10 Things I Wish I Knew Before College

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before College

2 a.m. fire alarms are a definite.

Going into my junior year of college seems absolutely insane to me. These past two years have gone by so fast and I know the next two will go by just as fast. Thinking back to my freshman year, I realize that it was crazy! Being eight hours from home, there were a lot of things that I had to figure out on my own. Here’s 10 things that I wish I had known before my freshman year.

1. You have a ton of free time, use it wisely

So many people told me that one of the biggest differences between high school and college was the amount of free time. You more than likely won’t be in class from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. straight. Second semester my freshman year I had class from 8 a.m.-11 a.m. and then I was done for the day. This creates a lot of free time. My advice would be not to waste a lot of it watching Netflix. It sounds boring but get your work done first and then watch Netflix or do whatever. You will feel way more productive if you get your work done first and you won’t have to worry about it later on.

2. Professors don’t really care why you didn’t get your work done

High school teachers are very lenient. You didn’t get a paper done? Just hand it in next class. College professors aren’t like that. You didn’t get a paper done? Okay, hand it in next class but you’re getting 15 points off. Honestly, some professors will just give you a zero right then and there. So just get your work done on time.

3. Not going to class can effect you more than you think

I saw this happen to so many people. They wouldn’t show up to class, thinking they would be fine, and they weren’t. Not going to class has both short term consequences and long term consequences that are even worse. By missing a day or two of class you can miss a lot of important information that the professor might not give you. You more than likely will have to either go to their office hours or get the information from a friend. Some professors will take off points from your final grade if you miss too many classes. If you miss too many classes, at some schools, it could result in the loss of any scholarship or financial aid that you have. Unless you’re really sick or there’s a family emergency, go to class.

4. You’re going to see some crazy stuff

Coming from a small town and going from a school with 1,000 kids in high school to a college with 6,000 undergrads it was an adjustment. With many people in one place there is bound to be some crazy things happening. The craziest experience I ever witnessed was a cop chase on campus.

5. It’s okay to be a “teacher’s pet”

Having your professors know your name is not a bad thing. In most cases it will be a good thing. Go to your professor’s office hours if you need help. Email them any questions or concerns you have. Stay five minutes after class if you don’t understand something. Doing all of these little things will not only help you get better grades but it will show your professor that you want to work hard and do well. Once they see this, they will be more willing to help you with work and tests. It also may help you later on if your collegiate career if you ever need a letter of recommendation.

6. You are going to meet some of the most amazing people

It really is true when people say that you meet your friend’s for life in college. In high school, there were some people that you were friends with because you saw them every day. That friendship may not carry into college and that’s okay. The friends you make in college are going to be the ones you stay in contact with 10 years after you graduate. I live states away from my friends from school but when we go back in August it’s like the summer never happened. I know that no matter the distance, they will always be there for me.

7. You may change as a person

For most people, going to college will be the first extended period of time that they are away from school and away from everyone they have grown up with. This new found freedom and new people may change you. That could be for the better or for the worse. College is really a time to figure out who you are and as long as you stay true to yourself then that’s all that matters.

8. There will be fire alarms at 2 a.m.

Fire alarms are inevitable. Someone is going to burn popcorn, forget to put water in their Ramen, or forget to turn their straightener off. Most of these things just happen to be in the middle of the night. You’re not going to want to get up but just do it. You could get a huge fine if the fire department finds you still in the building. My advice for the 2 a.m. fire alarms? If it’s fall or winter bring a blanket outside with you. You don’t want to be that person standing in the snow with nothing to keep them warm. These fire alarms can last a while.

9. You will appreciate home so much more

You may not necessarily get home sick, I never did, but you will appreciate your hometown or state so much more. Being eight hours from home really made me realize just how much I love home and miss my mom’s cooking. When you get the chance to go home you will enjoy it so much. Don’t get me wrong, you will be excited to go back to school but you will value your time at home so much more.

10. High School is not the best years of your life

People say that and maybe they just didn’t have a good college experience but from my point of view college is so much better than high school. You have so much more freedom in college. There are so many more adventures you will have. 1 a.m. ice cream runs on Tuesday nights are a pretty common thing. You get to choose when your classes are. You get to choose how many classes you want to take. You meet the best people possible. You truly get to just be you and do what makes you happy. College is an amazing time and it goes by in the blink of an eye.

To everyone starting college this fall, enjoy it! You will be stressed out of your mind when all of your professor’s schedule tests on the same day. But you will feel so relieved an accomplished once it is all over. You will make some of the most amazing memories during these next four years that you will never forget.

Cover Image Credit: Emily Plante

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My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

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2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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What I Wish I Knew About Life After High School Before I Had To Live It

Life after high school isn't always what you expected it to be.


So you're about to graduate high school and you think you have it all figured out. You and your best friends are going to stay close throughout college and you're going to take those long road trips in college to see each other. Think again.

Life after high school isn't always what you want it to be. You think you'll miss high school, you'll always be close with your high school besties, and you'll have all this free time in college. That's just not entirely true. I personally do not miss high school. I don't really talk to anyone I went to high school with on a regular basis, and I'm totally OK with that. I have friends in college that I believe will be my lifelong friends whereas my friends in high school didn't make an effort to keep in contact with me after high school.

I haven't had all the free time I've dreamed of in college, because I'm busy with school and meetings. When I'm not doing homework, I'm making sure the rest of my life is in order and all my stuff for school is in line. I'm not the crazy party girl that people think I am because of where I go to school. I'd rather sit in bed and watch Netflix than go out with my friends. I'm not a 4.0 student, but I work so hard in my classes just to make sure that I'm passing. I study a week before tests and still don't always make A's. And that's OK. It's not what I expected during my college years, but it's what's happening, and most of my friends are the same way.

Anne Marie Bonadio

Just know that life in college isn't all easy, breezy, and beautiful like Covergirl. It's hard and you will struggle whether it be in school or with your friends. College isn't always complete freedom. You'll be tied down with school and life and you won't have the free time that you always imagined. You won't always be best friends with your high school friends. You won't be taking those road trips because you won't be able to afford them, and if you're like me, your parents won't let you.

College won't be exactly what you dreamed it'll be, but it'll be some of the best years of your life.

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