Here's a couple things that I learned during my first week of college.
1. If you wear your ID on a lanyard and wear the free shirts you get on the first day, everyone will know you're a freshman.
Of course there's nothing wrong with this, but you will stick out like a sore thumb. The first few days are filled with activities and events held by the college in order to get to know people and make friends so you're not alone in this new, foreign place. Upon leaving these, you will have a variety of new possessions. Now while this is actually pretty awesome (free = amazing), each of these items are freshman badges. Walking around during the following days, there was a flood of students wearing the exact same t-shirt that we were all given on the first day, complete with the lanyard that came along with it. Not only do other freshmen notice, but upper class men do as well.
I know my main goal was to just fit in, blend in with the crowd because I'm the type of person who doesn't like too much extra attention. I didn't want to stand out and be seen as "the clueless freshman". However, I'm not here to tell you that this is the way you have to be. If you like the lanyard and you like the shirts, please wear them. They need someone to.
2. Go to class early because you might get lost.
My second tip I hope is an obvious one. Yes in high school we all had getting up at the last minute possible to get to school two seconds before the bell rings mastered. However, this is a different ballgame. If you go to a bigger university like I do, you'll know that those 10 minutes spent walking to your class is tiring enough, so why would you want to run it. Not only does this save your energy, you won't have to sit in the very back of your 300+ class next to the guy who fell asleep and is drooling everywhere (yes, it happens).
3. You don't have to dress up for the first day. Or at all.
In high school I always planned out my "back to school" outfit days ahead and had it perfectly laid out for when it was time to go. I would try to dress nice, or at least decent, in the beginning of every school year. It would never last, but at least I tried, right?
College is a completely different story. For my first day I started out with shorts and a t-shirt and my hair was in a hideous bun on the top of my head. I bet you can guess how happy I was to walk out of my dorm to see thousands of other students dressed the exact same way. Again, I'm not trying to tell you not to dress up, because if you want to, do it. I just want you to know that there's no pressure to do so. Nobody will judge you for wearing the same shirt that you slept in and the fact that your hair looks like it could have something living in it. The only day I dressed "nice" was yesterday when I wore a dress. However, I deserve no credit because the only reason I wore it was because I didn't want to put pants on.
4. Nobody cares about what you're doing.
This is probably one of my favorite things about college. Everyone is so wrapped up and busy with what they're doing, so they don't have time to worry about anyone else.
My friend and I spent hours exploring and walking around campus and when we ended up needing a break, we sat on the edge of the sidewalk. At first, I figured that everyone walking by would look at us weird and complain under their breath. We all know that that's exactly what would have happened in high school. However, I was surprised when not one person even turned their head. This also went for many other things as well. Walking around campus, not one person looked at you twice and if you wanted to lay down on a bench and take a nap, go ahead because not one person would care.
5. It's okay to miss home.
My final tip would be to make sure you know that it's okay to be homesick. The first night I moved in I was so busy putting things away and tired from moving that as soon as I laid down I was out like a light. However, the next night, as soon as my head hit the pillow it was flooded with thoughts of those that I loved and how they were hours away from me. I'm lucky enough to have a car with me and I don't live too far away, but that doesn't make it any easier because at that very moment it felt like they were in another country. I missed them greatly and a few tears managed to drip onto the pillow. I never said anything to my roommate or other girls on my floor about it because I didn't want them to think I was a baby, that I was weak. But a few days later one girl voiced that she missed her family, and one after another, girls started to admit that they did too.
It was stupid for me to try and act like I didn't. If you think about it, if you go to college and you don't miss home, then something is wrong.
While those aren't the only things I've learned and as the days pass by there's something new every single day. However, those are the ones that stuck out to me the most. But whatever it may be, just remember that you are not alone and that there are at least 100 people that are going through the exact same thing as you.
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