Dec. 27, 2006 — -- Five freshmen from across the country opened up to "Good Morning America" about their first semester away at college. For many, on their own for the first time, it was an emotional roller coaster.
"It's a pretty intense time, your first semester in college, because you're -- you know, you're studying harder than you ever have in your life and…you're with new people," said 18-year-old Roy Martin. "It's hard getting used to that."
College freshmen face tough decisions every day, but when it came to one hot-button issue -- sex -- the group claimed that college students get a bum rap.
"Yeah, people you know, date or have sexual encounters with other people, but it's very responsible," said Mira Stern, a 19-year-old freshman.
Kate Phelps, 19, agreed.
"I think a small part of the population make up the crazy wild group," Phelps said. "But overall, I mean, most people are responsible, especially with dating."
But there was one vice that everyone agreed was rampant on campus: drinking, and often to excess.
"Probably almost once a weekend at my dorm, I see…girls just plastered and an ambulance has to come because they are so drunk," Stern said.
The teens' comments echo national statistics: 45 percent of college freshmen are classified as heavy drinkers.
The freshmen told "GMA" that alcohol is easily accessible at college parties.
Even though a recent study says that drug use on campus is down, this group of freshmen have witnessed cocaine and ecstasy use. But most were blown away by the popularity of marijuana among students.
"The only thing that really surprised me about college was…how casual weed is," said Christa Aiken, 18. "Right before a class, they just smoke a blunt and they just go into class."
Temptations and distractions abound everywhere on campus. A national study found that 72 percent of college students list communication with friends as their favorite online activity.
Sites like MySpace and Facebook are the new millennium way of keeping on top of the latest gossip.
"People say, like, relationships aren't, like, official until you declare them in Facebook," Martin said.
But still, these freshmen told "Good Morning America" that they had learned lessons during their first semester: stay focused and be prepared to sacrifice sleep.
"I would tell them three things," Aiken said. "I would tell them expect the unexpected, think before you act and don't procrastinate."