The transition from High School to College is very different for everybody.
Some have a very smooth transition, some have a very rough transition. You don't really know what to expect until you're there, and you're living it. You are thrown into a huge campus filled with thousands of other 18 year old's who were all just let off their parent's leash. Nobody really wins their freshman year, but you will survive.
Here are the top 20 pieces of advice from my freshman year that hopefully you can learn from:
When packing for my dorm room, I majorly overestimated the size of my dorm room and what it could hold. There were many things that I thought were necessary for my first year of college that were much better at home. Do yourself a favor and ask yourself "when was the last time I wore that?" or, "When am I actually going to use this?".
2. Thinking you have to stick with one major
Most students will change their major three times before they graduate. If you didn't pick the right one your first year, don't sweat it. Change your major, get into something that you care about.
3. Not branching out
One of the biggest regrets that I have from my first year was that I was so secluded with my friend groups. Meet the others who are in your residence halls, and in your major especially. If you stick with that major, you will be seeing a lot of those people for the next four years.
4. Thinking you have to go out to fit in
If you aren't into partying, don't panic. It is harder to find people who are likeminded, however, it can be done. You don't have to change who you are and go out all the time just to find friends. Join clubs, and find your niche and your friends will fall into place.
5. Buying too much food for your dorm.
It will go bad. Make use of your meal plan while you have it. Once you moved out of the dorm, you will miss it.
6. Thinking you won't gain the freshman 15
If you continue your eating habits from high school and decide you don't need to go to the gym, the freshman 15 probably will find you. If you don't think you gained the freshman 15, you probably did. Be conscious of what you're eating, and make time for a little activity.
7. Poor time management
There are only 24 hours in a day. 9 of those should be spent sleeping. That leaves 15 hours that you need to manage your time and make time for important things. Focus on balance. Too much work and no play will make you miserable. Too much play and no work will cause you to fail. Make time for everything and if you can't accomplish something, tomorrow is another day.
8. Blowing off General Education Classes
Believe it or not, General Education classes matter! Maybe not to your major, but you don't want to be in your fourth year looking back at your grades and wishing you tried harder in the easier classes. These classes can make or break your GPA.
9. The where and when of buying books
Do not buy every single book that is suggested for the class. Wait unitl your first day, find out what the teacher actually plans on using, and buy from there. Then, when you go to buy books, avoid the bookstore. Most of the time, the bookstore will be so expensive. Take a little extra time, and look online. A lot of the time you can download it for free.
10. Cramming for exams
Staying up all night studying because you couldn't make time before is not going to help you at all. You will only be sleep deprived, and you won't learn a thing. If you didn't study, take the L, and do better next time.
11. Premature Existential Crisis at 18
Even though it feels like your life is over, it's probably not. You won't know what you're suppose to be doing with your life for a while, so embrace it. Don't sweat the small stuff, and just focus on the now.
12. Holding onto high school friendships
Of course you should keep your friendships close, but don't hold onto them as the only friendships you can have. Your friends are also trying to branch out and make other friends, so neither of you should hold back.
13. Not Asking for help.
There are so many resources and people on campus that you reach out to if you're struggling. You can get free counseling, you can reach out to your teachers, you can even get a tutor. Whatever you need, there is most likely a resource for it, as long as you ask. Nobody wants to see you drown because you're trying to do it all yourself. Don't be afraid to ask for somebodies help.
14. Sitting in the back of the classroom
Especially your first year. These are mostly going to be lectures with 300-400 kids. The kids in the back are the students who are on their laptop watching youtube and only attending for the attendance points. You don't have to be front row, but sit toward the front, and engage yourself. You have to be there anyway, so you might as well make the best out of it.
15. Locking yourself out of your dorm room.
It's going to happen, it's unavoidable. However, try to be conscious of where your key/id is and avoid it as much as possible. You don't want to be knocking on your RA's door at 2 am asking them to let you in because the door slammed behind you on your way to the bathroom.
16. Not packing food
If it's going to be a long time before you're able to eat again, pack something to eat. Having a snack is always good in case of hunger, and even to keep you awake and staying focused during class.
18. Frat Houses
Some people love them, and some people hate them. Be careful, and never go alone.
19. Choosing a major based on pay
If you choose what you're going to be doing for the next 50 years, you better choose something you enjoy. If you choose something based on pay, the money happiness will fade and you'll hate your job. Choose something even though it may not be popular.
20. Judging others
College is a time of expression. Applaud the kid riding a scooter in his pajamas. Allow others to become who they are. Holding onto judgements will cost you a lot of friendships.