1. Your perspective on your hometown will change
Whether you loved your hometown growing up or absolutely hated it, your perspective on your hometown will definitely change your freshman year. If you're like me and grew up in the south, you will certainly reconsider all the times you said you "hated" where you grew up. After being in a dorm your freshman year, you will realize that having your own room was a luxury, having your mom to take care of you was a privilege and that you will most likely never take it for granted again. Most of us still do not miss high school, but we can all agree the simple memories we had with our friends were the best. Also your love for your dog and your mom becomes 30 times greater than it was before.
2. Not being forced to go to class can be dangerous
Being a college student, you have the power to decide whether you go to class or not everyday, even with an attendance policy in place. From enduring a massive hangover from the night before, to having the black plague, it is ultimately up to a student's willpower to attend class here at college. College students praise teachers who don't do attendance, however, they will trick you with in class assignments that help boost your grade. My advice is to go to class. You will end up regretting all the times you skipped when your grade plunges into the depths of despair.
3. Freedom of Choice
You will quickly realize how much freedom you have once you start college. With no parents around, you are essentially on your own, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the choices you make such as no one can tell you not to go out downtown, even when you have a test the next morning. Your freshman year of college will introduce you to this freedom like a baseball hitting you in the face; it comes fast, and sometimes unexpected. No one really tells you what you should do, so think before you make any choices that could harm you in the future. Trust me, its worth it.
4. You build strong friendships
When becoming a freshman in college, most of us keep in touch with at least 3-5 people from our hometown regularly. Whether you join greek life or different clubs, you will make friends as a freshman. Don't worry if you haven't found your people as fast as others, they will show themselves throughout the year. Most of the time the "friends" you meet at the beginning of the year, probably won't be the same as the friends you have at the end of the year (If they are, kudos to you). Also, since you're not seeing "your people" every day like you did in high school, you actually have to communicate with one another to hangout, which strengthens your friendship, making it more likely to last as well.
5. You learn so much about yourself
I think it is important for everyone to experience their freshman year at a college away from home. Not only does it build character, but it is a huge stepping stone in growing up. You are living on your own for the first time, and even though you're in a college town, you get a glimpse into what it's like in the "real world". Not going to lie, it will feel weird for the first month not being at home. Many people even compare the first month to "sleep away camp". You will grow as a person as you learn to adjust to this change.
6. It's not always going to be easy
As much fun as it is to basically live in a world surrounded by people your age, your freshman year at college will not be a breeze. From drunk frat guys yelling at you in a bar, to having to write a 10 page paper in a night, you will be challenged immensely, but like I said before, it will help you grow. Do not be surprised if your first semester of college is a "shit show", because even if they don't admit it, most people are going through the same thing. Also if you haven't yet, you will probably experience a horrible hangover at least once if you're lucky.
7. It's ok to not go out and drink
Social media and movies may make you think that college is all about partying and drinking (sadly, that was my perspective when I first got here, boy was I naive), but it is not true. Sure, you can go to fraternity parties and drink, but it doesn't have to consume you. College freshmen are introduced to this partying ideology their first semester, and I promise you, it's ok to miss a party or a chance to go out to the bars. You will survive! Also, you don't just make friends downtown or at parties, chances are they will probably forget your name in an hour, so don't feel like you have to go out and drink to make friendships.They will come to you.
8. Don't waste your year looking for "the perfect guy"
Sure, having a guy is fun and all, but in retrospect, most freshman guys are still as immature as they were in high school. Just because you're in college now, does not necessarily mean every guy you meet will be "boyfriend material" and looking to treat you how you deserve to be treated. Occasionally there will be "that couple" your freshman year that are #goals, but most of the time you will look back and laugh at the guy you thought you liked and wished you never wasted your time on him. My advice is to not invest your freshman year in looking for guys and to go do your homework instead; I've seen too many girls put boys before everything else and only end up being hurt in the end. Trust me, he's not worth it.
9. You will most likely gain some weight
Before I begin on this, most girls do not gain 15 pounds like everyone else says they do. Unfortunately, unless you have an amazing immune system or workout regularly, you will gain a couple pounds your freshman year. From eating pizza every night after drinking, to being able to get Chick-fil-a whenever you want to, don't be surprised if you gain a few lb's. However, you are still beautifully and wonderfully made, and pizza is damn good.
10. You will look back on your freshman year and laugh
Looking back on my freshman year, all the worries I had earlier in the year are comical. There is so much more than what people might think of you or what sorority you're in. Those who still care about shallow things like this obviously haven't grown up yet, and you will realize how much your perspective changes on everything as the year goes on. My favorite recollection to look back at is all the pointless drama my friend group had over irrelevant things (mostly stupid boys). It will also feel bittersweet as you're packing up your dorm room at the end of the year, as it was the place where you laughed, cried, slept, and made unforgettable memories.