Going to college is simultaneously exactly what you’d expect and completely different. The environment is more adult-like and calm than the incessant chaos that comes with high school. Some days you only go to one class, and others, you spend your time in school from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. You will have some of the best and worst experiences of your life. Here are nine things I wish I knew.
1. You will spend the majority of your time alone.
College is much lonelier than I expected. It’s rare that you and your friends’ schedules will line up, including lunch. You’ll have to learn to eat by yourself and do what you normally do alone. I didn’t like to walk to classes alone in high school, much less be alone for the entire day. But, it’s okay. I’ve embraced it. I don’t mean you’ll be alone in a crowd full of people or a classroom. However, if your friends don't have the same major and exact classes as you, you won’t see them unless your breaks line up. It’s depressing, honestly. But, you learn to live and see them on the weekends or during holidays and you are more grateful for their friendship than ever before.
2. There is more walking than you'd expect.
If you don’t like to walk, I have one piece of true, but tough advice: get used to it and get over it. There’s nothing you can do about it honestly. Learn to embrace your morning walks and think of them as some time to be with your thoughts and get in some exercise. Use headphones on the way to your classes.
3. You will gain much and lose much.
Including but not limited to: friends, weight, and knowledge. It’s apart of being an adult. Don’t freak out too much when you gain weight or lose friends or feel like you’ve lost your intelligence. You’ll go back to normal eventually. College is a big change and your whole body has to adjust. Give it time.
This is simple and easy. College students aren’t catty and are more accepting (although there are a few still stuck in high school. Ignore them). People will like you more if you are yourself and you may find yourself friends with a variety of people. Laugh. Be weird. It's okay.
5. Get to know your classmates.
Be your classmates’ friends, not for the study groups you could form, even though those are nice, but for the friendship you could form. You walk into a class you don’t think anyone you know is in but hey, there’s that guy/girl you talked to the other day. Now you have someone to talk to. Don’t be afraid. Chances are they want the company just as bad as you do.
6. Not every day is perfect and not every day is a train wreck.
Every day is different. I have a different routine and different plans every day but not a different life. Some days you will spend crying your eyes out and others you feel like you’re on the top of the world, Sometimes within the same day. Be prepared to fail, too. It’s a part of life and apart of college too. You’ll be okay.
7. Time management is key
Breaks in college can range from 40 minutes to two or three hours. I know it’s tempting, but you can’t spend that entire time relaxing and playing on your phone. Use that time to finish homework or study. However, treat it as a case-by-case basis. Some days you desperately need that relaxation time and others you’ll spend studying. Get into a groove and judge carefully. Invest in a watch.
8. Don't be afraid to explore or try new things.
This is your one chance to explore the world, foods, friends and people without repercussion.(note: I’m not telling you to do drugs or things of the sort. That will have consequences).Try a new food at the dining hall. Chances are it’s a buffet. Get a tiny bit of it, so not to be wasteful. If you hate it, you can always get more. Learn who you are.
9. Your professors do not care (half of the time).
Yes, the rumors are true. Some of them won’t know your name and some of them know you as a person. Some of them don’t work with you or even care about you. However, some of them genuinely care for your well-being. Stay on their good side and you’ll be fine, but don’t be afraid to see them in their office. They’re not so scary.