Lately, there have been articles upon articles telling the incoming freshman what college is going to be like. "These are going to be the best four years of your life," they all say. It is going to be an interesting four years, I can tell you that much. What I can't tell you, though, is that every day is going to be "the best."
You're going to miss the heck out of home. You may not get homesick right away, and you may not get homesick at all. There will be days, however, that you will wish you just woke up in your childhood bed with no cares in the world. You have to admit that sitting on your couch, snacking on whatever you want and watching TV sounds better than writing two papers, eating whatever the cafeteria has that day and listening to the kids who live in your hall hoop and holler over nothing. Call your parents, visit home and do not under any circumstance distance yourself from the people who raised you.
You're going to question your sanity. You may question your sanity for good reason. College students are put under more stress than most people. Minimal sleep, maximum assignments and high expectations from professors will make your brain feel like it is going to explode at times. It is OK to feel like you're going insane, because if you don't feel like you're going insane you aren't doing college correctly. Stress is a part of college, so find what de-stresses you, and do it on a daily basis.
There are bad people in the world, especially in college. You will make some amazing friends in college, but you will also make some enemies. Even the nicest people make enemies in college. Whether these enemies are your classmates, professors, or the terrible check out lady at the cafeteria... You are bound to have at least one. Just always be yourself, and never pretend to be someone you aren't. That way everyone knows the real you, and can make a judgement based on that.
You're going to drink too much at least once. Dry campus, wet campus, party school, private school, etc. It doesn't matter. Whether you drank in high school or not, you're going to have one night where you drink way too much. It may be your freshman year or your senior year. I can't predict your future for you. You don't have to drink to have fun, but sometimes you have to let loose. My advice to you is to eat a lot of carbs beforehand, and a lot of water afterwards. Your brain (and liver) will truly appreciate it.
Relationships are overrated. "Here she goes again," my biggest fans would say. Delete your Tinder account before move-in day. You do not need someone of the opposite sex to make you happy, especially during the years in which you are supposed to be finding yourself. Don't get me wrong, flirting is fun, and so is hanging out with someone. Just do yourself a favor, and don't tie yourself down just because you're bored. You will regret it when you realize how much time you wasted once its all over.
The freshman 15 is so real. You hear the "myths" about it before you're even in college. You look down at your skinny high school body and think "that will never happen to me." Think again. It may not be 15 pounds, and it may not even be five pounds, but your body is going to change. I can't exactly explain what I mean, but you will understand it soon enough. Stress does something wicked to the body. Stick to whatever amount of exercise you're doing now, and don't stop for anything (even a large pizza). I type this while waiting for a medium pepperoni pizza and bread sticks. Don't be like me.
You learn more about life than you do about the curriculum. This is a hard one to explain. Allow me to give you a few examples of what I mean by this: Your body can go without sleep for at least 48 hours before it goes into "fight or flight" mode. You can go at least three days with out showering (with the help of dry shampoo). Unassigned seating becomes an unspoken assigned chart after the first class. Naps are essential. You will learn how to nap in any public place. Time management will become your best friend. You will know exactly how long you can nap every day. Yes, 10 minutes is enough time for a nap. What you sleep in is acceptable to learn in. You do not have to dress to impress anyone (unless you're giving a speech, in this case dress business casual). I've dressed sleep-casual for the past five months and no one has ever blinked an eye at me.
Freshman year, and college in general, is a roller coaster. One day, you will be on top of the world, and the next day the world will be on top of you. No amount of articles can prepare you for what you're about to go through. Just take every bit of advice you can, and run with it. Consider that your freshman 15-combating cardio for the day.