College life is truly different than high school. Along the way, through everything from the mistakes I've made to the triumphs, I've learned something every single moment of the nine months I've been on campus. There are still three years to go, but these are 13 lessons from my 13th year of school.
1. College orientation doesn’t always = instant friends.
College isn't like the movies. I didn't become friends with my roommate the first time I met her, nor did I instantly find my people during orientation. It took a long time until I made the friendships that I know will last.
2. Don’t buy all your textbooks from the campus bookstore.
I spent over $400 on books first semester. No joke. I thought that since the campus store had what they considered competitive prices, I should just get all of my books there. I realized halfway through the semester that I had actually paid about double what I had needed to.
3. There’s still tons of drama after high school.
I would've thought that people would be more mature after high school, but nope. College brings loads of drama. Speaking from experience, it's always best to steer clear if possible.
4. Study for every test, especially midterms and finals.
Because these tests are weighted so heavily, not doing well is the easiest way to tank a grade. Spending late nights studying isn't fun, but the good grade will make it worth it.
5. It’s okay to not ace every test and class.
Even with studying, not everything will go perfectly. I got a D as one of my midterm grades. And I failed a test. Not "C" failed, but failed failed. And it all turned out okay. I'm still thriving.
6. Don’t do laundry on Sundays.
The laundry room is complete chaos every Sunday, and it's a pain in the butt to try and do laundry then. I've found it's usually best to either do it on a weekday right after class or in the evening after dinner.
7. Cafeteria food will get old fast.
Even though the food at the caf at my college is supposedly nationally ranked, eating it every day gets kind of sickening after awhile. But hey, it's another excuse to get off campus with friends!
8. Getting involved makes college life so much more fun.
From band and pep band to club tennis and writing for Odyssey, campus activities are both a learning experience and fun! I've met so many people through getting involved, which makes college feel more like home.
9. It’s super freaking helpful to use a planner.
All of the activities and loads of assignments, tests, and papers the professors pile on really add up. Organizing with a planner isn't only helpful, but it's definitely necessary in college.
10. Don’t take an 8 a.m. Ever. Seriously.
I thought it wouldn't be so bad since my high school started at 7:25 each morning. I realized the first morning of class fall semester that college is an entirely different ballgame and I had made a huge mistake. 9 a.m.'s are doable. 8 a.m.'s are not.
11. Have that one caffeinated drink that perks up the mornings.
Speaking of early classes, caffeine is necessary (for me anyway). For first semester, I drank peppermint mochas on the daily. Then I discovered strawberry-mango iced tea and have never looked back.
12. Distance actually does make the heart grow fonder.
The summer before freshman year all I wanted to do was move out of the house into my dorm and get away from my family for awhile. But as time goes by, I find myself so much more appreciative of them and thankful for the time I do get to spend with them on the holidays, breaks, and the few weekends I spend at home.
13. People really do change in college.
Not only have my high school friends changed, but I know for a fact that I'm not the same person now as I was coming onto campus way back in the fall. I'm so much more independent and self-assured than I ever have been before. And I love it.