You've copped your acceptance letter, you made your commitment announcement on Instagram, and Mommy bought you $500 worth of merch from the school bookstore to parade yourself around in on May 1st. Congratulations, you're going to college!
Everyone knows how irritating the college application and decision process was, so feel free to pat yourself on the back. The easiest part is over.
You can forget about that 4.0 you so happily flexed in high school, it's irrelevant now. Now, your GPA problems lie in trying to maintain a 3.0 so you can stay in your program.
Let's start with the ultimate freshman phase nightmare - the dorm room.
You DO NOT need to buy out Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond. At all. I learned this late. Sometimes, less is more.
Decorations are a different story. You shouldn't go ham with twenty pillows on your bed. I had three and my bed felt like heaven. Just saying. Keep it cozy, a few pillows, lights, and a tapestry and some wall stuff. You don't need chandeliers, headboards, 20 different mugs, desk organizers… the list goes on.
I'm not going to lie, those light boards with the interchangeable letters are quite fun, especially when you put funny phrases in them. (I always made fun of the Temple mumps outbreak on my friend's board.)
Cleaning supplies on the other hand … you can never have enough of that. So come prepared with shower mats, sponges, anti-bacterial wipes, everything, because you'll need it and want it.
I used one notebook for my entire school year and I still have plenty of room in it for more notes so don't overdo supplies too.
The summer before you move into school, make as much money as you can. Save all that coin you got from graduation and put it away for the fall because you will definitely need it. Whether it be train tickets, subway passes, your 8th cup of coffee for the week, or you need to spend some money on food because the dining hall made you vomit, for some reason you spend your money fast in college.
The next thing you should know - don't be annoying at parties. Don't be those freshmen. Parties aren't everything, and you don't need to get in your Met Gala dress to be in a dirty frat basement sipping Nattys.
On the other hand, academics and community involvement are truly everything and more. In my first year at college, I got involved with a few different clubs and organizations that made me new friends and progressed my skills as an aspiring reporter.
Involvement leads to networking, and networking leads to future jobs. Remember that.
All that "I can't wait to visit you and party" talk you hear from your friends now is bullshit. You'll have maybe two people visit you if you're lucky. Your high school friends will move on quickly, it's the truth. I had 50 people tell me they want to visit me and then maybe two friends came through and they both told me they hated my school.
Most importantly, DO NOT think for even a second you will be "thriving" in college. You will want to be dead. You will be pushed to the end of your physical, mental and emotional endurance just trying to complete academics.
You will be eating garbage. Pizza and cereal will become the primary food groups. It's terribly unhealthy. You won't really have an abundance of friends either, and not everyone you meet is going to be your best friend ever.
I'm as serious as Sandra Bullock was when she gave her kids that pre-blindfolded-adventure speech in "Bird Box."
Have fun starting at the bottom, it sucks at first.