Wow, after four years of high school that (for many of us) felt like jail, you've finally made it to the next step in your future- college. I know you're probably afraid of many things across the spectrum of life like who your friend groups are going to be be all the way to how hard your classes will be. There's so many unanswered questions causing a huge desire for answers. It would be nice if you had a book of what your future looks like; however, only time can tell. Now, you may be reading this because you will hope to find some answers to your questions. While you might be able to, it's important to keep in mind that only YOU and TIME has answers. You have the power to manipulate your time into something valuable and meaningful. Making mistakes is a part of learning the value of life as long as you learn from them.
If you chose to dorm, you must be wondering what your roommate will be like will be like. You might already have an idea through texting or meeting up a few times, but it's no secret that living with someone is different than spending a few hours with them or sending a message. What is important for a healthy relationship with a roommate is open communication. Resentment and built up anger only leads to hating the one home that you're able to call yours. Being honest and open means problems don't get built up and you won't hold on to negative emotions either. You might become best friends with your roommate or you just might not click. Either way, you need to learn to live with them for at least a school year.
Food. One of the most important and often wondered about aspects of college life. Everybody says the Freshman 15 is real... well, they're not lying. Luckily, my school had a salad bar that I spent almost the majority of my meal plan points at. It was often switched up with tofu and couscous, keeping it light and exciting. However, freedom from home means eating foods that might've not been allowed before. Personally, my parents oftentimes cooked for me which is how I learned how important a home-cooked meal is. Even though most dorm food is cooked right in front of you, the way they cook it and what it's made out of isn't necessarily top notch quality. It's important to be conscious of what you're ordering because the calories add up quicker than you may think. Some ways to order healthier are: ordering a sandwich without bread, opting for a water bottle rather than soda, and adding at least one vegetable to each meal. These are small ways to make big changes.
College is expensive. There's no question about that. It is draining of all expenses that you may have. However, there are ways to keep the costs lower and spend less. Something that took most of my money was going out to bars and restaurants. It's important to keep an active social life in your first year because it's one of the most significant times to learn about life. On the other hand, going out takes a lot of your time and money because the newfound freedom and the need to escape dorm food is REAL. If you choose to drink, order a cheaper drink. But ordering multiple of fancy drinks can definitely spike the bill. Keeping your mind set on saving money on drinks is part of accepting the fact that you're a broke college student who can drink a few bud lights rather than a jack and coke every time you go out. But it is important to treat yourself at times if that's the type of drink you're into. Furthermore, limiting the amount of times you eat out is crucial. This is most likely the only year that you'll have a meal plan to take advantage of. Whether you use the meal plan points or not, it's paid for and not using it means it's going to waste.
However, college will be one of the most important and life-changing years of your life. You will find out who you are as a person aside from what your parents have pushed you to be. You find out what it means to live away from home and on your own two feet. You learn the importance of good friendships and happy times. College isn’t a constant bore. It is exciting and a great time to explore new areas of life and expertise. Do what you love, love what you do. You are bound to make many mistakes; however, it’s how you rise up that define who you are. You might get homesick but your parents are always just a phone call away. When I left for college, I would FaceTime my older brother almost everyday because he kept me grounded and could relate to what I was going through a lot of the times.
It’s important to remember that life should be taken day by day. When you try to push the limit every time you go out or when you overwork yourself, you’re eventually going to burn out. Work hard but take moment by moment and savor it. Savor the opportunity that all that is required of you is to explore life and study hard. Life is meant to be taken slowly and enjoyed because it is over before you know it. Don’t stress about the little things and don’t let haters get you down.
As Tina Fey stated: “Do your thing and don't care if they like it.”