Coming to college is such an exciting experience. It is liberating, fun, scary, etc. The list goes on and on. There are a thousands of things you should know when you are coming into college. Making the transition from high school to college is huge and really is something that no-one can ever fully prepare you for. It is just one of those things that, for a lot of it, you have to figure it out as you go along. I cannot even begin to explain how many different things people told me I should know before college, but I didn't fully understand them until I experienced it for myself. But, nonetheless, incoming freshmen, you should at least know these things.
1. Don't live with your previous friends.
My best friend and I chose the same college but opted not to live with each other our freshmen year. While we have lived together since then, I still think that living separate was a good idea. I met my freshmen year roommate via Facebook and it was one of the best things. Going to college and leaving behind what you've known your whole life can make sticking with something comfortable appealing, but think about it this way: you'll still know those people no matter what, and you all can intertwine your friend groups.
Even if you're dead set that this isn't something you want to do, do it anyway. I rushed and I dropped, but I met so many of my best friends from it. It's a great way to socialize, and it could end up being the best thing you did. And if it doesn't end up being your thing, then no big deal. It is an experience that you should give a shot.
3. Don't stay in your high school relationship.
Now this is touchy, I know, and so many people will disagree, but really, in my experience and from watching my friends, it's best to go into freshman year single. Did I do this? No, I didn't. And while I won't say I regret being in the relationship, I definitely see things I missed out on because I was too worried about driving home than doing things with my new friends.
4. Make new friends.
Even if you go to a school where a lot of your hometown friends go, don't be afraid to branch out and meet new people. By no means am I saying ditch your friends. I've lived with my best friend from home the last four years and it's been fabulous, but still don't get too comfortable and miss out on new, fun opportunities.
5. Go to class.
I can remember all my teachers telling me in high school that once we got to college know one would care if we showed up or not. Well, I don't know if it's just my university, but the attendance policy is a real thing, Do not be that person that blows a class because you missed too many days. Get up and go. You won't believe the amount of information you pick up simply by showing up.
6. Go to the gym.
The freshman 15 is real. You are no longer having balanced meals made for you, and dorm cooking can be a little hard to make healthy. Odds are your school has a great fitness facility. You're paying for it with your tuition anyway, so make the best of it.
7. Call your parents.
You'll miss them. Whether you chose to admit it or not, you will. And your parents are going to want to hear from you. Try making a quick phone call instead of listening to your music in between classes. Walks to and from campus can be long, and a phone call is great way to pass the time.
8. Live on campus.
First off, these new dorms universities are building are insanely nice. When I lived in the dorm is was a shoe box of a room that was considered old and outdated when my parents attended the college I go to. Now dorms are coming with a Tempur-Pedic full bed, are designed for privacy, and come with appliances. I really don't get why people would pass them up. But seriously, you meet so many people living in the dorm, and you will make so many wonderful memories. I went on to live with my freshmen roommate all of college, and she became one of the most important people in my life, so seriously give it a chance.
9. Seek help.
Classes are hard, and you're not going to catch a lot of breaks, but if you go to office hours, email your professors and basically do anything to make yourself known to your professors, they are going to be willing to help you. Just do not be that kid that emails them 3 hours before the assignment is due.
10. Go to sports games.
Tailgate. Go to the football and basketball games. Getting basketball tickets at my school can literally take hours out of my day, but not once have I ever regretted the hours I've spent to get myself into Rupp Arena. Take pride in your school. It'll make your whole experience that much better.
11. Don't go home all the time.
I'm not saying to not ever go home, but don't spend all your time traveling. There is going to be a thousand things happening on campus, and you're not going to want to miss out on those memories.
12. Make the most of it.
These people you are about to meet and spend the next four or more years with are going to be the best people you'll meet. They are just as lost and confused and overwhelmed and excited as you are, and you are going to experience all of these new things together. No one will ever share an experience like this with you ever again, so make the most of it. One day, you all aren't going to live in a 3-mile radius of each other, and it's going to sting.