Advice To The College Class of 2021

Advice To The College Class of 2021

What you need to know about your first semester of college, as told by Gilmore Girls
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Just a few months ago, I wrote to the high school class of 2017. Having just graduated two months prior, I wanted to share some advice for how to make their final year the best. This article was published just before I left for college and many of my friends who are seniors began their final year of high school. Now, a good percentage of high school seniors have received acceptance letters to multiple colleges and for those who chose early decision, their decision was made.

Now, I have finished my first semester of college and I definitely don't have it all figured out, but I know a little bit about the beginning, which for many, will be the hardest part. The college experience begins differently for everyone, but here are some tips on how to survive your first semester in college.

1. Don’t be afraid.

Prior to leaving for college, afraid does not even begin to sum up the emotions I was feeling. It would be my first time away from home and I did not want to leave my family. I grew up in a small town and went to school with the same people for 13+ years. I thought that I would struggle making friends and being away from home. I did a little bit the first few days, but I decided to put myself out there and I met some amazing people. This is a big step toward independence. You have craved independence, but once you get it, you do not know what to do with it. It will take time, but you will figure it out.

2. You actually have to read the books or articles that are assigned.

Procrastination is my middle name. One of my best skills in high school was whipping out a paper on a book that I did not read, the night before it was due. That is not the case in college. I hate to break it to you, but no matter how boring a book or other reading may seem, you have to read it.

When I was assigned to read an article or short story in high school, I saw that as I had no homework. If you do not do the prior night’s reading in college, you cannot participate in the discussion and it is obvious to the entire class. The professor will not care because it was your choice and it will only impact you negatively in the long run. Long story short, do your work.

3. The key to a good relationship with your roommate is communication.

If something your roommate is doing is bothering you, you have to tell him/her before it gets worse. You are both living in a small space, and if you are not communicating it will get awkward. You need to respect each other’s space and let them know if something is up. You do not have to be best friends with your roommate, but you should have a good relationship with them.

Regardless of how different you and your roommate may be, you can get along if you establish respect. When something is not working for you, let your roommate know.

4. Go to the dining hall.

After the first few weeks of living off Sodexo food, my new friends and I were pretty done. We ordered food at least once a week. It was a big waste of money. We realized that, and tried to go to the dining hall more often. Chances are your meal plan has already been paid for, and you should make the most of that. The food is not good, but think of how much you are paying for it. If you do not use those meal swipes, you are wasting money, and if you choose to order food instead you are wasting even more money. You will get sick of dining hall food and you won’t feel like walking there, but you really should go.

5. Cram studying does not work.

All of my tests this semester were either cumulative or on multiple chapters. You will be thankful that you spread out your studying when you get to the night before, because you will realize you know more than you think you do. Cramming will not work when finals week comes around because you will be studying for multiple large tests. You will get a syllabus the first week of classes and it would be a smart idea to go through your syllabus the day you get it and write down all the dates of tests in your planner. By doing that, you will not be surprised, and you can be studying as you go along without the professor having to mention it.

6. College Wi-Fi is horrible.

My high school's Wi-Fi was actually horrendous and I could not wait to go to a school with Wi-Fi that worked. With everyone on their laptops, phones, tablets, and other devices, college Wi-Fi is actually worse than in high school.

7. Sleep.

Going into college, I went to bed fairly early. I did my homework early and was in bed by 9:00. That changed real fast. The first weekend of school, I got really close with some girls on my floor and we were up until all hours of the night. We soon realized that did not work because the 8:00 a.m. classes the next day were a struggle. Being a college student, a lack of sleep is a given. You will be up late finishing papers, projects, studying, or just watching Netflix. You can spend hours studying, but if you are not sleeping well, your grades can suffer.


Congratulations to those of you who have been accepted to colleges. You should be proud and excited. You still have a semester to go before you will be official college students, so appreciate that time. Appreciate the time you have with your family, friends, teachers, and the place in which you have grown up. Do not let senioritis get the best of you. Your college will get a final transcript. Finish strong and prepare yourself for the next step.

Congratulations and good luck!
Cover Image Credit: Time Magazine

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Sorry, not sorry.

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There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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Stop Judging People Based On Other's Opinions

It's rude, judgmental, and most of the time, your views on the person aren't even correct once you meet them.

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Hi, my name is Amanda. Maybe you know me, maybe not. If you do, maybe you have never met me but know of me from someone else. If that's the case, let me tell you a little about myself.

I'm 20 years old, obsessed with Disney and Chipotle. My favorite color is "Robin's Egg Blue." I look mean but have a really big heart.

See how simple that was? I just told you a few small details of myself, and no one even interfered!

Nowadays, people like to assume they know you or know about you based on others and what they have to say. I have had so many people hesitant to approach or get to know me based on a lie from another person, and quite honestly, I've been afraid/less likely to approach someone else based on what I've heard about them. It sucks, especially because you could be potentially missing out on a really awesome person in your life.

It's not right to ruin someone's image of another person due to how you feel/once felt about them. Whenever you have a falling-out with someone or even just don't get along with them, it doesn't mean you stop respecting them as a human being. Yeah, it's easy to be negative or jealous of someone else, but shouldn't we all just hope for the best for each other?

I always feel bad judging a person based on something that someone else has told me about them, and then they wind up being really cool and I was thinking otherwise. It happens so often, I just feel like if you don't personally know a person, your full view of them is because of other people.

Sometimes you get those people who say great things about you, but other times/most times, it's the people who want to see you fall and so they decide to make up crazy things that they think will make you upset. Just remember, they're not true things, and if people refuse to get to know you just because of that, they don't deserve to know you at all.

If you're one of the people that will tell someone false/stretched stories about someone else, I feel bad for you. Obviously, there is something you are unhappy within yourself that you needed to put someone else down for.

NEVER judge a book by its cover or by the reviews you may have read. Not everyone has the same taste as you.

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