As hard as you might try, you can never be fully prepared for college prior to your first day of class! No matter how many people you talk to, books you read, and more, you will never be able to anticipate what your personal college experience will entail. Things you thought will last forever, will no longer be in your life or relevant in four years’ time.
From a college graduate to a current college student, here are some things you should know!
1. Highschool Relationships Won’t Last
Whether this involves friendships or romantic relationships, the odds of these lasting longer than your first year at college are slim to none. When you and your friends or significant other faces the challenge of long-distance for the first time, you will quickly learn which relationships will stay strong and which ones will crumble. Not all highschool relationships are doomed, but the reality of living in different cities, or on opposite sides of the country proves a unique challenge that those relationships likely have not faced yet. Be prepared for the worst and know anything better than that is beating the odds!
2. You Will Miss Home
Whether you are ten minutes or ten hours away from your hometown, you will miss your parents, house, and your city. For most people, it is your first time living away from home, so of course, homesickness will sink in quickly your first weekend at college! It is nothing to be ashamed of and more than likely, your roommate and the people in your hall will be missing their people as well. Never be afraid to call your parents, friends, or other loved ones to let you know you miss them!
3. Everyone Wants Something From You
Your first two years as a college girl are a very vulnerable time. Maybe you do not know anyone on campus but your roommate. If you do not join a sorority or other campus groups early on into your college career, many will pressure you to join, even if you are not interested. Know that not everyone who acts like they want to be your friend, want to get to know you personally. Just be wary, and be picky about who and what you want to get involved with during college and go with your gut!
4. Don’t Try Hard For Your 8 O’Clock Class
No one is wearing makeup or real clothes for this class, so no need to dress up! Your professor certainly won’t think less of you because you are dressed comfortably and everyone is struggling to stay awake so they will not notice you anyways. Throw on some clothes and get to class on-time!
5. Dress For Yourself, Not To Impress
Always choose your clothes with yourself first in mind. If you want to look nice one day, do it! Maybe you just want to be comfortable and wear sweats for once…feel free to do that too. Do what makes you happy and don’t worry about what others think!
6. Get Involved With Things You Care About
Join a club, interest group, or whatever makes you happy! If you have a social issue you care about, find a way to get involved, or create your own opportunity. Now is the time to make a change when you can, and see what you are most passionate about!
7. Do Go Out Of Your Way To Meet People
Make friends as quickly as you can, and be picky later! It’s good to have people in your circle from the get-go and then weed out the people you don’t mesh well with later. Class acquaintances are often vital to your success in that class so the smart college girl should try to socialize with at least one person from each class!
8. Dating Options Aren’t Amazing
Not everyone will meet their soulmate in college, so do not waste your time searching for yours when you can be hitting the books, making memories, and deepening current friendships! If someone comes your way, go for it! But do not spend all of your time looking for someone because once you are preparing to graduate, you will look back at all the time you wasted and could have used on something else.
9. You Will Be Stressed…A Lot
Stress is not something you can control but you can try to manage it. Do not let yourself stress out about that midterm until you have to start studying for it. Focus on today, and that week before looking five weeks ahead into the future! Celebrate the small victories when you can.
10. Roommate Drama Is Inevitable
Even if you thought you knew the person you were rooming with or lived with them for years, drama and problems are just unavoidable. Try not to be the bad roommate and contribute as much as you can to the space you share and just accept not everyone will see eye-to-eye with you. Take a deep breath, and try to resolve it.
11. Life Is Expensive…Save Where You Can
If you land a job during college, save as much money as you can! College students are broke most of the time but remember that there is life after college, so setting yourself up financially now is better than scrambling in the future! Save now and thank yourself later.
12. Never Go Out Alone
Whether this is to a late-night study session at the library, a frat party, or spending time off-campus, try to have at least one person with you if you know you will be out late! There is always more comfort and safety in numbers so make sure you are being smart no matter where you are located.
13. Travel And Study Abroad
If you can afford to participate in travel and study abroad programs while in college, you should do it! How many more opportunities will you have to experience different cultures while studying at different universities? Take advantage of these opportunities if you can, and photograph everything! You will cherish these memories forever and have so many stories to tell.
14. Study Hard
If you or your parents are paying for your college experience, you should work as hard as you can to set yourself up for success! Depending on the degree you are pursuing, your GPA matters. Work harder in the earlier years so you do not have to make up for your lower grades junior and senior year!
15. Be Willing To Adapt
Whether this applies to your personal life, study habits, or otherwise, do be willing to change! College is often a time of self-discovery and a time to realize that our highschool ways will not work in the real world. Take constructive criticism, and adapt to succeed. You got this!
16. Take Lots Of Pictures
While pictures might be the furthest thing from your mind when you are at your twentieth college football game, take a few anyway! These are some of the most exciting times of your life with the people that are important to you. Of course, you will want to look back on these memories in the future!
17. Don’t Stress About Weight Change
Chances are, you will probably gain that freshman fifteen, or you might lose some weight due to stress. No matter which way you fall, do not beat yourself up about it! College is a uniquely stressful time for everyone and the last thing you should be hard on yourself for is a little weight change.
18. Know When To Rest
Set a time at night to call it quits. Even if it means you have some left to do in the morning before class, realize your limitations and know that rest is important! Without proper sleep and rest, your body and mind cannot properly recover and prepare you for what will be coming your way. Know that you are human, and it is okay not to get everything done when you want.
19. Prioritize Your Health
Your mental and physical health are essential to your success in college! While it can be difficult to eat properly with on-campus dining options, try to eat better meals or snacks when you can and drink lots of water! Give your body good things when you can and don’t stress if you aren’t perfect. The stress load can take a huge toll on your mental health, so make sure you do things to let loose and relax all while getting everything done that you need to!
20. You’ll Make Forever Friends
Not every friendship in college will last, but those that you kept in touch with over the breaks and summers will! If you could go those small spans of time without seeing each other, you will certainly be able to keep up that friendship easily after college!
Is there something on this list you didn’t know? Comment something new you learned below!
Hi! My name is Hannah Warren and I just graduated from Mercer University with a B.A. in English. During my time at Mercer, I studied both Creative Writing and Media Studies so I have dabbled in multiple writing genres including fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, and more! Playwrighting and nonfiction are my favorite genres because more people relate to and understand the work when it is raw, genuine, and mentions different problems that most people are familiar with or have experienced first-hand. I have a bad habit of starting projects and not finishing them, but I am proud to say I am drafting a romance novel that I hope to have published one day! Thank you for taking the time to get to know me, and I hope you will continue to read more of my little articles in the future!