Going away to college is certainly a life changing experience and although change can be exhilarating and liberating to some, it is also terrifying to others. I had so many questions before I started college. Almost everyone can attest to this and if not most can agree to feeling both ends of the spectrum towards the change that college implements on freshman. In this case, it is nice for every freshman to keep in mind these few things before transitioning into the college life.
1. Everyone is nervous they won’t have friends.
Everybody is trying to find their friend group during orientation of the first couple days of class, but in most people’s social life, they don’t find their true friend group until their sophomore or junior year, and that is OKAY. Some might look like they have their entire social group together, and while they may look calm and cool on the outside, the truth is they are trying not to let their internal screams from within out. Go out and mingle, you will find people you like and you will find people that aren’t your favorite. Do what works best for you, but don’t overdo it or you might find yourself feeling too overwhelmed.
2. Homesickness is a real thing.
I know, everyone likes to deny their homesickness, but face the reality. Homesickness is reality, it sucks, and that is just the plain truth. You might feel like you’re the only one, but chances are half of the people on your floor are going to feel homesick at some point during the semester. Don’t feel ashamed to talk about it. IT DOES NOT MAKE YOU WEAK. Don’t forget to call your family, and even talk to your roommate and neighbors. Chances are they share the same feelings and if not they can help you through it.
3. People are going to have parties.
This might sound like a DUHH-moment, but in reality they are going to have parties that last all night, all day and all night again on the weekends and on the weekdays. You WILL have moments where you won’t sleep because they are blasting that one Justin Bieber song on repeat for what seems like an three hours right outside your window. In the end though, it will be okay, just turn your fan on high and drown out the sound of those social maniacs.
4. It is okay not to go out.
This isn’t like high school anymore where your petty friends won’t act like your friends just because you didn’t go to their rager in their parents basement. No one is going to care if you don’t go to the party. No one, and if they do, then you might want to rethink the quality of their friendship. But by all means if you want to go to the party, go and have the time of your life. Dance on some windows and some tables and scream at the top of your lungs.
5. It’s okay not to be best friends with your roommate.
Everyone is always so scared about roommates for their freshman year. Most scenarios, it works out fine and if it doesn’t the college will help you. Some guidelines to helping you out; If you choose to pick your roommate before your freshman year and you end up disliking them, you only have yourself to blame. However, if you go random, in most cases the college matches you with another as best they can, but then if that still doesn’t work out you can blame someone else for the issue. And who doesn’t love that, blaming other people for issues is great. Being BEST friends with your roommate is not a must though.
6. Don’t skip classes!
Now this might seem like another obvious one, but whether you go to a big University or a small College, the minute you start skipping classes is the minute you messed up. In the heat of the moment it might sound like a great idea, but in reality all that information is going to hit you like a brick falling from the Empire State building when exams come around. So if you are well enough to go (and you should be free because after all you are a college student, what social life do you have), GO! It may suck for those 50 minutes or so, but you won’t regret it in the end.
7. This is your home.
It is going to be weird at first. Especially if you are living in another state at your College. Try to understand: you go to school, then you just go back to your room, but your room is school, so where is home? School is home. It is overwhelming. You might feel like you can’t escape and while it might be absolutely true that you can’t, take a nap or a walk, it is what college students do best.
8. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
There is no shame in putting yourself out there and asking if you don’t understand something. Whether it be in class or during office hours make sure you take full advantage of the resources that the Professor offers. Chances are, if you are having trouble understanding something in class you aren’t the only one.
9. Get involved.
Find something new or continue something old. College is about exploration (and getting your degree) but, while you are there for four years you might as well try something different. Getting involved helps in meeting new people, keeping your mind busy and staying focused. Find a job, play a sport or join a club. Anything to get yourself into a routine will be good in the long run. DO NOT get yourself too involved though. Finding the right balance is key and overworking yourself will produce a negative outcome.
10. Sleep is one of the most important things.
When you can learn that getting the extra hour of sleep at night is going to make the next day so much better, things will begin to get that much easier. Sleep is important whether you have an 8AM or a 9AM class and staying up all night to study will not make you do better. Sleep helps to consolidate information, it doesn’t help you recover from information cramming. Chances are, after you try to cram all that information in you won’t remember most of it anyway.
What do you wish you knew before you started college? Comment below and share the article!
Featured photo source: favim.com
I am a First Year Student attending Lafayette College in Easton, PA. While, I am an intended Psychology major, with an Economics minor I enjoy writing and playing the French Horn. I am also a member of Alpha Phi Omega.