Alright, it’s coming to that amazing time in your life when you leave your family and all comforts of home to go to that magical place: college. You’ve watched all the shows, seen all the movies, and heard all the stories about it, and are excited to finally get to experience it for yourself.

Except the sad reality is college is not really exactly like that. Yes, it’s awesome and insanely fun, but it's not as polished and pristine as Hollywood makes it out to be. Here are some survival tips for the first few weeks of school.

  1. Never wear your lanyard around your neck. Yes, that’s what it's literally made for, but for some reason it’s shunned… No one actually knows why though.
  2. Be nice to the RAs and Campus safety. You don’t have to be their best friends, but be friendly because they are the authority of the dorm. If you have the reputation for being rude to them, they will be stricter with you. If you follow the rules and are polite they will be more lenient.
  3. Buddy System. They taught us in elementary school that there’s safety in numbers, and it still applies now. Whether it’s going to the cafeteria or the frat house; you will always feel better having a few people with you, especially during that first month.
  4. You don’t have to be best friends with the people you meet at orientation. The people you meet at orientation will be that familiar face that you can hold a conversation with, but you’ll find your best friends later on. So don’t freak out if you don’t connect with your orientation group.
  5. Don’t go home all the time. College is about learning to be on your own, so if you go home every weekend, how is that really different than high school? You’ll end up missing out on the real college life, which takes place at football games and on Saturday nights. Visiting home is great, but try to only do it for special circumstances.
  6. You probably won’t meet your soulmate the first day. Yes, it’s really sad, but it’s true. We’ve all been oversaturated by overly romantic plot lines where the girl and the guy see each other from across the room and instantly fall in love. But if you get to school and try to fall in love with every person that you’re mildly attracted to, you will probably get hurt. I’m not saying you won’t meet that person, but don’t try to force it.
  7. Don’t go overboard. The first month college is probably the most ridiculous time ever because no one can control themselves. You don’t want to be the kid who passed out in the frat house or sets off the fire alarm at 2 in the morning. Just remember that you don’t want people to know your name for something stupid that you did.
  8. Avoid the fries. Or any greasy food. It is probably the only food that truly tastes good at first, but that’s how the Freshman 15 happens. Instead of grabbing that plate of fries with ketchup and mayo, go to the salad bar and make yourself something healthy. It will boost your confidence just knowing you made the healthy choice.
  9. Do your homework. This is another thing they taught us in elementary school. Those homework points add up. If you think “hey, it’s just Spanish,” and don’t do it, suddenly your 89% is down to a 62% and you have to go beg for extra credit. Homework is as important as a test.
  10. Do what you want, but stick to your morals. Yes college is the time for experimenting and going a little crazy, but never do something that you’re really going to regret. Make the smart decision to stay safe.