As my first semester of college comes to a close and I begin preparing for the Spring, it's really easy to say that a lot has changed since I packed up the family car with the help of my very teary eyed mom and headed away to college for a whole new experience. I knew that college would be a time for me to learn a lot about myself and just a brand new world, but I had no idea about the absolutely amazing effect it would have on me and all of the truly great lessons I'd learn. While the actual list of lessons is probably too long to summarize, here are the very, very important ones worth passing forward that have stuck with me the most.

1. Living on your own is no piece of cake. Neither is living in a dorm, so make the most out of the situation and try to have fun. Get to know people on your floor, you can all help each other out in times of trouble (like, you can teach all the guys to do laundry and they can help you body slam the vending machine).

2. Making the right friends is crucial. I can't stress this enough. I was so afraid that I wouldn't find "my people" and for the first couple of weeks, I was a little skeptical still. But now, I wouldn't trade the friends that I have made for anything.

3. Have fun, but not too much fun. Hey, it's college. You're expected to try new things and to have a good time. Just don't forget the main reason why you are in college, and that's to learn. I know that the Wednesday night party sounds really tempting and you might run into that guy from your Chemistry lab class, but you can also try your best to come home early enough to get the right amount of sleep before that morning class.

4. It is perfectly okay for wanting to go far away from home. When I applied to my top schools, people said I was "nuts" for wanting to go so far away from home. (All of my top choices were out of state, the closest one was five-and-a-half hours away, might I add) But now that I am at the school that was five-and-a-half hours away, I can honestly say that this was the right choice for me. I can still go home when I need to and it gives me that sense of freedom that I was craving in high school.

5. Ladies: you are worth more than "Netflix and Chill"... or a "come over" text, for that matter. If you don't have the guy that doesn't treat you the way you are supposed to be treated, don't stress! You just haven't found him yet!

6. Study, study, study, study. And if that doesn't work, study some more.

7. It's never too early or too late to call home. Your parents miss you, let them know you miss them too, even if it's through a voice mail.

8. Don't waste your time in college. Attend everything you can and get involved in your school. Every football game, tailgate, basketball game, social, go! These are the best four years of your life. Make the most out of them!

9. Those syllabi you get during the first week of classes? They are your bible. Adhere to their rules. Before you email your teacher with a question, read your syllabus (because the answer is probably in there!!).

10. If you're at the right school, you're going to miss it every time you leave. This is just a fact of life. I literally will wake up at home and miss my dorm room, the same room that I really wanted to get out of just five months ago.


At the end of the day, college is an eye opening experience. If you've got the right people to share the experience with and a good study plan, you're set. If not, the good news is: it's only your first semester. Make the changes you need to make to be successful, and most of all, have a great break and rest up!