Things To Know Before Starting College

8 things you need to know before starting college

Do what you want, not what others expect of you.

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Congrats, you got into college! But don't get too excited because the first year of college is pretty tough for everybody. Here are some tips/things you need to know that will make your four years (or more) just a bit easier.

1. It is totally OK to be undecided about your major or career choice

The truth is, most students change their majors at least once throughout their college career. With the help of different classes exposing you to the variety of subjects and careers, you will slowly discover what is right for you and what you are truly passionate about. So don't stress if you're super confused with what you want to do because it takes time to discover yourself and your interests. Plus, you are definitely not alone!

2. Do what you want, not what others expect of you

My parents convinced me I should be a doctor my whole life so when I chose Biology on a pre-med track as my major, no one was surprised. During my junior and senior year of high school, I developed a passion for U.S. History and government and I realized I had an interest in law. It took me an entire year of suffering through biology and chemistry lectures in college to confirm that science was definitely not my subject and that I should pursue what I really want, not what my parents want.

3. It is important to voice what bothers you

This is not just something you need to know for college, this is something that will help you for the rest of your life. In college (especially if you dorm) you will meet all types of people, some of which may not be the kindest and will take advantage of you. If a person does something that does not seem right to you or treats you in any demeaning way, you have to learn how to confront them. Allowing those little things to slide will open the gateway to more inappropriate and rude behavior with greater consequences for you!

4. Establish who your true friends are from early on

Throughout your four years of college, you will meet people who you will eventually become really close with. It is so important to know who is your true friend and who is just using you or is not truly there for you. My first year of college I was blessed to meet a few amazing people that I can call my best friends. Of course, there were people who I thought I could become close with, but it turned out they were just using me or they weren't loyal enough. I knew to distance myself from them within my first year because with fake friends comes negativity and unnecessary drama, which no one needs in their life, especially in college.

5. Keep a fixed schedule and learn to discipline yourself

Maybe procrastination worked in high school, but college does live up to its reputation in terms of academics. I cannot fully stress the importance of having a proper schedule and disciplining yourself. You need to be able to tell yourself when you should start studying for that midterm (no, two days before is not the answer.) You need to restrain yourself from going out to that super fun party a week before your final. You need to keep a journal with all those assignments and keep a note on your desk reminding you to eat in the midst of all that studying or go to the gym. All those skipped meals and cramming may have gotten you through high school, but it will definitely hold you back in college!

6. Sleep is extremely important

Yes, you need that full seven hours of sleep to be functioning with your best energy and attitude the next day. One or two all-nighters before a test might be alright, but any more than that is unhealthy and might not even get you that grade you wanted! However, getting ten hours of sleep then taking a couple naps between your classes is also unhealthy. You need to have a fixed sleep and wake-up time that your body gets used to in order to stay healthy and be able to pay attention to all those lectures!

7. You will have mental breakdowns... and it's totally normal

It happens to the best of us, especially freshman year of college. All those assignments, presentations, exams, and club meetings will overwhelm you and you might need to just scream into a pillow for five minutes. But you are not the only one; college can be tough and hard to handle, so don't be afraid to talk to someone about any issues you're having and maybe grab the nearest pillow and relieve some of that stress.

8. Taking breaks and having fun is necessary, too!

Despite everything I just mentioned, it is also essential to give yourself a mental break and let loose sometimes. The transition from high school to college is different for everybody, but usually, it's tough and overwhelming. So it's very important to cut yourself some slack and have a movie night with friends, read a book, or even just lay on the grass and close your eyes for a while. Also, when you're studying for major exams, it's necessary to take a short break every hour because there is such a thing as studying too much and trust me, your brain will thank you for it.

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Me Saying I Don't Watch 'Game of Thrones' Is NOT Your Cue To Convince Me To Start

"Once you've accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you."

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Yes, I have flaws. We all do. But it seems as if though my biggest flaw is that I have never seen "Games of Thrones." Nope, not even one single second. I don't know why I haven't seen it, it's not that I'm particularly against the show. I guess it's just too late now for me to start it, as the premiere of the eighth and final season aired April 14th. And for some reason, I just feel that I'm too far behind to even attempt to start it.

But please, I beg of you, do not try to get me to watch it. I don't want to; I've made my decision that I have missed the "Game of Thrones" train and I have accepted my fate. It's OK, you can use your heavy TV series persuasion on someone else, don't waste it on me.

But not being a Thronie (I have no idea if you "Game of Thrones" fans actually use that term, but it's fine) comes with its own set of hardships. Yes, I know that missing out on "unquestionably the most acclaimed and beloved show on television" is probably the greatest hardship, I know, I know.

But trying to scroll through social media while seemingly every single person on my feed is posting about the show? Now that's hard. I see memes left and right, constant reaction videos, clips of scenes that I will never understand. I see people being shocked by certain characters doing certain things to certain other characters and I just cannot understand! It's tough, it really is. I feel like I'm in elementary school, sitting on the bench beside the playground watching all of the cool kids playing together. I feel excluded and uninvited to the party that is the "Game of Thrones" fandom.

It really is hard. It's difficult not understanding the jokes and comments about all the happenings in "Game of Thrones." But to those who are obsessed avid watchers, I apologize. I sincerely am sorry that I can never understand your "Game of Thrones" talk. I am sorry that my inferior self is not interested in your favorite show.

As some character that I will never know in "Game of Thrones" says, "once you've accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you." I have accepted that my major flaw is the fact that I have never seen "Game of Thrones" and that I, unfortunately, have no interest in watching. So please, don't use it against me. Besides, that one character that I don't even know said that you can't anyway.

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My Own Self-Doubt: A Poem

A battle with my thoughts.

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Alone

Alone in my own self-doubt

A feeling I know all too well

I never considered the beauty that would eventually sprout

I put on a smile and let the world think I'm doing well

I'm told I have everything

How could I be hurt and act out

Luxuries aren't the issue

My mind plays tricks on me

And it will only continue

The blade was my friend

But it only left my skin worn out

All I want to do is yell

Was my life always intended to take this route

This life itself seemed worse than hell

Let me out of this drought

No one gets me

So I sit here and dwell

Alone in my own self-doubt

Alone

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