1. Accept your new sleeping schedule (or lack of).
In high school everything was scheduled. I woke up at 6:30 every day and went to bed at 10 every night. College, on the other hand, is taken hour by hour. Will I sleep through the day or pull an all-nighter? Am I going to fall asleep in lecture or stay up until 4AM writing papers? This isn’t something college students decide, it just sort of happens.
2. Develop a coffee addiction, if you don't already have one.
As a branch off of step 1, this is an aid in sleep deprivation. Without the help of coffee around the clock, college would be a sad experience with students stumbling around like zombies. Coffee should become your new best friend, if it isn’t already, because it saves lives. So ditch the decaf and live life the right way.
3. Find a source for sustenance.
If you enjoy cooking and have the time for it, you may skip this step. If not, you will need to find a reliable food source so you don’t starve. It’s hard to make it through the week without Mom’s comfort dinners, and the dining hall is a sad alternative, but even horrible food can do the job of keeping you alive. As a broke college student, you don’t actually have to eat ramen noodles every day, but that’s the nice things about being an adult, you can do whatever you want.
4. What is laundry?
Because you’ll obviously be spending all your free time studying and doing homework, I advise you to have enough underwear to last the entire year. Since classes are two days apart, no one will even notice if you wear the same outfit two days in a row. If it doesn’t smell or have a stain, wear it, and if it does, still wear it.
5. Accept the freshman 15. Welcome it.
The freshman 15 is a very real thing, but why stop there? Why not the freshman 50? With the dining hall buffet offering endless cycles of every variety of food known to man, I say, go big or go home. Walking to classes and utilizing the free gym helps prevent excess weight gain, but don’t hate yourself if it happens.
6. Straight A’s? LOL, good luck.
In high school I had straight A’s and was salutatorian. It wasn’t easy, but it was manageable. High school teachers care about you and will work with you to achieve the grade you might want. College professors, on the other hand, do not care at all. They might not even know your name by the end of the semester. In college you’re on your own, but with an influx of information continually flooding you, it’s never possible to be fully prepared for tests and finals. Study hard, and do all your work, but know that some professors have their hearts set on depriving you of an A, no matter how hard you work.
7. Be prepared for a plethora of tears, and erratic mood swings.
Lack of sleep, exceeding amounts of stress, and a deep homesickness for your family can cause random spurts of breakdowns and waves of emotions to come and go. Finals week is the worst of all, so ignore it at all costs until you can’t anymore.
8. Make friends in your classes.
You might sit by someone the whole semester and only remember them as, “the girl from chemistry with the pink backpack.” But if a chemistry emergency strikes, she just might become, “the girl from chemistry wearing the pink cape,” because she’ll save your life and GPA. Also, if you’re struggling, it’s nice to have a buddy to struggle with together for support.
9. Have fun and enjoy the best four years of your life.
It’s all about balance, or whatever. The cliché word “balance” applies to college because students must learn time management, and find ways to equally maneuver time spent studying, socializing, partying (JK Mom), and whatever else they wish to do with their time. Have fun in college, but keep your grades up and remember why you’re there in the first place.
10. Go exploring and try new things.
Most likely you moved away from home and to a strange and unfamiliar city. Explore the new city around you, discover local restaurants and coffee shops, and go on adventures around your new home. Try something new and make memories. Take full advantage of college and enjoy the last few years of not having to face the real world full of real responsibilities.