Each freshman's first semester away at school is unique, but there are some experiences that seem to be universal. (Trust me. I knew that my 9 a.m. class wasn't ideal when I woke up at 8:55 one morning.) Like "High School Musical" taught us, "We're all in this together."
1. Professors are not as scary as people make them out to be.
Although your professors will have high expectations (this is college, after all), they are human beings just like you. It's okay to stop by their office just to say hello; in fact, this is very important to do because it shows them that you care.
2. Just because you could go to class at 8:30 a.m. in high school doesn't mean you can do it in college.
You are not going to want to get out of bed this early in the morning when you were up late the night before writing your research paper (or watching an entire season of "The Office" on Netflix). You swear to yourself you'll never put yourself through an 8:30 a.m. class again.
3. Although skipping class may be tempting, it will come back to haunt you.
The one day you decide to skip class will be the one day when your professor teaches you five new units and gives you a pop quiz that you can't make up. It always happens this way.
4. You are going to make a lot of acquaintances, but only a few of them will turn out to be your friends.
Welcome Week will bring you lots of acquaintances, but late nights spent crying over stress will show you who your true friends are.
5. You don't really know how to study, but you quickly realize you need to learn.
You never had to study in high school, but now you have to learn how to do it since your success depends on three test grades. (Sometimes, you get lucky and have a few quiz grades to help balance it out.)
6. Naps are essential for survival.
You are going to want to go right back to bed after your 9 a.m. class, and it's okay to do just that. Sometimes, our bodies need to recover from all of the work we put them through.
7. You are going to waste your money on coffee.
Caffeine keeps you going when you have a paper due the next day that you have yet to start writing. Coffee breaks are also a common way for friends to spend time together when there isn't much else to do on campus.
8. These next four (or five) years will determine who you are for the rest of your life.
Although your degree will determine what you will do in terms of your career, you will learn more about yourself than just that. You are going to learn who you are in the face of adversity and in the face of happiness; your first semester at college undoubtedly teaches you that.
College is a journey of ups, downs and all the in-betweens. We have many more semesters to come, each a different piece of our stories. The first semester is special, though; it marks the beginning of an expedition we never could've anticipated.
Cheers to the semesters we have yet to navigate -- and love.