1. Take as many AP or IB exams as you can in high school and score well on them
If you score well enough on these tests, you could potentially get out of certain classes in college. It doesn't seem like a big deal in high school, but when you are in college, taking the least number of classes as possible to graduate is the goal (at least for me).
2. Math and science classes in college are nothing like they are in high school
Calculus and general chemistry were the worst classes I have taken in college. Do not take them in the same semester as a freshman. If you don't have to take them, don't. These are two classes that if you could AP test out of them in high school, DO IT.
3. You do not need to know your major before entering college
I went to college undecided. I decided that I needed to take a wide range of classes to figure out what I actually wanted to major in. I started college aspiring to go to dental school, and now, I'm studying communications and fashion. And I'm still graduating on time!
4. Making friends may not be as easy as people say
I know this might sound scary, but I am just preparing you. People love to bombard college freshmen with the idea that everyone on your floor will be your absolute best friend for life. They love to tell you that you will never feel lonely. Your floormates may not be destined to be your best friends. You will feel lonely at times, and it is okay.
Friends will never just come to you. In college, especially at a large university, you really have to be outgoing to find friends. Even when you do find your "squad," you have to remember that these people have not known you your entire life, like your friends from home. Your new "friends" could leave you at bars, ditch you for someone else, and do sketchy stuff to you that your friends from home would never do because frankly, they've only known you for a couple weeks or months.
5. You probably won't get straight A's
Classes in college are weird. In some classes, your only grades might be made up of two test grades and one group project grade. In other classes, you might have homework almost every night, multiple tests and quizzes, and a curve at the end of the semester. In my time in college, I have realized that the more assignments in a class, the easier it is to get a high grade. The fewer assignments in a class, the harder it is to get a high grade.
6. Rate My Professor is your Bible
Never take a class in college with a professor who has awful ratings on Rate My Professor. You will not do well in their class. I made this mistake with my Calculus class first semester freshman year. I didn't know about the website and ended up taking the class with a teacher rated 1.7 out of 5. A majority of the students failed the class that semester. Always check Rate My Professor.
7. Office hours should be your best friend
This is something that I even have to work on myself. But honestly, go to your professors' office hours. You will be able to get questions answered and will be on their good side. This is how you get those A's!
8. Look both ways before crossing the street, ESPECIALLY if you are wearing headphones
As a college student, you will feel invincible, especially when crossing the street. Please look both ways. We don't need anyone being hit. It happens, more than you think. So please look both ways, especially when you have headphones in!
9. You don't have to be best friends with your freshman roommate
It can be very exciting when you go to your school's Facebook page and finally find someone to be your roommate. Many incoming freshmen have a tendency to put A TON of pressure on this roommate relationship. If you and your new roomie get along super well and you want to spend a lot of time together, that's great! But it is totally normal to need space from that person because let's face it, you are living in a box with them. Some freshmen roommates end up being best friends, some end up being just friends, some end up being acquaintances, and so on and so forth. All of those are perfectly okay!
10. College really is not as hard as everyone says it is
"College students have no time to live." "How are you still standing if you are a COLLEGE STUDENT?!" "Now I know that you are a college student and you're really busy but..." At first, college might seem very overwhelming, but you will quickly get a hang of it. If you can prioritize your assignments, you will be okay. You won't be cramming to write a 10-page paper in a 2 hour period unless you are an insane procrastinator. I know people that have full-time jobs, go to college, and still manage to have fun on the weekends. It is possible, you just have to make succeeding a priority!
11. You might not need a textbook for a certain class, even if your professor insists you will
Renting your books from Amazon or another similar website is the best way to get your books in college. A lot of the time you won't even need a textbook for a class, even if your professor insists you will. Wait to rent before you actually have an assignment that you absolutely need the book for. No need to waste money on something you don't need.
12. Get involved
You're only in college for 4 years, so make the most of it. Getting involved could mean playing an intermural sport, joining a club, joining a sorority or fraternity, etc. Now maybe you think you are too cool for these things, but these are great ways to get your mind off of school and to make friends that have similar interests as you!
13. The boys/girls in your freshmen class will still be as immature as the people you went to high school with
One summer doesn't change many people. Many freshmen students expect to come to college and all of a sudden be surrounded by mature people that they could potentially marry. But the reality is, many of these people are still young and immature. Let's face it, if your main goal in college is to find your husband/wife in those 4 years anyway, we need to find you a better goal.