As an injured dance major, one could only guess that my first semester was nothing what I planned it to be. I was lost for a while and went through many difficult situations, but opening myself up to new things helped me fall in love with Rutgers and adjust to a new life at college.

1. Open your mind

In college, you will meet many people from different walks of life. Nothing will seem to compare to your friendships from home, but you must open yourself to everyone. Be friendly and invite people to activities; you cannot just sit in your dorm constantly. Making new friends takes time, but when you make friends, they are bonds you cannot replace.

2. It’s OK not to know what you want to do

College seems like a dream to high school students now and they may think their major was made for them. It will not always be that way; you will face difficulties and question your choices. Take time to think about your future and what truly is the right path for you. Also, it never hurts to have a backup plan. Like my dad always tells me, “I wanted to be a lawyer, but I ended up with a masters in finance. You never know what life will throw your way." Adulthood is a crazy and scary world.

3. Get involved

If you’re extremely shy or having difficulty making friends, getting involved is a great way to meet people. Joining a club, charity group, or Greek life gives you the opportunity to be with people who share similar interests.

4. Managing your time isn’t easy

Your parents are no longer here to nag you about what you need to get done. You are on your own in college; time management is completely your responsibility now. My planner is my best friend now. In there, I can organize exact dates and times of events and due dates.

5. Never wait until the last minute

In high school, I always had a busy schedule to handle. I am not proud to state this, but I completed big assignments very last minute; however, my assignments were always handed in on time. This will not slide in college. I have learned to save the stress and take advantage of any free time to gradually complete assignments

6. Find something you love and never let it go.

Recently, I was told by my doctor to find something you love to do in order to distract yourself from stress. Try new things: binge watch a new show on Netflix, listen to a new genre of music, take new classes at the gym. As a dancer, I always relied on my sport to escape from life. Once I injured my foot, I felt as if I had nothing to help me forget about various issues I faced at college. I began to write on Odyssey and found a new passion. :-)

7. Adjusting to a new environment will take time

Adjusting to a new environment is never easy, especially when being alone. Do whatever you can to get involved, focus on school work, and make friends! Don’t make quick decisions because getting used to a new environment is difficult. If you’re quick to make decisions, you may never know what your school has to offer and how much you could love it.

To high school seniors preparing for a new adventure in college, take this advice now. Arriving to college prepared for a balance between long hours of work, class, and a social life will put you one step ahead.