As a student at Arizona State University who grew up only half an hour away, there's an influx of familiar faces I'm bound to see. Most of the time, I have friends and mutual connections who reach out to me because they have questions about college.
Trust me, I get it.
Luckily, I am the youngest of five girls, so I have plenty of guidance when it comes to navigating the challenges in life that we all experience and college is no exception.
However, some people don't share this luxury, which is why I'm here to tell you a little more about what you should be doing your senior year of high school and what it is like to be a Sun Devil.
1. Fill Out Your FAFSA. No, Seriously — Do It.
I cannot stress the importance of this. Although it is a long, brutal and painful (I'm being dramatic), it's a way for colleges to calculate how much cha-thing you'll from need-based grants, loans and scholarships. The longer you wait, the less you're likely to cash out on and there are lots of resources out there that can elaborate on this topic more.
2. Live On Campus If You Can
I'm not going to lie, living on campus is something I am so appreciative for because it has brought me more convenience, resources, opportunities, socialization and friendships. There really is a sense of community and it really vibes with my personality.
However, I don't think that you should accumulate thousands of dollars in debt if you can't cover the costs. College is expensive, and room and board isn't completely necessary to make your experience memorable.
3. Stay On Top Of Your Stuff, It's Not Over Yet!
Senioritis, I know. You lose a lot of motivation in your last year of high school. Classes seem like a waste of time and you're pretty much ready to dip — but wait, it's still not over yet. Procrastination sneaks up on you and suddenly, you have no motivation for anything.
I still get that way sometimes, too, and I've suffered the consequences so applying yourself when things need to be done is something you should discipline yourself into doing. You'll slip every now and then, but maintaining a healthy balance between workload and relaxation is something you'll pick up on.
4. Don't Be Surprised If Your Friend Dynamics Change
College is a whole world on it's on and things can change when it comes to your friends. The fact of the matter is, you'll grow apart and that happens. You might feel a tinge of loneliness and isolation at some point but the best thing you can do for yourself is appreciate the past, look forward to the future and make new connections for yourself. I found that getting involved with organizations that I'm passionate about on campus is something that made me happier, and it will most likely work for you, too.
5. Live In The Moment
Before you're off into the world, make the most of whatever time you have left. Don't waste it on petty drama or negative attitude because in a matter of days, that all won't matter. Dismiss things in your life that are affecting your positive mindset. High school did me well and it's definitely a bittersweet experience to graduate, but there's so much more to look forward to.
6. Roommates Can Be Tricky
Make the effort to reach out to your roommate before move-in day. You are going to be living, breathing and studying next to this person in a single room, so imagine how awkward it can be if you are complete strangers to one another.
7. Take Advantage of the SDFC
As students on campus, we are privileged enough to have a membership at the Sun Devil Fitness Complex at the end of Palm Walk. It is just a ten-to-fifteen minute walk away from North Campus and it is so worth it. There is something for everyone, whether you're an avid athlete, just trying to build muscle or lose weight, or have some fun.
They have a lot of classes — yoga, cycling — but Grind is by far my favorite. You should stop by to check it out.
8. Get Involved
I cannot stress how diverse this campus is, not just within race and ethnicity, but interests, skills, hobbies. You are bounded to find something to get involved with, whether it be a professional organization, intramural sports, sorority and fraternity life, and more.
Seriously, consider you're options and be proactive at Passport, which is a student organization fair that takes place during Welcome Week. Everyone (and I mean everyone) is there. It's ridiculously huge. As a freshman, I took this as an opportunity to get involved in the Residence Hall Association and the Programming and Activities Board because they resonated with my passions and me.
9. Moving In Is A Breeze
I'm incredibly thankful that Arizona State University has an entire group of volunteers to help you bring your stuff up during move-in day. Naturally, I overpacked, but having people in bright service t-shirts wheel your stuff up in a matter of minutes is impressive.
10. Undecided? That's OK
On average, college students change their major three times. You don't have to know what you want to study because the first two years are meant to give you time to explore different courses. It is only until upper-division that you begin to focus more on what you are pursuing.
Don't get me wrong — the sooner, the better — but you definitely aren't alone on this. I highly suggest setting up an appointment through the MyASU portal with your advisor to figure some things out because it is a resource that I've used for questions, reassurance and help.
All in all, this is stuff I have learned from personal experience that I want to pass on to strangers and friends who can use a tip or two.