Attending college was something I only imagined about for so long in what seemed like the endless years of high school. All of the sudden I have finished my first semester. Here is a list of what I learned while attending my first year at Washington and Jefferson College.
1. People are genuinely nice (yes, really.)
I was so used to the egotistical and narcissistic attitudes of my peers in high school that I was shocked the very first time someone bumped into me and apologized in a meaningful nice manner, or when someone held the door open for me when I was practically ten feet away. The level of polite behavior from people was not something I was expecting to receive, but the maturity that comes along with being in college is something I don't mind getting used to.
2. Fraternity and Sorority members aren't bad.
I always believed the hype that frat boys and sorority sisters were just wild, out-of-control people who just liked to party, be promiscuous, and skip class. I've come to realize that the stereotype doesn't even apply to half of these people that I've come to know. I've met so many intelligent and inspirational members of the Greek life community. I can't speak for all colleges, but W&J's Greek members are actually great people who work hard...even if they do throw an occasional rager or two.
3.The freshman 15 is real.
It's very easy to gain weight when you have control over everything you eat and drink with endless options of greasy yet delicious food and not to mention the free food on Friday's. This can be avoided by picking the healthy options that are also offered, but let's be real, how many people actually want to pick a salad over some popcorn chicken and waffle fries?!
4. You really can do whatever you want.
In high school, skipping class meant a day where you'd have to go in then next day and pick up whatever homework you missed. In college, some professors even allow a number of skip days. There's no need to worry about missing homework because your assignment is probably on the syllabus.
5. Take time away from studying.
I've come to learn that spending a long number of hours in my room has driven me stir-crazy from time to time. It important to take time away to spend with friends. Go for a walk, go watch a movie, or even just hang out. It's healthy to have some human interaction and give yourself a little break.
6. Beating yourself up over a bad grade isn't worth it.
I've learned that it's perfectly okay to not get a perfect A on every test, but it's not okay to not put forth effort. As long as you are trying your absolute best and passing, then don't be too harsh on yourself if you don't receive the grade you were hoping for. And if anything else just remember at the end of the day that C's get degrees ;)
7. Don't rush into a relationship.
Unlike high school, it's not expected that a lot of people will be in relationships especially in the 2016 era of college students where being independent without needing anybody is the new trend. It's okay to go on a date worth somebody, but don't feel like you have to be committed to that person if you're not really into them. After all, you have the rest of your life not just college to find a significant other- if you actually want one!
8. Embrace new experiences!
I was absolutely terrified when I arrived at college. I didn't leave my dorm room for anything after the first couple of weeks. Eventually I realized that there's nothing to be afraid of. Go ahead and try out the gym if you want or karaoke night on Friday night. Even go to a frat party just to get the experience if you're not too keen on partying; you won't have to drink or do anything you're not comfortable with. Try new things and don't be afraid because you might meet your very best friends from all of the chance encounters that you've taken on.