For those of you entering your freshman year of college, this is for you. As freshman year started, I was tangled in emotions. Leaving my home which I lived in for almost 18 years, leaving the best friends I had known since elementary school, and most importantly, the luxury of having my own bedroom. Even though you have probably said to yourself many times during your senior year of high school how ready you are to graduate and start college, I want to remind you to take each day at a time, as college is often an adjustment period.
First of all, know that things are not going to be amazing right away. One thing I personally struggled with was expecting to just jump into college with a group of friends that I could love, and be as close with in comparison to the ones I had been friends with for years on end at home.
One thing I wish I had known was that making new friends, let alone best friends, takes time. I suffered from this significantly, as I came into college with great friends from home who I was very close to that I did not want to leave behind.
Something I wish I could have told my self towards the beginning of the semester was to spend less time on my phone texting, calling, and facetiming the friends I had grown up with, and to spend more time being present with the people around me. Sure, it's okay to call your friends from home every now and then, but If you spend more time talking to those you grew up with, you'll miss out on the opportunities to meet great people right in front of you.
Many college freshmen are in a vulnerable state being away from the comfort of their home and family. So, as a result, they tend to act "childish," since there is immense pressure to establish themselves relating to a social hierarchy. However, I am here to tell you not to do that.
You may feel pressured to join this club because your friend you've known for two weeks is saying to do so. You can't let peer pressure control your life. Remember that it is okay to say no every so often.
Let's say you have to study for an exam, but your friends all want you to go out to dinner. It's okay to say no every now and then. Without your parents being around, you are going to have the freedom to do whatever you choose. Remember to make good choices, and surround yourself with good people who will inspire you to be the best version of yourself.
Remember that you are attending college to get an education. With the way college is set up, it is very easy to get distracted by other things going on, such as your roommates, the people on your floor, or the activities taking place on campus; there is lots of freedom to do whatever you choose throughout the day.
Whatever your personal goals may be, it is important to prioritize school work as that is the main reason why students are there in the first place. Try to set a schedule for when you will work on your assignments, whether that be in a study room with friends or by yourself. I've learned that I work best locked up in a room alone listening to focus music.
Another tip is to stay ahead of deadlines. I know the high load of work stress can get to the best of us, but working ahead, reading over the syllabus multiple times, and studying the information days in advance, at little chunks at a time for multiple days, will ensure better grade performances on a test.
Lastly, the first semester of your freshman year is an adjustment period. There are going to be times where you want to cry, and not do anything. Know that after you get used to college, and accept that you are there, try to make the most of it.
Over time, I hope you learn that college can be a wonderful experience.