Don’t be scared, college is supposed to be fun. But I’m going to be honest with you, transitioning from high school to college is not easy. Students are used to teachers holding your hand the whole way through high school, but in college, that is not the case. I hate to tell you this, but professors don’t care if you pass or fail a class, much less if you even show up to class. Ever. They won’t call and email you to make sure you are feeling well and to tell you what you missed in class. That is all up to you. So listen to these following things that I wish I knew going into college, instead of finding out on my own.
1. You are your own alarm clock now.
You no longer have mom and dad there waking you up every morning. You know what time your classes are, so if you have a class at 8:30 A.M. and choose to stay out until 3 A.M., okay that’s your choice. Nobody is going to tell you that you must be home by a certain time, and then make sure you are up in the morning. You’re on your own now, so take on the responsibilities that come with it.
2. You’ll never regret staying in and studying.
You’re going to college to get an education. Yes, partying and hanging out with friends is a lot of fun, don’t get me wrong. But I promise you one thing, if you choose to stay in on Friday night instead of going out with your friends you will not regret it and your grades will prove it.
3. Don’t be scared to make friends.
College can be scary at first, but be friendly and nice to people and you will have no issue making friends. Everyone is in the same position as you, everyone needs a friend or two. So, a little advice, the first week or two of school keep your door open whenever you are in there, people will stop in and say "Hi." But same goes for you, if you’re walking through the hall and there is a door open, stop in say hi and compliment their room or something. You will come to realize that people aren’t that scary, and it is pretty simple to make new friends.
4. Do NOT skip class.
No matter how tempting it may be to stay in bed all day and sleep, don’t do it! Most professors have an attendance policy and by missing just one class you could miss a whole chapter. Yes, it’s hard to go every day but it will pay off and if you decide to skip you will regret it when it comes test time.
5. Get to know your professors.
Not all professors will be nice and sweet to you. Some don’t even want to be there just as much as you don’t want to be there. But take the time to stop by your professor’s office say hi, and if you have a question about the class don’t hesitate to ask the professor for help, that’s what they are there for.
6. Naps will become your best friend.
In college, it’s hard to get enough sleep. You will have a lot of homework, a lot of studying, and you will still want to have fun with your friends. But now when do you finally get to sleep? You’ll quickly realize that it is hard to get to bed early. So, if you have a break from 10:30 - 1:30 take advantage of that time to get some sleep. You will be thankful that you did.
7. Learn how to manage your money.
College is expensive, and your parents aren’t there every time you need a few bucks to hang out with friends. So, learn from the start to manage your money, you will be thankful you did.
8. Take care of your mental and physical health.
Being away at school is a lot easier for you to not take care of yourself as well. You won’t have home cooked meals or your mom giving you vitamins and making sure you’re healthy. All colleges have an on-campus clinic and counseling centers that are free to all students. So if you feel a cold coming, on go to the clinic and see what’s wrong, or if you feel like you are just to overwhelmed and can’t figure out what is the next step to take, go to counseling and get help. Lots of kids go, there is nothing to be embarrassed of.
9. You have a clean slate.
You’re in a new area, with new people, learning new things. Nobody cares about that detention you got your freshman year of high school or the boy you dated your sophomore year. You’re new here, so be who you want to be. If you were a mean jerk in high school and you regret that, change. Be nice to everyone you meet; you will quickly realize that your life will change quickly and you will make new friends easier.
10. Most importantly, don’t take college for granted.
College is honestly the best 4 years of your life, so don’t take it for granted. You are paying thousands of dollars a year to go to school so don’t take it for granted. Yes, you are there to get an education but don’t forget to still go out and have fun.
I am now finishing up my freshman year of college, and I really wish I would have known these 10 things before starting college. At first I just tried to fit in with everyone so people would like me, I quickly realized I don’t need to do that. Just be yourself and everything will be okay. Also like I said, stay in and study. Yes, you need to study, yes you need to get good grades and pass your classes, but have fun. You will regret it if you never go out with your friends and you constantly stay in. College is not supposed to make you miserable. Yes it will stress you out but learn to balance the fun and the grades as well. But most importantly don’t be scared, college will be fun and you will love it. Make a solid group of friends that you can depend on, and I promise you will never want to go home. Because college will become your home. Good luck to all of you, incoming freshman!