To all the incoming freshman, you are about to embark on one of the most overwhelming, whirlwind transitions of your life. I know I could barely think straight as the last weeks of summer dwindled down. I was frantic: going from place to place trying to see all my high school friends before move-in, making last-minute trips to the Container Store and Target and coming to accept the fact that I was moving away from home and was going to be on my own for a change. While I had the support of my friends and family, I wish I had someone to give me advice for the upcoming year aside from "don't leave your drink alone at the party and go to office hours." So here are some things that I wish I heard before I headed to Homewood campus.
1. Take the classes you want to take, not the ones you think you need to take.
College is the time to explore your interests. I know you might have your heart set on one major and might even be trying to knock out as many major requirements in one semester as possible, but keep an open mind. You might be missing out on something pretty awesome and maybe something even better than what you initially intended to study.
2. Know when to say yes and when to say no.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but this was actually one of the hardest lessons I had to learn my freshman year. Of course, when someone asks if you want to go out to a party, you want to say yes. You get to have fun, meet new people, etc. But there's going to be those weekends when you need to stay in and work on that lab report or that paper. Remember to balance your academic life and your social life. You don't have to go to every single party, but you also don't have to lock yourself in the library every weekend.
3. Stop being lazy; go exercise.
I cannot emphasize enough how real the freshman 15 is. Just do yourself a favor... go to the gym. Not only is it gonna burn the calories you drank in pong, but it will also alleviate the stress you have about your upcoming midterm.
4. Go to class.
I know this one also seems like a lousy piece of advice, but trust me. There's going to be days when you're so tired and you feel like you lack the motivation to even get out of bed, but I'm telling you, missing class in college is not the same as in high school. It's not as easy to bounce back, showing up to class sometimes even counts towards your grade and I can guarantee you that once you miss one class, you'll miss another, and then another, and then will abandon that class altogether and will be royally screwed for the exams. Go to class -- you paid a lot of money for it.
5. You're going to lose touch with a handful of people from high school.
This was kind of hard for me to accept at first, but it's inevitable. With everything going on in your life and being away from everyone back home, it's nearly impossible to maintain every single friendship and relationship you had before you left for college. But on the same note, don't forget about your friends from back home because you're so excited about all your new college friends. Make the effort to reach out to them--the occasional FaceTime call or text goes a long way.
6. You don't need your entire wardrobe from home.
In high school, I dressed up pretty much every single day. This was definitely not the case my freshman year. Sure, there were some days I would put a little more effort into my outfit, but let's be real... you're going to be tired, stressed out, and won't care enough to wear anything but leggings and a sweatshirt to lecture. Still bring your nicer clothes, a few business casual clothes, maybe even a formal outfit and of course your party clothes. But you don't need to bring everything. It'll just take up unnecessary space in the dorm.