Whether you are just entering your first year of college or finishing it up, congrats. You've started a journey of a lifetime! College is a time of many mixed emotions and brand new adventures. For incoming students, college can be intimidating—you’re living somewhere new, immersed in new a community with people you’ve never met before, taking new classes where studying is essential for success and you’re trying to figure out this whole “adulting” thing. There are so many different words that sum up exactly what the college experience is like, so I compiled a list of seven that precisely describe what college is like during your first year.
First and foremost, college is a fun time full of new experiences that are exciting. You meet so many new people that you click with, bond with, and grieve over homework assignments with. You experience new activities, sporting events, campus events, and clubs. You're finally diving into classes that really interest you—say goodbye to classes you took in high school that were strictly required and say hello to classes that are geared more toward your major. Sure, you'll have generals to complete but you can mostly be selective when it comes to picking your classes.
College will keep you busy. You'll be juggling classes, your social life, extracurricular clubs, activities, work, sleep and the list goes on. You'll quickly learn that a planner is your best friend and crucial in order to stay organized. Just remember it's important to take time for your self every now and then. Sometimes you just need to enjoy a night in or chill with only a few friends (or even by yourself) to relax, de-stress and take everything in.
3. Extremely social
You'll be busy with your schedule and keeping up with assignments, but you'll also be busy staying on top of all the social aspects of college. Being on campus, there are constantly opportunities to meet new people and hang out with them. You'll meet all different kinds of people from all over the country and even world. For extroverts, they'll thrive on this. For introverts, they'll need a break occasionally. No matter what category you fall under or if you're a mix of both, it's a part of college that mostly everyone enjoys. So be kind to the people you meet and be excited about meeting people. College goes by quickly, it's a time of your life to live up and enjoy!
College life thrives on new experiences. Every where you turn you'll find adventurous things to try or lively people who create adventurous situations. Don't be afraid to trying something new. Step outside of your comfort zone and take a class that you normally wouldn't, join a club you've never been a part of before, go to college sporting events and be spontaneous. Work on finding a balance between your academic life and social life, after all the hard work and the things you've accomplished, you will have earned it.
Now, on a serious note, college is extremely academic. Welcome to the nights where you pull all-nighters to study for exams and finish up homework. There will be times where you might wing assignments but most of the time you'll really need to take your studies seriously. After all, college isn't cheap. You're paying a lot for your education, so make the most of it. College is the time grow in your interests and classes that you enjoy. Your future employers will be mindful of your resume, so invest in a lot of experiences that are beneficial to your career.
There will be times where the deadlines, stress, and homesickness gets to be a lot. You'll be dealing with your grades and challenging professors, people and even classmates. Just wait until you experience group projects in college, those are the definition of challenging. There will be days where you might question everything you're studying and even yourself, but don't give up. You have a lot to work toward. Remember what you came here for and surround yourself with people who make the experience and work enjoyable.
When the college days get tough (and I hate to break it to you, you'll at least have one), it's important to remember how truly rewarding it is. You're doing this experience so you can get an education in something that interests you. You're growing your God-given gifts and talents so you can thrive in the field of your interests. It might be a bit demanding at times, but in the end I promise you it will be worth it. So realize how beneficial your college experience is, embrace the challenges and throw creativity and ambition at it. After all, college is just another chapter of your life that you only enjoy for a period of time. Make the most out of it. You'll only experience this time of your life once.