It is about that time of the summer that students across the world are getting ready to go back to school. They are buying school supplies, new clothes and getting ready for the upcoming year. Last year, I had more of a different experience because I was preparing for my first year of college. I was constantly hearing things like, "It's going to be the best experience of your life", "It's going to go so fast", "You are going to be so busy!" I was excited and extremely anxious at the same time. I was told a lot of things but these are the things that I wish someone WOULD have told me.
1. It's okay to go home.
I was fortunate enough to live 25 minutes away from my campus and I also had a car. I was always told that it's bad to go home before Thanksgiving because then I would never get used to be at school. I'm not going to lie, I got home sick almost immediately. I did not get lucky enough to stay on campus until November because my grandpa was sick so I was home almost every weekend. AND THAT IS OKAY. Guess what? I still got used to being on campus and I love my campus but I also love my bed and my parents too!
2. Roommates can make great friends.
Whenever I talked about my roommate, everyone said "don't forget that just because you live with someone doesn't mean you have to be their best friend". I was SO lucky that I had a roommate that made a wonderful friend. You spend 10 months living with this person and I guarantee that it's going to be a lot easier and a lot more fun if you are friends with that person. Don't listen to people when they tell you horror stories about their roommates. With communication and support, your roommate can be one of your best friends.
3. Don't worry so much about school.
YES, the number one reason that you are at college is to get an education. I was the kind of person in high school that needed a 4.0 GPA and wanted nothing but straight A's. I went into college with the same mentality and soon realized that I was one 2 a.m. night away from going crazy. College is hard. That is not something I am going to lie about but you need to let yourself have some time away from the textbooks as well. So it's 2 a.m. and you are still up sharing stories of your childhood with your friends? It's going to be okay. The last four hours of cramming for your exam the next day aren't going to be that helpful anyway. Half of the college experience is learning about others and broadening your knowledge. You need to balance academics and enjoying the rest of things college has to offer. You'll be more sane that way.
4. Take risks.
I was never a risk taker. I got to college and I was very skeptical about taking risks and jumping onboard for new journeys. I'm SO glad that I decided to take a few risks. Your first year of college will provide you with many opportunities that will take you out of your comfort zone. Once I stepped out of my comfort zone, I started to realize how amazing the path that I was on was. It's so important to take these opportunities because most of them are once in a life time.
5. It's okay to cry.
I have always been a crier but I had the expectation that no one else in college was going to be as much of a "mess" as I. I was wrong in so many ways. College is a time of intense emotions. I cried tears of joy, sadness, loneliness, stress and grief. This place is your new home and these people are slowly going to feel like family. It's okay to show your true emotions.