So you want to go to college?
Everyone is telling so many things and you don't know what to think. Well I'm going to tell you the things that no one is going to tell you. Get ready for an inside look.
1. You won't understand a thing
Starting at orientation, you get 1000 thing drilled into your head. Financial aid, registering for classes, choosing a major, BREAK UP WITH THEM, and also joining clubs are just a few. You leave more confused than when you arrived and that's completely normal. During your first semester, it's a lot of trial and error and you most likely aren't going to understand how to do half the things that are expected of you. No worries though because every university has a great staff to help you along the way.
2. You have a lot of free time
The expectation of college is that it's all work 24/7, this is not true at all. You will definitely have work but you will also have insane amounts of free time. What you do with this time makes a huge difference in your college life. Will you join a club? Will you go greek? or will you sit in your room and just sleep the days away? "Life's what you make it, so let's make it rock" -Hannah Montana
3. You'll never be 100% on a major
Take it from someone who's changed their major multiple times choosing a major is extremely difficult. I went from Athletic Training, to Nursing, to Nutrition and Dietetics, and now finally am undecided. The main thing to remember is that you are going to always hate certain parts about your major but stick to it. When you look back after 4 years of struggling you'll feel a sense of accomplishment that no one will ever be able to take away from you.
4. The support systems put in place by the university aren't the greatest
When I say the support systems, I mainly mean psychological services and medical services. The staff isn't the problem either. It is the systems themselves. Someone can call the psychological services center and say they are having problems and usually the first response is "Okay we can schedule you in for a appointment in about a month". Coming from someone who suffers from Anxiety, this is not acceptable. Someone could need immediate help and being in a rural area, it's not very easy to find it other than at the university.
5. You're going to get sick of the food options
All you can eat buffet? Usually I'm all there but what happens when you have to eat the same things day after day. On open house or orientation weekends they step up the game so they can impress the people coming to visit so don't expect that level of great food very often. Also it may sound great to have your favorite chain restaurant just a couple blocks away and easily available, but it isn't as great as it seems. Too much of a good thing is bad.
6. There will be closed minded people here
The stereotype of college is that everyone is experimenting and that everyone is open minded. Well, this isn't the case. Even on college campuses there are people who don't want to experience new things. Usually, these people come from small towns and are scared of change. Over time and with help from friends they might open up and see that change isn't all bad. So if you meet a close minded person, don't hate them, but befriend them and help them open up.
7. Failing a class isn't the end of the world
You aren't an idiot if you fail a class. Mistakes happen, you're human. Some schools are great in the fact that they have grade replacement so you can just retake the class. So don't freak out if you fail a class, just learn from your mistake and then fix it when you retake the class.
8. You're not going to want to leave
When breaks come around, you'll feel so happy because you'll finally be getting the much needed break. Then you get home, and you see that things have changed. Your family has gotten used to the fact that you're not around all the time anymore, so they have their own lives. Your old friends have all gotten jobs or are still in school so they are busy. So you are left to sit there and wonder what you're doing with your life.
9. You're gonna have a lot of people try and be your friend
Everyone is far away from home and are lonely at first, so be careful. The first couple of weeks are an important period because you don't want to get in with the wrong group. Don't worry though, after the first semester your friend group is pretty solid and are like family. Also, after first semester you are allowed to join Greek organizations (you totally should).
10. Don't stay away from that Frat Guy
I am a pledge of Delta Sigma Phi- Delta Omicron here at Western Carolina University and let me be first to tell you, I was a little skeptical about Greek life before becoming involved. After being a part of Greek life I see that all the stereotypes are a huge lie. It is a family atmosphere that I've never experienced before. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world, and I am thankful for the opportunity everyday.
11. College isn't all about popularity
College really doesn't have cliches like high school does. It has the friend groups. Each person in your friend group does different things. It is awesome to not have to fit a norm and try and act a certain way. It is extremely important to just be yourself.
In conclusion, college isn't what you thought it'd be. It's even better. You are going to have ups and down, but you have to keep pushing forward no matter what comes your way. You're a college student which means you had to get accepted by your university which mean that they see potential in you. Live up to that potential!