You are getting ready to close one chapter of your life and begin a brand new one. It is easily one of the scariest, yet exciting moments of your life. You are so ready to start a new beginning, yet you do not want to leave everything and everyone from your past behind. Furthermore, you have no idea what to expect when you arrive on your new college campus. You will officially be part of something so much bigger than yourself and that in itself is frightening and so liberating.
In this moment, the most important thing to focus on is your life at home. Spend these last few months cherishing your family. Recognize the value in spending the day with your mom running errands, watching "SportsCenter" with your dad, and just laying around all day with your sister(s) and brother(s).
Do not take the little things for granted while you still have them. Cherish the home cooked meals, waking up to the smell of bacon, eggs and pancakes, snuggling with your pet in bed, and having your own space.
Realize that your high school friends right now may not be the same people in a few months. Just recognize that people change and it is all a part of the process. Within your few months away, you will soon notice the valuable people in your life that choose to be there and that it is no longer on convenience. Your relationships will get more difficult with distance but you have to be prepared for that.
I want you to know that it is OK to be scared. People can give you advice and tell you about their experiences left and right but this will be your journey and it is different for everyone.
Remember that school always comes first. Staying in one weekend to study won’t kill you. College is hard. And to be completely honest, depending on your major, you could be in for a rude awakening. Be prepared for a heavier workload than high school. Know that your professors will not nag you to get your work in or ask you to work harder, but will bend over backwards to help you if you seek the attention.
Be ready to dive into new experiences. Get involved. Join a few clubs, maybe Greek life, or play on an intramural team. Go to campus-sponsored events or even a party or two. Be prepared to meet some pretty great people that you will become inseparable from.
Step onto campus with an open mind. You will meet every type of person you ever thought possible.
Be friendly to all that cross your path because there is a chance that somehow you will be acquainted with them at some other point in the school year. Smile at strangers when walking to class and respect the faculty and staff that help make your college or university a great place.
Begin to look forward to this exciting moment in your life, but do not lose track of the great things you have at home. These next four years could be the best four years of your life if you do your part to get the experience you want.