What I Wish I Knew Before Coming To College

I've Adapted To College, Yes, But Knowing These 10 Things Would Have Been Nice Beforehand

Adapting to the college life is intimidating yet once you get the hang of it, you will have the time of your life.

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Before going to college, I was very nervous about what might happen with my friendships back home, how much homework I will have, if I will make the right group of friends, etc. I am not going to lie, it did take me a while to adjust to living on my own yet I can officially say I am getting the hang of it.

1. Learn How To Be Good At Time Management

One thing I struggled with during the first few weeks of college was learning how to balance my school work with my social life. Each course load is pretty intense and require hours of homework each week. On top of that, you need to balance out your social life so you can make sure you are still having fun while working toward getting a degree. By learning how to be good at time management, it becomes almost effortless to balance everything out.

2. Join Anything and Everything You Want To Do

When coming to college, I was overwhelmed by the number of opportunities handed to me. The clubs, Greek life, internships, and jobs, there are so many opportunities that you can take advantage of. One thing that I focused on was joining clubs that not only sparked my interest but also clubs that went along with my major. This helped me immensely because I can now start to build up my resume, starting as soon as freshman year.

3. It Is Okay To Feel Overwhelmed

If I tried, I don't think I could count the number of mental breakdowns I've had within just one semester. Whether it be friendships, schoolwork, relationships, it seemed never-ending at times. When running into an issue, all you can do is breathe and try to figure out a solution as quickly as possible. College is stressful in so many aspects and everyone is going through the same thing you are so it is completely okay to feel like it is too much at times. Just remember that whatever the situation may be, it won't last forever.

4. It's Time To Become An Adult

Get ready to clean your own bathroom, set your own alarms, do your own laundry, and make your own food. The world is in your hands now and you control everything. I cherish the times before college when I would wake up to breakfast made by my parents but now I am relying on dining hall food or whatever I can find in my fridge to keep my stomach from growling. This is something that I struggled with at first but now I love being able to do everything on my own. You will find yourself at times wearing the same clothes multiple days in a row because you are too lazy to do your laundry but after all, it's a learning experience.

5. Greek Life Is Amazing

Before coming into college, I was a little hesitant on what I wanted to join when I got here, especially Greek life. I can confidently say that I will never regret joining a sorority. Through all of the friendships I have made, the events, the social life, it is all amazing. Greek life definitely isn't for everyone but if you have an interest in joining, I say you do so.

6. Take Control Of Your Free Time

College is jam-packed with many things on your to-do list. Once you get the time to relax, do it. You do not want to be running yourself out by going out every night or going to every sporting event because trust me, this will start to take a toll on your body. Personally, I love being a busy bee but just being able to sit and relax every once in a while is the best feeling.

7. Deadlines Are Important

In high school, many of us could get away with late assignments due to many excuses but once college hits, it is due when it is due. Getting your assignments in on time could make it or break it for your grade. If you forget to turn in an assignment, chances are you will get a zero and that could damage your grade more than you could imagine. Focus on when things are due and get rid of the habit of procrastinating because it will only help you in the long run.

8. Reach Out To Your Professors

Your professors are there to help you. If you have a question, email them or schedule an appointment during their office hours if you are struggling in a course. Most professors will be happy to help and only want you to succeed. It may be intimidating at first to ask for help but you are here for an education and they know that.

9. Making Friends Is Easy

When you first come to college, everyone is trying to make new friends. Trust me, everyone is in the same boat. Being a social person, this was fairly easy because I love getting to know others. If you struggle with this, join a club, walk around campus, talk to your classmates, or reach out to people in your dorm. Almost everyone is super friendly and you will truly see that it is easy to make friends.

10. Have Fun

College shouldn't be all work and no play. After all, you are here for 4 years and you are in a new environment, so take advantage of that. Have fun but not too much fun because you still want your focus to be school. College goes by a lot faster than you think it does so why not take advantage of all of the good times you are having.

Overall, college is amazing. Having the freedom to do your own thing is by far one of my favorite things. There is so much more advice I could give to students starting their first year in college but for now, the 10 things listed are what I wish I would've known before coming to college.

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12 Dorm Room 'Essentials' That Are Actually A Waste Of Money

If three years of college has taught me anything, it's that I wasted a lot of money and space on things for my dorm room that I never used.

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Now approaching my senior year of college, there are so many things that I have experienced in my three years away that I either look back at and smile just at the thought of or immediately regret. With a younger sister going into her freshman year of college, I hope to teach her as much of those lessons I learned in advance so she doesn't make the same mistakes as me. One of the most important things I learned after moving in and out of dorm rooms and apartments for three years is what should and shouldn't come with you to school. Because, let's be real, as much as we want to pack away our entire lives and fit them in our minuscule dorm room, not everything is necessary.

However, knowledge is power, and I don't want to just save my sister from making those mistakes. That's why I'm here to share the 12 things that aren't necessary for you to bring to school:

1. A Keurig/coffee maker

While living in an apartment and having all the space in a kitchen for a coffee maker and the time to make my own hot drinks, having a Keurig was a godsend. But I'm going to be completely honest, as someone who wanted a Keurig so badly before freshman year...I rarely used it when I lived in the dorms. Between having meal points to buy my own coffee and just never having the time or energy to make it in the morning and then clean the dishes afterward, it just wasn't worth the waste of money and space.

2. A giant television

You may see pictures of dorm rooms and see students with giant televisions along their window or squished onto their desks. But unless you're living in a larger apartment, having a huge flat screen TV has no purpose for a small dorm room. There are TV's usually all over campus, especially in the common rooms that are free for you to use. If you really do feel like you need a TV in your dorm, a smaller one will suffice, because anything larger is going to take up some much-needed room.

3. Any type of hot plate/mini grill, etc.

Besides the fact that these are banned in most dormitories anyways, it's not smart to sneak one of these into your rooms. I can't tell you how many people I know that have accidentally started a fire in the dorm room from using a toaster they snuck in or a special "grilled cheese grill." The dining halls will have everything you could possibly want and need, and most dorm rooms come with a mini fridge and microwave to supplement anything further.

4. Candles

I'll admit, I am guilty of using these my sophomore year of college. Do I regret the millions of times I freaked out because I almost lit my dorm room on fire? Absolutely.

It's not worth it. Your RA will probably catch you, it's not worth the risk of accidentally setting your shoebox-sized dorm on fire, and the smoke detectors in those rooms are so sensitive that you're bound to set them off.

5. A printer

Unless you're living off campus in an apartment, there really is no reason to have a printer in your dorm room. There are tons of printers throughout the different buildings of every university, and most allot a certain amount of sheets for you to do your printing. Printers are big and clunky, hard to store, and the ink is very expensive. Don't consider buying one unless you plan on moving off campus.

6. An iron and ironing board

Take it from someone who absolutely hates wearing wrinkly clothes, the whole iron and ironing board duo was not a smart move my freshman year. It took up way too much room and when I did actually want to iron, it was so annoying to find a spot to do it in my small room.

If you're really obsessive about having non-wrinkled clothes like I am, you can invest in a mini steamer, which is super cheap, stored extremely easily because they're so small, and work just as well as an iron. I ended up swapping out for one of these my sophomore year and loving it so much more.

7. Bean bag chairs/Folding chairs

Any extra seating for a dorm room is honestly unnecessary besides the standard desk chairs that come with the dorm. The floor space is so limited that taking it up with any other large items is going to make it extremely difficult to navigate around your room. Also, when your friends come to hang out, they usually will end up just sitting on your bed or your desk chair anyways.

8. A body pillow

I don't really know what the use of these things are. I had one freshman year, and it laid against my bed the entire year and I never used it. I just found laying on it extremely awkward and uncomfortable and it was just so big that it took up too much room on my already tiny Twin XL bed.

9. A laundry hamper

A stand-up laundry hamper is just going to take up way too much space that you don't have. Instead, invest in some nicely made laundry bags that you can put your dirty laundry in and just easily carry over to the laundry room. A lot of stores even make special bags that differentiate between lights, darks, and delicates so the sorting is already done for you before you do your laundry.

10. A vacuum

While the idea of having a vacuum is nice, and I myself have had one all three years, it just took up way too much room in my dorm and I later found out you could just rent one from the commons whenever you wanted to clean your floor. Most universities do have cleaning supplies for rent, such as brooms, swifters, vacuums, etc., so there's no need trying to fit all of those in your closet.

11. A million throw pillows

While they'll make your bed look cute, making your bed every single morning and remembering where to put the millions of decorative pillows can become very annoying, not to mention finding a place to put them whenever you turn down your bed.

12. Picture frames

While having tons of pictures in your dorm room is nice, and I say the more the merrier, bringing physical picture frames is just a waste because there's not much shelf or desk place to place them. Instead, find a cute wall decoration that holds photos or clips to hang them from your wall. It'll save a ton of space and also cover up those bare, ugly dorm room walls.

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