A Freshman at Life

life quote

One of the more awkward phases we all encounter in our lives is the “freshman” stage. First, we’re freshmen in high school, where we have to start worrying about things like popularity, school-related activities, dating and even which college we plan on going to. Then we’re freshmen in college (if we choose that route), where suddenly we’re off on our own and Mom and Dad aren’t there to make sure we’re doing our homework or making curfew. If we’re lucky enough to make it out alive of both of those phases, we then become what I like to call a “freshman at life”.

This stage occurs during your first few months or years after graduating. Usually these freshmen at life have a hard time adjusting to the 9-to-5 lifestyle and may even go through their own quarter-life crisis (“Did I go to school for the right major?”, “Why can’t I find a job?”, and “Why am I so tired at 9 p.m.?”). For me, I worked 2 part-time jobs until I found my first full-time, “big girl” job at a small marketing agency near my parent’s house. I lived at home to save money, was in a long-distance relationship with my college boyfriend and did my best to make the most of my time.

But now I’m on to a whole other freshman life phase. I’m moving out of state to live with my boyfriend in an apartment. While I lived on my own in college, I was surrounded by peers and friends. This will be my first time living with a boyfriend, the first time paying for rent and utilities, and the first time living in a different state than the one I grew up in. I’ll also be starting a brand new job in a bigger city- where I’m taking public transportation, another thing that’s new to me- so I feel like a freshman all over again.

Being a freshman at any stage of life is usually associated with being wide-eyed, curious and maybe even a little clueless. Will I get down on myself when my bank account drops after each monthly rent payment? Probably. Will I go through the awkward moments of trying to make friends in a new place? I’m sure of it. Will I be overwhelmed with my new duties at my new job? Most likely- everyone is at first.

The old Rachel would be very terrified. She’d have constant anxiety stomachaches. She wouldn’t be able to sleep for a month leading up to the move. She would play situations in her head over and over of missing the train, walking into the wrong building and worrying about if her boyfriend would hate her after living together. But you know what?- I’m not really going through any of those things. Sure, I’m a bit nervous and anxious, but I know I can do this. I’ve done it 3 times already in my lifespan. I’m practically a pro at being a freshman. šŸ™‚

How do you deal with being a “freshman at life”? What recent situations have made you feel like a freshman all over again?


  1. I think you will be great, you are starting a new chapter in your life and you will learn some valuable lessons, make new friends, move in a big city, I know it can be scary but it will be really fun too. I did that about 4 years ago, had highs and lows but never regretted it.

  2. i haven’t started dating since my breakup, but whenever i’m ready, i know i will feel like a freshman! i haven’t dated at all since college (and i graduated over 5 years ago) because i’ve been in a long term relationship, so i’m definitely nervous and have no idea what to expect. congrats on moving past your anxiety and being excited and fearless!

  3. I think in all stages of your life, you’ll feel like a freshman if you’ve never done it before. Later you may want to buy a house, which will take you back to this freshman stage. Even people who are older.. maybe they are retiring after having worked most of their lives. That will probably make them go through this stage too. It’s all part of life so enjoy it! šŸ™‚

  4. I think it sounds SO exciting that you are moving to a new city and there are so many changes! Change is good for the soul. When I graduated college I moved to Boston, where I knew no one…and while it was terrifying…the experiences I had made me who I am today…some were great, some were awkward, and I was definitely lonely sometimes…but everything works out as it should…just like it will for you! Good luck šŸ™‚

    1. Exactly! Thanks for the comment- I know all the ups and downs in this new experience will make for GREAT writing material, am I right?

  5. What a great way of looking at it. I love the freshmen stage… which is probably really weird to say. But I love learning a new way to adapt and having that feeling of “starting fresh” and exploring. It’s the monotony of things that get me nervous.

  6. I think there’s so many things as we go through life that make us feel like freshman again but change can be really fun and exciting!

  7. I think every milestone makes you like a freshmen again. Job, marriage, kids…..I’m sure you’ll do great as you start this new chapter I’m your life šŸ™‚

  8. Being a freshman at “life” is so true and I can’t believe I had never looked at it like that before! Your move sounds so exciting…I’m sure you will love this next phase!

  9. OH I’ve been there. I moved to San Diego not knowing a soul and it was definitely a rough transition at first, but was also so exciting. But I think being open minded, adventurous helps. I’m so excited for you! xo

    1. Thanks! I’m a lot more open, outgoing and honest than I used to be, so I’m hoping that it helps me adapt to a new job, people, etc.

  10. I’ll be going through that stage in two years, and am already pretty terrified about it! Although, I gotta say… being a freshman at anything is sometimes my favorite – it’s a fresh slate and you get to declare new rules as you see fit!

  11. Whenever you are in a new stage in your life it’s easy to feel like a freshman. Good luck with the move and the new job, and I know it’s going to be amazing!!

  12. Still being new to the city has been hard – but I’ve been lucky to meet some amazing people at work to hang with. Everyone has been there, so don’t be afraid to reach out, make coffee dates and meet new people! xx

    1. Exactly- thanks for the encouragement! I’m hoping to meet some friends at work. We can’t all work with our blogging friends like you and Emily, you know šŸ™‚

  13. I actually loved being a “freshman” in college, I felt like I finally could break out of my shell as in highschool I was so shy I felt like I couldn’t be anything but how I was. College gave me a chance to be who I wanted to be, rather than who people expected me to be =)

  14. i’ve been in the same city with a lot of the same friends and at the same job for several years now so it’s been awhile since I’ve felt like a freshman. I remember feeling both anxious and excited though!

  15. so excited for you! i’m in a bit of the same boat. I just moved in with my boyfriend and it’s a whole new but exciting adventure.

    you will love your new experience!

  16. I completely agree! As a graduate you rush through school & then it’s like this waiting game of limbo for either short or somethings long time of what the heck am I doing in life!

  17. Love your attitude girl! YOU GOT THIS:)! Yes, it’s going to take time to adjust, but I know you will handle it like the pro that you are;)! P.S. Oh my goodness…I have anxious stomachaches like every single day lol. They are no bueno!

  18. We have a lot in common. I was always nervous and anxiety ridden too! I moved across the country to be with my boyfriend and it was my first time out on my own. We’re no longer together, but because of that experience I had the strength to now support myself and live in my own tiny home. And I’m still here at the other side of the country, because I fell in love with it. Embrace change! Life’s river will lead you on such fun journeys. šŸ™‚

    1. Aw that stinks, MJ (I’m going to call you by your new blog name since I saw your recent post about that!) Sometimes a little change is just what you need- whether it’s a new job, a new relationship status, etc. šŸ™‚

  19. I definitely get anxious too. I’m glad you feel like a pro, I know this transition will be a great one for you!!

  20. I still feel like a “freshman” when it comes to professional networking events. I moved to St. Louis about two years ago and feel like I am still figuring out my place and discovering friends in a city where a lot of people are natives. It’s been interesting!

    Best of luck in your new job and city! It will be hard, but so rewarding and fun.

    1. I always feel awkward in professional roles, too! I feel so young compared to a lot of the people who have been working in the field forever. Thanks Emily!

  21. YES! I love this … it is true… we are kind of a freshman at everything once we start something new! It is scary and makes you nervous, but then you can get comfortable and learn the ways! Everything is going to go so well for you, I am excited for you Rachel!

  22. I’m so happy you’re not experiencing any anxiety! That’s awesome. I literally laughed out loud when I was reading because I’m entering into my next freshman phase as well. Good luck with everything! It’s going to be awesome!

  23. This is a great post – I found you through Christin’s blog – I think the best way to deal with situations like this is to just think, “I’ll deal with whatever may come whenever it happens”. Sure, there are plenty of things we can all be worried about all the time, but worry/anxiety doesn’t solve problems or even alleviate them. It usually makes problems worse. So I think your attitude is great. Also, I’ve lived with my boyfriend for 4 years now, so if you need any tips on how to work through the transition, let me know šŸ˜‰

  24. you’ve got this! it will be fun and exciting, but you still have the confidence of knowing you have your friends and family back home. I kinda miss the freshman feeling…o wait, i have that with dating! LOL

  25. Whoa, I just found this post. I run a blog called Freshmen of Life (freshmenoflife.com) and it’s based on this very theme (only just for comedy’s sake). Not only that, but you posted this on my birthday. šŸ™‚ Great stuff!

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