As a freshman, changing your lifestyle from "senior year high school" to "brand new college student" can be intense, scary, and a little crazy. Here's just a short list of things you learn quickly in your first week of college.
1. Bells are no longer a thing.
Those high school bells you relied on to tell you when class was over? Yeah, those no longer exist in college. You might as well wait for the wave of people leaving the room to signal that it's time to go.
2. You either eat too much or not enough.
The Freshman 15 can play true, that is if you actually have the time to sit down and eat more than 2 meals a day between classes. Many students who get the "Unlimited" meal plan find that they don't even need it due to the fact that their schedules are too full with classes and outside activities.
3. You need to plan ahead in order to walk the 2 miles from your dorm to your next class.
You might as well have a map downloaded on your phone of the campus (UAB does have this actually) because some of the buildings might be more than just a 2 minute walk down the sidewalk.
4. But planning too early can leave you waiting an hour outside of a classroom door.
Waking up 2 hours prior to class might seem like a good idea. Even walking to class 45 minutes prior might seem like a good idea, until you're standing around with a backpack full of books accomplishing absolutely nothing. Showing up early is better than showing up late to class, but arriving too early might just put you in a bad mood.
5. Nobody is quiet during "quiet hours".
Nobody listens to this rule. The first week doesn't involve many people sitting in their rooms keeping to themselves. People are congregating in dorms, hallways, yelling, running, playing with soccer balls and ignoring the "quiet hours" policy.
6. Homework has become a new hobby.
You learn rather quickly that college isn't high school. Papers are assigned, lengthy reading assignments are placed in the syllabus prior to the class being in session, and the "self teaching" process comes into play all too quickly. What do you do in your free time? Study. Homework. Free time doesn't exist.
7. Although you are a freshman, you will be asked for directions to lecture halls you've never heard of.
First day of classes shows just how much everyone is completely lost. You aren't the only one and if you look like you have the slightest clue of what you're doing, you are bound to be asked directions on where to go, even though you may be completely lost yourself.
8. Nobody actually cares what you look like.
Seriously. Did you just wake up? Did you put makeup on today? Do your hair? Honestly nobody is paying attention. Just make sure you brush your teeth and maybe put some deodorant on. Nobody really cares if your shirt isn't in style.
9. Everyone is just as nervous as you are.
If you just woke up worrying that you missed class but your alarm doesn't go off for another hour don't worry, you are not alone. Everyone is a little stressed and by the time finals week comes around you will be surrounded by a bunch of stressed out adolescents in the same boat as yourself.