The time is getting closer for my little sister to leave me to go away to school. I try not to think about it because I know that I am going to be very emotional that day. I am so used to her always being close by to me for whenever I need her. Most people aren't close with their siblings, most people fight and bicker 24/7 because that's what siblings do. I am lucky because my sister is also my best friend. We do everything together, and she's the one I go to for all my advice, when I'm having a bad day or when I need a shoulder to cry on.
As her big sister, I feel like I'm always supposed to be there for her, to protect her and to guide her, to make sure she's doing everything that she needs to do to become the best person she can be. Now that it's almost time for her to go, I decided I wanted to leave a list of advice for her when I'm no longer just down the hall from her. She's going to be 2.5 hours away, so it won't be easy for me to just show up at her dorm room to help her.
1. When registering for your classes, don't stress yourself out if you don't get all of the classes you want.
You should try not to procrastinate in making your schedule, but if that happens, don't stress out. Most teachers will take any student that is interested in being in the class. You can register and put yourself on the wait list, and then on the first day of school, show up to class with a sheet of paper for permission for you to join the class. This makes you look eager and interested to be in the class, so they most likely will accept you.
2. Whatever you do, try everything to not put yourself in a night class.
You may think you'll like it better because then you'll get to sleep in, but trust me. Night classes are the worst mistake you could choose. You sit around all day doing nothing, waiting for your night class to start, and once you're in the class, you'll just want it to end. Night classes drag, and teachers cram a whole bunch of information at you and expect you to learn it all in one night. If you absolutely have to take a night class because it's required, I know you'll get by. But do not take one willingly because you will regret your decision. It's better to take early classes and get them over with and then have the rest of your day to do whatever you want.
3. Do not buy your books at the bookstore.
Books are really expensive when you buy them at the bookstore. Chegg is the best site I have found to purchase my books. You can either rent them for super cheap, or buy them for half the price that the bookstore would sell them for. After the semester is over, Chegg will buy your books back so you can earn some of your money back. Other people use Amazon, which I heard is another good site to find cheaper books. You should also wait and make sure the book is actually needed for the class because some teachers say you need the book, so you buy it and then don't actually use it, so you basically just wasted money.
4. Make sure you get an advisor you trust.
Just because you are assigned an advisor, that doesn't mean you have to stick with them. Some people aren't lucky and get stuck with an advisor that doesn't know what they are talking about. They stick them in classes they don't actually need, and sometimes courses that don't count for the major you are going for. Never feel like you have to stay with your advisor because you are assigned to them. You can change advisors at any time. At Rockford University, I have an advisor that knows exactly what he is talking about. He is very informational and puts me in the right courses. Find one you trust, and make sure you are with one that is best for you.
5. Join a club!
This is something I wish I would've gotten involved in. If you join clubs, then you make more friends. You should really take advantage of this because schools offer a club that suits everybody. I promise you, you will find one you love.
6. If you get homesick, I'm always a call away.
Most people go to college their first semester and get homesick. This is completely normal. Stick through it at least a year, and if you still don't like being away from home, then don't feel like you have to stay. If you don't give up and force yourself to try and have a good time, you may grow to actually like being away. Don't just move back home the first time you're homesick because it might just be that you're still getting used to being away. Always remember that you can call me anytime you're feeling sad about being away. Whether it's at 2 a.m. or 10 p.m. Don't hesitate.
7. Always go to class....
I have a problem with my attendance sometimes, and it can definitely affect your grade. Attendance in college is a grade for most teachers, but there is no one stopping you from actually showing up to class. Some teachers will dock you a whole letter grade if you miss too many days, but they address this at the beginning of the semesters. You should try to only miss if you are sick or having a bad day. But like I said, no one is actually forcing you to get out of bed to go. It is all on you to make sure you are attending.
8. Have the time of your life.
Don't be afraid to have fun. Do whatever makes you happy, and try as many new things as you can. Just don't forget about the people back home who love you.
Your big sister.