11 Essential Things To Know Befor Starting College

11 Essential Things To Know Befor Starting College

If you're about to start your freshman year, you need to know these six things

Starting college can be a very exciting, yet terrifying upcoming experience! Often times, this includes getting out of your parents house and moving away from your hometown. You're also searching for friends who could possibly make the perfect room and suite-mates. Searching through Google and Pinterest for all the must-haves and must DIY's for your dorm room, and then spending multiple days and multiple shopping trips at Wal-Mart and Target for all your supplies and dorm room essentials.

Sounds exciting right? Trust me it is! But, it can also be stressful and even mortifying.

To keep your freak out on the down low, here is a handy dandy list of essentials that will be helpful for your few weeks prior to college:

1. Get connected.

Do what us teenagers do best and utilize social media! Most universities and schools have a way to get connected online. A majority have Facebook groups for incoming freshmen. This can be very useful when trying to meet new people before even stepping foot onto campus for your orientations. This is how I found my first roommate!

2. Pin Pin Pin.

Pinterest can be extremely useful for college. I cannot stress this enough. I have multiple boards just for college! This site can be helpful when you are trying to think of how you want to decorate your dorm room. There are also numerous tips about what you should and should not buy when shopping for your first year of college. It even contains tips for your classes and school work!

3. Don't go overboard.

Although those rooms look absolutely amazing online, it doesn't mean you can realistically get your dorm room to look the same. Often, dorm rooms are not as big as they appear in pictures online and your roommate may not happen to have the same exact style as you. However, do not stress. It is still possible to have a fantastic "dream" dorm room. Also, don't forget you will have to pack everything up. A helpful tip is to buy all of your essentials and items that you are using for storage (such as bins and drawers) and then buy whatever else at the town's closest store!

4. Deals! Hello, we are "broke college students!"

Look out for sales! They begin appearing closer to when your first semester begins! Compare prices at numerous stores and also keep a look out for your desired designs of comforters and what not before buying on impulse. Sometimes waiting for a deal is better, but also make sure not to wait until last minute.

5. Books are really that expensive?!

Sadly, yes. However, it is not necessary to buy books directly from your school, nor is it necessary to buy them brand new! There are numerous ways to get your outrageous textbooks for much cheaper. Two popular ways are the websites Chegg and Amazon. I personally utilize Amazon. You simply go to your school's website, look up the books you are required to have, then search them on the website. Then, depending on price, you can decide to buy them (used or new) or rent them for the amount of time you need! It is a very easy process to rent and return, too!

6. Get involved!

Your school will continuously say these two words, but it is absolutely correct! Getting involved — no matter whether it is a sport, club, Greek life — whatever you choose is a necessity to making the most out of your college experience. Pick a path or two and get involved. You will meet many great people and it will make your time at college far more exciting!

7. I have to clean that?

Unfortunately, yes...you do have to clean the shower AND the toilet. Yuck, I know. Not saying everyone never touched a toilet with cleaning supplies until college, but it is something in life that has to be done. So start now! It sounds gross, but using a friend's disgusting toilet is much worse! Grab that scrubby and keep your distance from those germs!! Walking into a nasty bathroom is like on Daddy Day Care whenever the boy had terrible aim. Don't let your friend's walk into your nasty bathroom.

8. Mattress pads are a savior!

A bed is one thing that you do not have to invest in while living in a dorm. However, the provided ones are not the most comfortable mattress you will lay on.. Therefore, a mattress pad is a great investment! Honestly, I had two on my bed last year after experiencing back aches and now I sleep like a baby.

9. Speak up!

Even if you are shy or more of a quiet person, do not be afraid to ask! Faculty and upperclassmen expect freshman to ask questions. All freshman are nervous and are never sure what to do and where to go. Never be afraid to ask about anything from what is the best food to eat on campus to where your classroom is!

10. Try something new.

College is full of new experiences and new people! Now is the perfect time to start fresh. Hardly anyone knows who you are! So get out there and try something that you never thought you would before.

11. Enjoy yourself!

Don't be scared! There are many others who are going through the same thing as you! Now is a great opportunity to truly enjoy yourself and make new friends. Make the best out of this experience. You got this!

Put yourself out there and be yourself! College seems scary, but if you do your research, get prepared, have an open mind and simply have fun, college will be a great experience for you. Good luck!

Cover Image Credit: College Bound

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.

Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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The College Experience

A series telling the true experiences of modern day college students.


Everyone tells you to prepare for the best years of your life.

They tell you to prepare for all of the new challenges and new opportunities.

They say that you will meet your future people in college.

What they don't tell you is how much it will hurt.

Seeing old friends disappear because you are no longer home.

Watching your grades fall because the class is too difficult to pass.

Hearing and witnessing your family struggle and you aren't able to be with them.

Seeing all of the adventures that others are going on while you are stuck in your dorm room with the same stack of papers you have been trying to finish for three days now.

They don't tell you how difficult the transition will be.

They especially don't tell you how hard it is to live with someone.

The best of friends can live together and then grow to hate each other.

Complete strangers will move in and never speak.

You'll find friends that are simply just your "writing friend" or "band friend".

Many of the labels from high school can sometimes stick around.

If you're not out drinking or clubbing, then people think you don't have a life.

College is great, but don't think that it will be easy.

You have to make things easy in order for things to happen.

You can't just go around doing whatever and expect things to work out.

It takes time and it takes commitment to succeed in life, and in college.

The best way to deal with it all, find someone!

Find someone that you can get coffee with and watch sports with.

Find someone to eat dinner and lunch with.

Find someone to study religion and math before the next test.

Find someone!

Find your someone, a friend or someone special, to help you make it through everything that life throws at you.

If I had that someone I might have been better off my first year.


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