College: Expectation vs Reality
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College: Expectation vs Reality

It is never what you expect...in the best way possible.

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College: Expectation vs Reality

Dear Incoming College Freshman,

I am a college freshman this year myself and I can honestly say that going into this, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. High school is a completely different ballgame, and that is not hard to see. The anticipation for college is something that most students go through, thanks to movies, books, and television shows that portray it as something completely extraordinary (albeit dramatic).

College can be hard! On my first day of classes, I was told that a high school student who got straight A's could easily drop to a C average in college. Before you even think about stepping foot into your classes, think about who you are and how you succeed in things. Even if you never studied before in your whole life - STUDY NOW. Seriously, trust me. College is a way different environment, you won't be moving from classroom to classroom with the same group of people, eating lunch with them each day or participating in the same after-school clubs and activities. Learn to adapt to new rules and lectures.

Responsibility is KEY. Do not expect college to be a place where you're able to rely on someone to tell you where to go, what to do, or even who to be. In college, you are the adult, especially if you live on campus, and there is nobody else that control you. You have to have a level of maturity to apply, schedule classes, and adjust your free time accordingly. There isn't room for error when it comes to living your life in college, so make sure you are paying attention to what you're doing and make smart choices.

Get used to sharing. If you live on campus, chances are you were not lucky enough to get a single-efficiency dorm room. That means the dreaded one-word situation that every incoming college student fears: roommates. Going in blind is one of the worst feelings in the world, you're anxious and stressed that the roommates you are assigned with are either crazy, messy, snobby, or all of the above. But, breathe, because most colleges have a little housing questionnaire you fill out so you get roomed with people who are similar to you! Roommates are way less scarier when you actually get to know them, as well. So, if you get your dorm/roommate assignments at the end of the summer, find them on social media and be-friend them! Early introductions can be beneficial in not only meeting them officially, but in figuring out what you need to get for the dorm room, whether it be toiletries, mini fridges, or in my case, a Walmart toaster. That being said, SHARING IS NOT ALWAYS CARING. Of course, be-friend your roommate(s) first, but don't be scared to tell them that the almond milk in the fridge is yours. Label the food you don't want eaten, and live by this rule: NO NAME, FAIR GAME.

Learn to accept help. Whether it be in the classroom through tutors, or in your dorm room through friends/roommates, talk to someone if you need help. Ask questions in class, utilize research centers and tutoring labs in your library, don't be scared to ask for help that could truly benefit you in the future. Keeping that in mind, college can be extremely stressful and a definite change of pace. Most college campuses offer free counseling and other opportunities to help you mentally relieve tension. Remember that everything on campus is there to help you, so utilize them. Do not waste time feeling alone or unhappy, college is a freeing and unifying experience to which we are all in the same boat. Don't be scared to ask for help, or even to help someone you know that might be struggling.

All in all, just remember that college is about finding who you are as a student and adult, it is about testing your limits in a safe and inclusive space. Don't be afraid to try something new and to step outside your comfort zone! You will meet people that will become lifelong friends, and professors that could potentially make you a little crazy during midterms/finals, but don't freak! Everyone is going through the same unifying experience, so if you really need help, or to vent, or just to run through the courtyard in a pair of cartoon onesies, feel FREE to do so! In fact, if you did run through the courtyard in a cartoon onesie with someone, I'm sure you would start a trend and others would join you.

So RELAX, seriously. Everything is going to be okay so long as you maintain a mature, responsible, serious mindset about getting your education. You are in this place to learn and excel, so do so with finesse!

I am so excited that your journey is about to begin. Buckle up, because you're about to take it by storm.

Sincerely,

Me

P.S. Call your parents or guardians when you miss them. I guarantee that they miss you 10 times more, so don't hesitate to tell them that. Also, homesickness is awful, but a good cup of hot chocolate and a friend's ear will be your safe haven when it comes to curing it, or at least cushioning the blow when it's bad. Keep your head up, you're making them proud.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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