggest failure.

Stop it.  The pace at which you learn life lessons is an individual experience.  If that means that you lag behind your peers in some areas, embrace it.  If you don’t, your motivation to do better will root itself in the idea of being better than other people.  Ideally, our motivation to do better should derive from wanting to overcome our former selves, not someone else.

5)  You Need Alone Time

Introvert or extrovert, we all need time to ourselves!  This doesn't make you an outcast, nor does it make you antisocial.  Giving yourself time to think and breathe without the presence of others can be the best way to ‘reboot’ in college.  You'll have so much going on academically and socially that some days you may not even have more than ten minutes to eat.  But finding a space and time in which the only person you have to be around is yourself can save you from a lot of stress.  Time alone can be spent thinking about your goals, evaluating your level of happiness, and preparing yourself for the days ahead.  When your mind becomes loud and cluttered, separate and evaluate.


Regine Boykin is a communication major and Spanish and journalism minor at Wake Forest University.  She sees writing as a way to creatively voice her insights and express her emotions to the world.




Comments (8)

  1. Carlos

Good work girlie.... got that mentality from POPS?

  1. D.Milton

Great Read. Excellent Job Ray.

  1. Kolby

I agree with all these points. These are definitely useful for all college students.

  1. Mia

I love reading your articles!!!!

  1. Jordan

Great points I can even use them for my sophomore year coming up!

  1. Nina Godridge

All great points! Especially getting sleep! You cannot be an efficient college student without sleep.

  1. Angelina Eimannsberger

Great advice Regine! Thanks for sharing!

  1. Meagan Hooper

The compare and compete mentality can be HUGE in college. Thank you for sharing this empowering post, Regine!


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