- You have free-time. While college students typically spend less time in an actual classroom in comparison with high school students, the workload is drastically heavier, and thus, time not spent at club meetings or sleeping is spent studying in the library. If you are able to find to time watch Netflix, I envy you.
- You become best friends with all of the people on your dorm floor. Although some floors really do bond, the typical relationship amongst floor mates is a simple “hello” or a toothless smile in the communal bathroom. People may live on the same floor as their best friends, but an entire floor being close is rare.
- College textbooks will drain your wallet. Depending on the specific class and professor, college students may be required to have quite a few textbooks. However, from my experience, most of the texts can be found on online databases, rented, or bought used from Amazon (or if you're lucky your professor will just digitally send out the required readings).
- Your professor won’t know who you are unless you go to office hours. Office hours are a great way to become better acquainted with professors and get further assistance where needed, however, they are not absolutely necessary. Classes under 50 students typically allow opportunity for participation and interaction between the professor and the students. One-on-one time obviously enhances the relationship, but it is possible to overcome anonymity by simply contributing to classroom discussion.
- The first people you meet won’t be your best friends. Many friendships formed during welcome week are surface level and temporary, however, I’ve met many upperclassmen who are still best friends (and some even living) with the people they met during their first week of college– myself included.
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I spent the entire summer before my freshman year of college so WORRIED.
I also spent most of my money that summer on miscellaneous dorm stuff. I packed the car when the time finally came to move in, and spent the drive up excited and confused about what the heck was actually going on.
Freshman year came and went, and as I get ready to go back to school in just a few short weeks (!!), I'm starting to realize there's just a whole bunch of crap I just don't need.
After freshman year, I threw out:
1. Half my wardrobe.
I don't really know what I was thinking of owning 13 sweaters and 25 T-shirts in the first place. I wear the same five T-shirts until I magically find a new one that I probably got for free, and I put on jeans maybe four times. One pair is enough.
2. Half my makeup.
Following in the theme of #1, if I put on makeup, it's the same eyeliner-mascara combination as always. Sometimes I spice it up and add lipstick or eyeshadow.
3. My vacuum.
One, I basically never did it. Two, if I REALLY needed to vacuum, dorms rent out cleaning supplies.
4. Most of my photos from high school.
I didn't throw them ALL away, but most of them won't be making a return to college. Things change, people change, your friends change. And that's okay.
5. Excess school supplies.
Binders are heavy and I am lazy. I surprisingly didn't lose that many pens, so I don't need the fifty pack anymore. I could probably do without the crayons.
Again, I am lazy. I cannot be bothered to wash dishes that often. I'll stick to water bottles and maybe one coffee cup. Paper plates/bowls can always be bought, and plastic silverware can always be stolen from different places on campus.
I love to read, but I really don't understand why I thought I'd have the time to actually do it. I think I read one book all year, and that's just a maybe.
8. A sewing kit.
I don't even know how to sew.
9. Excessive decorations.
It's nice to make your space feel a little more cozy, but not every inch of the wall needs to be covered.
10. Throw pillows.
At night, these cute little pillows just got tossed to the floor, and they'd sit there for days if I didn't make my bed.
If those who knew me in high school hung out with me now, they probably wouldn't recognize me. If my friends from college hung out with me around two years ago, they probably wouldn't recognize me. It's safe to say I've changed... a lot. I definitely find the change to be for the better and I couldn't be happier with the person I've become.
In high school, I would sit at home every night anxiously waiting to leave and go out. Now, honestly, going out is the last thing I want to do any night of the week. While everyone in college is at a fraternity party or at the bars, I prefer to sit at home on the couch, watching Netflix with my boyfriend. That's an ideal night for me and it is exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do a couple of years ago. There's nothing wrong with going out and partying, it's just not what I want to do anymore.
I craved attention in high school. I went to the parties and outings so I could be in Snapchats and photos, just so people would know I was there. I hung out with certain groups of people just so I could say I was "friends" with so-and-so who was so very popular. I wanted to be known and I wanted to be cool.
Now, I couldn't care less. I go to the bars or the parties if I really feel like it or if my friends make me feel bad enough for never going anywhere that I finally decide to show up. It's just not my scene anymore and I no longer worry about missing out.
If you could look back at me during my junior year of high school, you probably would've found me searching for the best-ranked party schools and colleges with the best nearby clubs or bars. Now, you can find me eating snacks on the couch on a Friday night watching the parties through other peoples' Snapchats.
Some may say that I'm boring now, and while I agree that my life is a little less adventurous now than it was in high school, I don't regret the lifestyle changes I've made. I feel happier, I feel like a better person, I feel much more complete. I'm not sorry that I've changed since high school and I'm not sorry that I'm not living the typical "college lifestyle." I don't see anything wrong with that life, it's just not what makes me happy and it's not what I want to do anymore.
I've become a different person since high school and I couldn't be happier about it. I have a lot that's contributed to the change, but my boyfriend definitely was the main factor as he showed me that staying in can be a million times better than a night out. My interests and my social cravings have completely transitioned into that of an 80-year-old grandma, but I don't regret it.
Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can bring a lot more happiness and comfort. The transition from high school to college is drastic, but you can also use it as an opportunity to transition from one lifestyle to another. I don't regret the lifestyle flip I made and I couldn't be less apologetic about it.