11 Things I Learned During My First Semester of College

11 Things I Learned During My First Semester of College

Some are humorous, some are serious and all are valuable.


The transition from high school to college is one of the most stressful (and equally as exciting) transitions a person could possibly go through in life. It's a time to break free from the mundane routine you went through for the past 18 years and finally move on to "bigger and better things." For a lot of people, this break in routine is exciting. For others, it's a huge source of stress and anxiety.

I soon came to realize that although college brought many unexpected twists and turns to my life, that I was having the experience of a lifetime. Nothing is quite as unique as the experience of college. In no particular order, here are some of the main things my first semester of college taught me.

1. Most of your high school relationships won’t last

The relationships that are meant to be will find a way to work out. However, college brings about a huge change in everyone's life. You all become a little busier and a little different than you were in high school. Don't expect to remain friends with everyone you were friends with in high school.

2. ...but new [and sometimes better] relationships will take their place.

You will find yourself befriending people you never would have dreamed of becoming friends with. These people will become so important to you and will take the place of some of the relationships that fell apart on your new journey.

3. The Freshman 15 is avoidable.

Notice how I didn't say the Freshman 15 is a myth. It's not. Endless amounts of stress combined with endless amounts of food at virtually any given time is a recipe for weight gain whether you're in college or not. Take advantage of the gym and try not to eat like you've never seen food before.

4. You will have bad days.

At least for me, my bad days in college seem to be a thousand times worse than the bad days I had in high school. Stress, being away from home and other miscellaneous aspects of daily college life will make some days seem unbearable. Expect that they will come, but also expect them to pass (because they will).

5. FOMO is real.

You may not realize it until you come home for an extended break, but you will miss home. Eating a home-cooked meal and sleeping in your own bed are things you probably took for granted in high school, but are the greatest of luxuries when you're in college.


In high school, you were handed a syllabus the first day of class and probably never looked at it again. College syllabi outline information that is crucial to your success in class. Read them, understand them and never throw them away.

8. You will waste more of your own time than you ever thought imaginable.

Yes, Netflix, I'm talking about you. One episode turns into five and before you know it, an assignment that was supposed to only take you a couple of hours has turned into an all-night ordeal due to your lack of willpower. Plan for distractions.

9. “If it’s free, it’s good enough for me.”

One of the best things about living on a college campus is all of the free entertainment, food, and events being offered to you at any given time. Take advantage of all the free things you can get, because chances are, you have less money in your bank account than you probably think you do (and even that isn't a lot).

10. The little things are what matter most.

Call your mom. Help your friend out with their homework. Get too excited over finally finding your favorite cereal in the dining hall. The little things will always bring out the best in every day.

11. Don’t get so caught up in a routine that you forget to have fun.

College is stressful enough as it is, so don't keep yourself from having fun. This is one of the greatest and most rewarding experiences of your life; have fun while doing it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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