There are days when I walk around my campus or sit in my dorm and I still think, "Wow, I can't believe I'm actually in college." My life is flying by before my own eyes. They all said high school would go by fast, but I can already see that college is going to fly by even faster. Waynesburg is only the beginning of my journey and I've learned so much up until this point. I have much more to learn, but I can't help but think about all that I have learned within only my first month here.
You have to read your textbooks.
All through high school, we were never required to read our textbooks. The only books we had to read were the required ones for class such as, "To Kill A Mockingbird" or "The Catcher in the Rye" or "The Great Gatsby." Now that I'm in college, I have quickly learned that your textbook is an essential material for doing well. However, not all professors use the textbook (most do) so sometimes you may not have to worry about it. But I have learned that I can't put off reading because before you know it, the exam is here and you're stuck reading three chapters that total to 75 pages. Which leads me to my next point...
You can't cram for an exam the night before.
High school was so simple, easy, basic. I was always able to cram the night before, geez even the day of the test and still do well. College exams cover so much material it is nearly impossible to try and study all of the information and actually know the information if you start the night before. In high school, we all memorized the material just to do well and get a good grade, but in college, this is information that you actually need to know for your major and soon to be future profession.
Most universities and colleges offer so many clubs, intramural sports, on campus events, etc. So don't be afraid to go and get involved, meet new people. Making new friends and networking is so important as a college student in preparation for the real world. So grab a friend or two, and go do something fun on campus. And if you have ideas of something different that you want to do, most schools have a Student Activity Board or something similar and they're always looking for new ideas!
Naps are a NECESSITY.
Staying up late studying, doing homework, hanging out with friends or watching Netflix and then having to get up for an 8 a.m. class the next day is awful. In a typical day, you have three, maybe four classes which leaves a lot of room for naps. Naps are great and it took me up until my senior year of high school to see that. I have so much free time here and I spend it taking naps so I can keep up on my sleep. But this can become a problem because...
You have to spend your free time wisely.
Time management is HUGE in college. Adjusting to your new schedule is tough the first week or two because you're like "WOOO FREEDOM!" But in reality, there's always work to be done. I've found myself spending too much time focusing on a few classes and totally neglecting the another one. This can become dangerous. Slacking and getting behind in even just one class will come back and bite you in the butt.
I often find myself going to hang out with my friends, watching Netflix or going to Sheetz rather than studying. Sometimes this can be okay, especially if you worked hard all day because everyone needs a break once in a while, but this too can quickly become a problem. Procrastination. It's the devil.
You're in charge of yourself.
No one is here to tell you to clean your room, when to eat, when to shower. No one is here to remind you to study or to do your homework. You must learn to manage your time and learn to take responsibility of yourself and of your actions. You can't depend on your friends, RA's, or professors to remind you of assignments and meetings. If you weren't independent before, you're going to learn how to be really quick. This is your job now, buckle up.
Keep your options open: Don't date within the first month.
It's not worth it. It's better to get in the grove of things and get comfortable with your schedule and the campus instead of worrying about some guy or girl who probably won't work out with. In some (very few) cases, it might work out. During the first month, everyone is still trying to figure out this crazy new reality that we've been thrown into. So I suggest laying low until you feel that you are settled and so is the person that you're interested in.
And last but not least...
Don't be afraid to ask for help!!!
Your professors are there to help you! They don't want to see you fail. Since I go to a small school, the professors are really there for you and even give you their office hours. Take advantage of this; whether you're confused, struggling or just want to talk about life, they want to hear from you. I've learned that asking for help isn't a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength. Being able to see your own struggles and putting aside your ego and pride to ask for help whether it be from a friend, tutor or professor is a sign of strength and maturity.
Overall, college is not high school, the two can not compare at all. But so far, college has been blast. I can not wait to see what the Lord has in plan for me over the course of the next four years. But college is all about what YOU make it, you have to put yourself out there and get yourself involved. Nevertheless, I've had to learn so much so quickly and I still have much more to learn, but that will come with time. I'm so thankful for everyone who has supported me through this huge transition in my life and all my new and wonderful friends here at school, I love you guys. "Blaaahh."