You know how people say time flies and it only goes faster as you get older? Yeah, the thing you never believed when you were growing up. Well, now that I am 20 years old and halfway done with college, I can say that that expression is 100% true. Last time I checked, I was in high school hanging out with my friends every day. Then I blinked and I’m halfway done with college. It’s crazy. The past few years have been a crazy ride; they’ve changed me as a person and I’ve learned more than I ever did in high school. I know I’m not completely done yet, but I thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned up to this halfway point.
1. Most, if not all, the people you meet in your freshman seminar class will not be your friends.
When you start college, you have this amazing idea in your head that you’re going to meet a ton of new friends, and you will, they probably just won’t be from the seminar class.
2. Going away to school might not be all it’s cracked up to be.
I went away to school my first year of college. I thought it was going to be so much fun, I was going to be best friends with my roommate, and I would finally get to be on my own and call my own shots. Yeah, well, that’s not at all how my experience was. I hated my roommate, I basically had no friends, and I would have killed to be living back at home again. I tried it and it wasn’t for me, and that’s okay.
3. It’s okay to change your mind.
Whether you decide you want to transfer, you don’t like your major, you want to switch roommates, whatever the case may be, it’s okay to change your mind. You don’t have to have your entire life figured out once you get to college. That’s what college is for – trying new things, making mistakes, learning from them, and figuring out what you want to do with your life.
4. You’re suddenly the one giving college advice to younger friends or family members that you may have.
Not too long ago you were the one receiving the advice, and you were trying to take it all in. Now, you’re the one giving the words of wisdom. It’s a strange feeling and it definitely makes you feel old and maybe even sound depressed because, let’s face it, college is tough.
5. It’s okay to do things alone.
At one point, especially in high school, walking the halls or basically being anywhere without a friend with you seemed so far-fetched. Now, no one really cares. I always see people roaming the campus by themselves or sitting at a bench alone. No one looks at you weird like they would in high school.
6. You’ll try to keep your high school friends close, and while it may work, things will be different.
I’m lucky to say that my high school group is still together and we still hang out when we’re all home, but things are different. It’s definitely not how it used to be. We don’t see each other everyday like we used to and new friends have been made. It doesn’t mean we care about each other any less, these girls will be in my life forever, but things are definitely different.
7. Be smart with your money.
My freshman year of college, I blew through a lot of money. I used my debit card for everything, and a lot of it was unnecessary. Spend your money on the necessities first, then if you have some money left over, go out to eat with your friends every once in a while or buy yourself some new clothes. Just don’t spend it all in one place.
8. You probably have more credits completed than you think.
I came in with a semester done already from my college credits from high school, plus my year away, so I was always told I could possibly graduate a semester early, but I always felt like I had a lot more credits to finish and it would be too hard to graduate early. When I met with my advisor to make my junior Fall semester schedule, I actually have most of my major and minor credits done and I can actually pretty easily graduate a semester early. Check with your advisor when you make your next schedule, you just might be surprised.