From the moment a high school student is introduced to the idea of college, his or her eyes grow large and their first real adult decisions are made. I'm here to give you a few facts about college which will hopefully help you out in the process. Not only that, but I plan to give a few current college students that, "That's so true" moment.
First off, living with a roommate is not always an everlasting friendship.
You've all heard the stories of older classmates meeting their forever friends due to becoming roommates. Well, I hate to break it to you but it's actually rare that something like that will happen. Of course, I'm not saying you won't meet your lifelong friend, but don't expect your roommate to be that person. Give yourself a smaller scope, maybe look forward to being able to live with someone who has similar interests, or even be thankful it's someone who showers. If you're lucky your roommate will do all those things, and maybe, just maybe be your best friend.
Secondly, worrying about the debt later is NEVER a good idea.
If the college of your dreams is going to be a place that puts you in a boat load of debt, think twice before committing. Although it's hard to think about now, you should start figuring out what kind of payments you'll be making come graduation. Some colleges can range from $400 to $500 a month, depending on where you go. Try to decide if you really want to put yourself in that position before selecting your college.
Third, remember when you thought a five paragraph paper was a lot?
Start cherishing that while you still can. Your first writing class will normally have mandatory four to five-page papers. And not only in writing classes; you'll have papers due in other classes, too. On top of those, you'll have assignments, power points, speeches and other miscellaneous homework due all around the same date. Even if you absolutely despise high school, appreciate the minimal amount of work you have, because you will get bombarded very quickly within your first week at college.
Fourth, for single lads and ladies, be prepared to be attacked with beautiful people.
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High school may have a few good looking people, but college has a ton. You may even feel overwhelmed. Guys who are older and sophisticated, girls who have smarts and personality everywhere you turn. Not only that, but they are all good-looking. A tip of advice is to remember you can't date everyone, and homework always comes first.
Fifth, no you do not need all those textbooks.
Yes, even if the professor says you will use it, you most likely won't. If you buy each textbook you need for a single semester you could be spending upward of over $500. If you rent your textbooks for a single semester, considering you're supposed to save a large amount on renting you'll spend upward of nearly $400. You will open your books on average of about three times, throughout the whole semester. I'm not encouraging you not to buy your textbooks, but I am encouraging you to do some research on the class before binge buying textbooks. There are many websites you can look to find if a professor uses the book, or never uses the book. I highly recommend finding out.
Sixth, the food they serve you at open house is not the food you will be eating all year.
I know that salmon and steak at orientation was good, but trust me when I tell you, the toilet will be calling your name for the rest of the year. Dining hall food is not a home cooked meal whether you want to believe me or not. Everything is processed, so grab your containers and tell your Mom to start saving all the leftovers.
Seventh, if you plan to go home every weekend pick a college close to home.
I know some colleges seem astounding. Large buildings, great reviews, awesome tours, but sometimes home just beats it all. If you feel like college may be your only escape from your parents, think twice. If you need a break from them that badly go to a friends house for a few days, don't commit to a four-year university that is two hours from home. You will regret it, trust me.
Eighth, don't rely on tour guides for reviews on the school.
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Find a student who attends the university and ask them. Tour guides will rave about everything from the classrooms to the cement on the ground. They are paid to make that campus or university seem outstanding compared to all the others. I encourage you to do your own research and take a step further by messaging a real student. I promise they won't care and only a current student can give you the real truth about campus life, and any other questions you may have.
Ninth, quiet hours are a myth.
Yes, I know you've heard that campuses have these so called quiet hours which are strict and followed. That is false. RA's or resident assistants don't care. If the room next to you wants to watch Family Feud on the highest volume while also laughing hysterically at Steve Harvey, after 10 p.m., she will. If the entire swim team wants to bombard the hallway with screams and obnoxious laughs, they will. I repeat again, quiet hours are a myth.
Tenth, college can be fun.
After this list, I may have scared some of you into fear of going away to college. Listen to me, college is an awesome experience that you have to make for yourself. And be prepared to make mistakes along the way. Choosing the right college is not an easy decision, and starting college is even harder than that. If you take your time, and narrow things down the decisions will become easier. Don't rush into things, and listen to others around you. Even though you may think you know what's best for you, sometimes you're wrong.
College is an experience and one which needs to made with great thought and determination. So I will end with saying I have faith in you, and may you choose the right college the first time.