Growing Up: What It's Like To Be In Freshman Year Of Your Real Life

by Candice Jalili

Freshman year of college is one of the most awkward, fantastic times in life. The thrill of excitement coupled with the fear of being uncool creates an unparalleled high. We can't imagine it happening ever again.

That is, until we graduate and enter the real world ... where we become freshmen all over again.

Here are some ways in which new college grads are in their freshman year of real life.

You feel like you’re a kid pretending to be an adult.

I take that back. You're not even a kid — you're a fetus. A fetus who needs to be in the comfort of a mother’s WOMB to hide her from this big, scary world.

Yes, you are technically doing adult things. You have a 9-to-5 job, you pay your bills, and you even have your very own apartment.

But this doesn’t keep you from feeling like some sort of phony who's waiting for people in your office to start yelling “GO HOME, FRESHMAN” at any given moment.

You are constantly homesick.

In your freshman year of college, you missed your original home -- the one with your mom and your dad and your siblings.

Now you miss the home you made in college with your "family" at school. The worst part is that you can’t even return to this one during the holidays.

You need Mom and Dad’s help with, like, everything.

What are bills? How do I pay them? Actually, speaking of paying them, can you help me out a little this month…?

You’re awkwardly trying to make new friends.

You reached your peak comfort level during your senior year of college. You had no need to impress anyone or be awkwardly and overly friendly.

You knew who your real friends were, and they were the only people you blessed with your time and energy.

Now you need to be "on" all the time. Painfully awkward small talk has taken over your like and made every week feel like rush week. (BUT WHEN AM I GOING TO GET A F*CKING BID?!)

You and your BFF are figuring out how to make this long-distance thing work.

You went through those awkward growing pains with your high school besties five years ago, and now we’re back at square one with your college friends.

You've discovered that this is hard on your relationships. You went from spending every waking moment together -- under the same roof, no less -- to living on different time zones and schedules.

It is going to take a while before the two of you figure out how to fall into your new groove.

You accidentally do things that highlight your age.

You've never heard of bands most of your co-workers are into, and you wear your Kappa t-shirt to the gym when everyone else is dressed in real-life workout gear.

And when the waitress asks you which wine you’d prefer, you find yourself requesting “the cheapest.” It’s like everything you do is the real-world equivalent of wearing a lanyard around your neck.

You're readjusting your drinking habits.

In your freshman year of college, you trained your body to binge drink at least four days a week. You graduated as a master in this art.

Now you're trying to unlearn this not-so-healthy skill. So what exactly is this “casual drinking"?

You’re experimenting.

On the first day of freshman year, your little 18-year-old self was soaking in a whole new world. You tried everything, good or bad.

This is another new world, and there are many more experiences to try.

You feel young and old all at once.

As I mentioned before, you feel like a baby. You feel like a total baby who's pretending to be an adult. But there is still a part of you that wonders how quickly the time passed. How am I already an adult?

You’re going a little nuts with your newfound freedom.

College was the first time that your parents didn't monitor your every move, and you went buck wild. Parties EVERY night!?!

Alcohol that tastes like juice but gets you as drunk as eight vodka shots?! DRUGS?!!?!?!?!?!?!!? THIS IS AWESOME.

You're kind of having that same feeling all over again. You’ve finally reached a point in your life when you can actually do whatever the f*ck you want.


Time to live it up! You also have more than eight frat parties and a local campus bar to choose from in terms of going-out options.

In fact, here’s a new going-out option: Stay in!

You have all this newfound freedom, and you just cannot get enough of it.

You feel so cool and experienced talking to your younger friends.

The only dweebs you could actually fool into thinking that open-invite frat parties were “cool” were your high school friends who would visit every now and then.

Now your high school friends are in college, and they're in awe of your fabulous life, especially your entry-level job and active club life.

You might as well live in a dorm.

Your pint-sized apartment isn't really a step up from one.

You never have any idea where the f*ck you are.

Life lately has felt like a constant hunt for new friends. But there's one down ass bitch who always has your back. And that's Siri.

Like the lost freshman who's constantly asking people where Psych 101 is, you're the aimless lunatic aimlessly wandering the city streets and asking Siri for your next move.

Most of your stories revolve around the last chapter of your life.

Yes, you hear yourself telling one too many “hilarious” drunk college stories -- just as your freshman-year self found herself telling one too many “hilarious” stories about her and her friends after prom junior year. BUT YOU HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO TALK ABOUT.

Your job life isn't full of stories yet. Give it time.

Everything you do is uncool.

No one older than you will ever think you're cool. The clubs and bars you frequent are the real-life equivalent of the freshman-infested frat basement dance parties you avoided like the plague during your senior year.