My high school graduation was one of the happiest days of my life! I remember the excitement leading up to the day and then all of the butterflies before walking into the auditorium with the rest of my classmates. I thought that I had life figured out, that I was ready to take on the world by myself and be the adult that I thought I was. Boy, was I wrong. Here are 15 things that I learned when I went off to college.
1. We take home-cooked meals for granted.
Food is one of my most favorite things in this whole entire world. Nobody cooks food like my Gram, though, and I never miss it more than when I’m in the cafeteria… eating a burger and fries… for the fourth night in a row.
2. There’s no bed like your own.
Anybody that says their bed in their dorm is comfortable is lying to you. The mattresses that they provide are basically just bigger versions of those ones that we slept on during naptime in kindergarten.
3. Your laundry will never smell as good as they do when they’re washed and dried at home.
Your washer and dryer just smell like home.
4. There’s nothing better than a shower at home.
If you’ve lived in a dorm, you know that there’s little to no privacy when you shower, especially if you live in a community-style bathroom. It doesn’t matter how many small stalls and curtains you have, someone is always going to see you in a towel. Now, it’s a little better when there’s a suite and you can lock the doors, but you’ll still never have the privacy in the bathroom like you did at home. Don’t forget about the shower shoes, the towel wraps, and the cramped tiny space where you’re expected to shower. Basically, just enjoy your shower at home while you can.
5. Figuring out how to be a responsible adult is hard without your parents around 24/7.
Why don’t they have classes on being a responsible adult in high school? We never learned how to balance a checkbook, pay bills, figure out insurance, and how to file taxes. This is what they really need to teach us.
6. You never appreciated your mom and everything that she did for you when you were at home.
There are some days when the only person you want to speak to is your mom because, honestly, nobody is as smart as she is. She knows you, understands you, and gives you the best advice! She’s there for you whenever you need her to be physically, mentally, and emotionally. She loves you so much and always puts you first even when you’re not living with her.
7. We were never thankful enough for our big refrigerators that we had at home.
Welcome to college, land of the mini fridge! Good luck trying to fit all of those to-go boxes, sodas, milk (pints, not gallons) yogurt, and anything else that needs to be refrigerated in that tiny space. The space that you have is precious in there.
8. There’s no place like home.
Dorothy said it best in The Wizard of Oz when she clicked her ruby red slippers together and wished that she was back home in Kansas. There’s honestly no place like your own home where you can be surrounded by the people that you love the most!
9. College isn’t all about parties, friends, and staying out all night.
Going to college is a privilege, and we should all be grateful for the opportunity that we have to attend classes and pursue a degree in higher education.
10. You won’t stay in touch with everyone from your graduating class.
No matter how many times you say that you’ll all stay in touch and see each other on a regular basis, you probably won’t. Life just gets busy. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t try to stay in touch with you graduating class. It’s just hard to do when you have a new school, new friends, and a new chapter of your life to focus on.
11. College is nothing like high school.
Don’t expect to be able to study for an exam the night before like some people do in high school. It’s not going to work and you most likely won’t remember all of the information that you need to before the exam. Study in advance so that you’re not stressing while trying to cram for the exam. You have to put forth effort if you want to be successful.
12. E-mails really are important.
The majority of my communication with my university is conducted via e-mail. That’s why it’s so important for you to read the e-mails. Do not ignore them.
13. Having someone to pick all of your classes in high school was so nice.
All of you first semester freshmen enjoy that first meeting with your advisor where they tell you what classes you need to take. You get to take the reins after that initial advising appointment.
14. You yearn for the time of your life when tuition and textbooks didn’t cost you anything in elementary, middle, and high school.
You get the point. Tuition, books, room & board, meal plans, and other various fees cost you the big bucks.
15. The adults in your life were right when they told you to stop wishing your life away.
Enough said.College is a time of many changes in your life and it’s important that you remain true to yourself and your roots. Enjoy this time in college, though. Like the rest our lives so far, it goes by way too fast.