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flowers blooming on campus
04/24/19 - BOSTON, MA. - People walk through campus as trees bloom on April 24, 2019. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

The beginning of college is a confusing time for everyone no matter how confident one may appear. There are concepts and student knowledge that we eventually gain over time, but why wait. Here are a couple things I wish someone told me when I got to campus for my first semester.

General Well-Being  

  • EVERYONE IS CONFUSED AND NERVOUS, can’t stress this enough. I know it sounds cliché, but hear me out.
  • International Village Dining Hall (IV) is better than Stetson East and Stetson West Dining Halls. The only thing the Stensons have on IV is that most of the freshmen will be at the Stetsons, so it may be easier to meet people there.
  • Meal plans come with dining dollars! Dining dollars can be used at certain vending machines, Wollaston’s Markets (two on campus), and certain restaurants in the area. You can track your dining dollars and meal swipes on the NUGO app.
  • Speaking of the NUGO app, get it. It gives you directions to buildings, keeps track of your laundry dollars, printing dollars, dining dollars, and meal swipes as well as your grades and schedule.
  • Get sleep! 7-8 hours. Not sleeping isn’t a flex. Staying rested helps academically and socially no cap.


  • Join clubs! NU is a big school, so finding people with similar interests is key. You can do this through Greek life too, but that may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
  • It’s ok to talk to your parents. In many cases, they’ve done this before and want to help you through the early struggles of college. No shame.
  • Your first friends don’t have to be your friends forever. Your friends are going to change throughout your time at college. I’m not saying you still won’t be friends with your first friends senior year, but you may be closer with others by that time, and that’s totally ok.
  • You can say no to plans especially on weeknights. Don’t exhaust yourself, but also go out SOME weeknights. Gotta make some memories as long as you are staying responsible the majority of the time.


  • Your professors don’t want to get you in trouble! It’s not high school anymore. Instead, show that you can be trusted, and they will respect you even more. Professors are good to have on your side, especially if the professor is part of your major’s department. They can always hook you up with research opportunities which are great for resumes.
  • Don’t buy books from the bookstore! If money isn’t an issue, the bookstore is very convenient since it has everything in one spot. But, if you’re trying to save some cash use Amazon or Facebook groups, it’s a lot cheaper.
  • Go to office hours. It is totally ok to be confused and needing help.
  • Only a couple all nighters preferably during midterms or finals. If you’re pulling them all the time you are doing something very wrong.
  • Take classes unrelated to the major you applied as. There is so much to learn about, so try a class even if it just fulfills an elective. Maybe it will become a minor.

Student Life

  • Go to things you might not like. Try clubs or events that don’t seem like your vibe. Could turn out to be a new passion.
  • Not every relationship has to be adult-like and serious. Just meet new people and have a good time. Try to live in the moment and relax. Easier said than done I know, but try.
  • Get a mentor whether it’s from Greek life, a teammate, or just an older friend you make in a class or a club. Having someone that knows what’s going on is very helpful.
  • 1 glass of water per mixed drink for less of a hangover and staying in control. Thank me later.
  • Student deals. Poke around for some student deals like Amazon Prime Student or the Spotify/Hulu Student Bundle. Also the app called UNIDAYS is sometimes helpful.
  • Stay active! Go to the gym, do yoga, intramurals, do something. Part of a balanced lifestyle.
  • Get off campus and explore Boston. Get out of the NU bubble because it can be overwhelming sometimes.