Once you graduate from high school it can feel as though you are able to do anything, or that your life is finally about to begin. Some of you will go to college, while others will go to off to find jobs and might go to college later on in life. Whether a person decides to go to college or not is completely up to them, not their parents or friends. Only the person going to college will actually know if this is the right decision for them because not everyone is meant for college or some people just aren't ready and that's okay. Now, if you do decide that you're ready for college and you're excited to go, that's fantastic and amazing. Everyone is going to want to give you a different piece of advice, and give you directions on how to stay on a straight path in college. Some of the advice will be helpful, and some of it might be, well, outdated. Here are some tips that not everyone may tell you before you go to college:
You don't have to be friends with everyone. This being said, don't be mean to everyone either. You'll find your friend group while you're there, and it might change or differ while you are at school or at home. Both are okay.
Save your ramen for emergencies, and remember that not wanting to walk to the dining hall doesn't count as an emergency. Needing something to eat while studying late at night, a friend comes by and they're drunk, or when someone is sick is an emergency.
You will have people who will tell you not to party, and people tell you to party while you are at college. The reality is, you're going to go to at least one party while you are at college. There will be drinking, people making out, and a horribly sticky floor. Wear pants and close toed shoes every time you go to a party. Because if someone spills something on you, you don't want it on anything super nice, and if the party gets busted you want to be able to run without losing anything. Wearing a belt is recommended but not necessary.
Study everyday of the week, and every school night. Don't put off your studying and try to avoid procrastination. Use the tutoring resources or study sessions your school will offer you. If you're going to just hang out with friends after class, or going to get a bite to eat, bring something with you to use to study. Don't be afraid of carrying your backpack with a laptop around all day; more people do it than you would think.
Of course you need to be polite to your roommate and respectful. You don't need to be best friends with your roommate. You both can just share a mutual living space, but as long as both people are respectful, it doesn't matter. That being said, if there is a problem, just come clean about it. It doesn't have to be something huge and dramatic, just telling the person there is a problem and what it is should be enough .
6) Your Room
Your room is your home while you are at college. What you say goes, it is your home and your roommate's home. This means that both of you are in charge of taking out the trash and keeping the room clean, because if your mess somehow damages the room, you both will be charged a lot of money. But, also, you can kick anyone you want out of your room. Never be afraid of kicking someone out of your room, or telling your roommate that you don't like their friends. If someone has an issue with being kicked out, maybe they aren't the person you want to hang out with.
7) Clubs and Activities
Join things that you are interested in, or make a club that will interest you, because college is the place to find people like you. Don't be afraid of becoming more than just a member, it's never a bad idea to be the leader. This being said, clubs and activities shouldn't be your main focus, you're there for school. But clubs are a great way of finding yourself.
8) Dating or Hook-Ups
Some people will tell you that there is no point dating during college or to only date during your junior and senior year. Some people will tell you not to get involved with anyone while at college, that there isn't a point. Honestly dating or hook-ups is up to the individual person. Just remember that you don't go to college for a relationship; sounds like common sense, but you would be surprised. It isn't a bad idea to make it a rule in your relationship that school comes before the relationship.
Go to class, even if you don't want to, even if you woke up late. Go to class unless you can't function properly. Try to never skip class, and make friends that will encourage you to go to class, because every class that you skip is a lot of money going down the drain. You go to college so that you can go to class. And only you can make yourself go to class.
10) Rules of Your School
Read your school handbook, know the rules so that you can protect yourself and avoid extra stress or trouble.
Learn how to do your own laundry before you go to college. Don't wear dirty clothes, take time out of your day or night a do your laundry. Try for a week day rather than a weekend, the laundry rooms will be less crowded. Keep spare change, if you can, for laundry.
Eat a fruit or vegetable every chance you get, it'll make a difference in the long run. Also make sure you figure out your meal plan and keep track of it so that you aren't scavenging by the end of the semester. Also when you're at restaurants it can be cheaper to get the vegetarian option. Also don't be afraid of learning how to cook, and taking turns with friends and cooking once a week rather than going to the dining hall.
Create a budget, and try to stick to it. Don't buy things that you don't need to buy. Even with a job it can hard to keep track of money while at school. Some people have no issues asking their parents for money, while others will do anything to avoid asking friends or family for money. If you are one of those people, get a job and learn how to coupon and budget. Look into couponing, it could save you!
14) Calling Home
Your parents want to hear from you, even if you just want to say hi and complain about how small your bed is. It'll be nerve wracking, but they will ask you about your grades and social life. If you feel anxious about your parents finding out about your activities or GPA, something needs to change.
15) Learning How to Start to Adult
This is the time where you figure out who you want to be as a person and when you figure out who you actually are going to be. Some people will find that college isn't for them or that they weren't ready, others will find that college is where they can finally be themselves. College is about learning to live without an adult and learning how to take care of yourself.