As summer begins to quickly wind down, the preparation for the start of school begins. For many young adults, that means starting a new adventure. That adventure being college.

College is a big change for any person. For most, this is the first time you're leaving your parents to go live on your own and start being an "adult." This also means leaving all of the friends you've made growing up. It can be a hard transition but it can also be the best time of your life.

The start of your college career can be the beginning of many firsts. This is the first time you get to live on your own without your parents being around you 24/7. Having the chance to be without them gives you a lot of freedom. The freedom you've probably never had before. Don't take this freedom for granted. Be smart about this new sense of freedom you now have in your life.

This also might be the first time you've ever gone to parties and been around alcohol. That can bring peer pressure into your life and people may try and do things you aren't comfortable with. It's okay to stand your ground and say no. Make the choice you want and be smart. The people who judge you for it aren't the people who are meant to be in your life.

College also brings a big change to your schooling. College is different than high school. The workload will become large and can build up over time. If you go to class, it will make those classes much easier. Take the time to study and do work. Procrastinate when you want but don't let it go for too long. Don't be the student that is begging your professor for an extension on a paper you waited the day before to start. Respect your professors and your professors will respect you.

Make friends. This is your chance to meet people from all over. Depending on what college you decided to go to, you may have the opportunity to meet people from all over the country and all over the world. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to someone new.

Explore the area around your college if you have a car and can drive. If you don't have a car, make friends with someone who has one. During the fall, if there is a corn maze nearby go to it. At winter time, go see Christmas lights. Just because you're away at school doesn't mean you have to miss out on all of the fun holiday festivities.

Leaving home will be weird and scary for the first time. You will miss your family, friends, and even your pets. We are lucky to live in a time where we have technology. If you're feeling homesick, facetime them or call them. Being away from home and where you're comfortable will be new. Take this new adventure and enjoy it!