I will soon be entering my second year of college and I am even more excited going in now than I was as a freshman. Let me tell you why. Because I finally understand (at least a little) how this college thing works. So here's some advice I wish I could have
heard the lucky ones who are about to begin the best couple years of their lives.
1. BE SOCIAL
Seriously. It is so easy to meet so many amazing people, especially if you're in a dorm. It, however, is even easier to stay in your room and just hang out with your roommates. But you're not gonna have a chance to be thrown together in a building with a bunch of other clueless people your age until you're in a nursing home- so please, unlike me, make the best of it and go out of your comfort bubble. No matter how unsocial you are, you're gonna be happy and thankful for all the friends you make in college.
2. Keep Things Written Down
I don't care how stupid you feel writing things down in a calendar, DO IT. Get a planner, or a set of sticky notes, or even a damn napkin and write down things you need to remember because I promise you that you will forget that you had a 1000 word essay due on Mayan Temples at 11:59 on Saturday night. College is stressful to say the least, but I swear writing things down makes you feel a little more sane and much more organized.
3. Do NOT Nap During The Day
I am still trying to follow this rule. It's extremely hard after a shitty class to not come back and crash in your little twin bed for an hour or two. However, this was one thing I really wish I never did. I found myself sleeping after my 9 am class and right through my 2 pm class and then not being able to sleep that night..which sucks when you have to get up early and do it all again the next day. Napping in the middle of the day made me groggy, irritated, and it was way harder to get up and get things done after being lazy all day.
4. Go To The Gym
I'm purely just saying this to help you feel like you're getting at least some of your money's worth...if your school has a gym you can use for free, GO. I lived about 2 minutes from my gym and went maybe twice a month. It doesn't even matter if you hate the gym, just go take advantage of the free classes, the basketball court, or even walk on the treadmill. It will feel good and get your mind off of your school work for a little while.
5. Explore Your New Town
Although you may not have a car and this could be difficult, try to escape from campus every once in a while. Living about an hour and a half from my college town I was not super familiar with the new place, so getting out and finding beautiful lakes and hiking trails was definitely awesome. Explore the places outside of your school, find new coffee shops to study in, you might even find some new local music and some awesome new friends. This goes back to getting out of your comfort bubble- you will not regret it.
6. Don't Go In Being Completely Against Greek Life
I totally did this. As everyone was getting ready to rush I was standing in the background rolling my eyes. Even if you think you hate it, at least give it a try and see if you're interested. The worst that can happen is you decide it's not for you at all and you go find other things to do. The best that can happen, however, is meeting a group of people that will soon become your family. It never hurts to try, and I highly recommend it.
7. Don't Skip Class
I am sure you heard this A THOUSAND times, but I have to say it again. If there is one thing I regret it's skipping a class. I remember people telling me this and just pushing it to the back of my head, "yeah duh i'm gonna go to class". Eh, it's not always that easy. Once you get into a habit it's hard to stop, especially if you don't have your mom there nagging you to get out of bed. I promise, if you get into the groove of going to class everyday life is going to be much simpler, especially when exam time comes around.
8. Remember That Everyone is Going Through The Same Thing As You...
Do not forget this. Everyone has either been, or is in your exact situation. Do not fret when you show up late to class on your first day because you couldn't find the building, don't lose sleep over that C, don't cry because your jeans from 9th grade don't fit anymore, and most importantly- don't be afraid to try something new. Change your major, once, twice, three times. Join a club, try a new sport, eat sketchy Chinese Food from the shop downtown.
9. Your freshmen year of college is NOT the year you will figure it all out, and that's the way it should be.