This is my last week on campus as a freshman in college. To tell the complete truth, I have no idea how this happened. I am in denial and have no clue where the past year went!
I want to share some tips and confessions with my friends who are nearing the end of high school and entering college. Here are some of the lessons I've learned, made especially for those who are less-than enthralled to be entering a new chapter. There's 8 in the list for no particular reason, but 8 is a good number I guess :)
1. Dorm Life Is Great, and Awful.
Don't be afraid to hide from everybody when you need to. Some people (hint hint: me) take more time than others to adjust to the living situation at college, and it's okay to take your time. Acknowledge the frustrations and find a way to live with them; don't forget to have fun and take advantage of living on a floor with your friends!
2. You might not meet "the one" as soon as you get to college.
No, you almost definitely won't. This is kind of a joke, but I share it because I had a silly idea that I would get to college and just meet the guy I had been waiting for! I was wrong. Don't set up this expectation for yourself, because disappointment will be waiting for you.
3. People don't care about your appearance as much as you do.
It's not a big deal if you walk into the dining hall in sweatpants. Don't let yourself get stuck in the rut of assuming that you always have to look like a queen, because nobody cares. It's even a little narcissistic to assume that everybody is always looking at you and caring about what you wear, so just stop comparing yourself to others. You are fabulous.
4. It's okay to say yes.
Seriously, hang out with people even if they're not in "your group". It's a great time to explore, make new friends, and meet people you would typically assume are not your kind. Don't get stuck in a clique, be a floater. It can be awkward, but it's worth it.
5. It's also okay to say no.
Oh my, so many times I have gone somewhere, done something, or stayed up way too late just because I was invited to. You don't have to do everything. You cannot do everything. Take. Care. Of. Yourself.
6. Don't sacrifice your grades for your social life.
I know, this is not what you've been told. But please consider why you're paying such a large tuition to receive an education. You're not doing all of it to have a perfect social life and to be at the top of the social chain. No, you're paying to learn. Keep your priorities in place.
7. Do your dishes and your laundry.
For the sake or your roommate, your own sanity, and the parents that raised you, clean up after yourself now and you'll be better at "adulting" in the future. The habits you set up now will be with you for a long time, so it's best to make them productive as soon as you can.
8. Call your friends!
...and your family! I underestimated how difficult it would be to actually keep in contact with people at home. Living at a school that's pretty far from home, I don't run into these people on a regular basis and it's hard to keep in touch if there's no effort. So, make the effort.