To the high school seniors who are on their way to college: everything is about to completely change for you. You're about to officially leave home to attend the dream college of your choice. It'll be such an amazing yet completely terrifying experience. Your parents will miss you from the moment you pack your bags to leave. Trust me you'll definitely get homesick and miss your moms' incredible cooking. From this point forward I can almost guarantee you that mac n cheese will be a huge part of your life. No matter how many times you try to eat in the dining hall on campus, sometimes you won't like their food so you'll either do one of two things: make some mac n cheese in your room or go get fast food from McDonalds. Oh by the way the Freshman 15 is real so watch out for that!
Have Your Voice Heard: Become an Odyssey Creator
The first month of school will be especially hard; it'll feel really overwhelming at first but I promise that once you get into a routine it'll be better. I think everyone feels exactly the same for the first month of school: anxious and worried. Students have to learn to be an adult now, like doing laundry in your spare time, cleaning your room occasionally, doing your homework early and not at 11:55 when the assignment is due at midnight. You're going to realize that college is a lot of commitment and time management. You'll feel like there's not enough hours in the day to get everything done but my biggest piece of advice is DON'T EVER PROCRASTINATE! I know it's easier said than done but try not to procrastinate, you'll thank yourself later.
It's obvious that you'll make some friends while you're on your college journey; some will stay with you and some will go. If someone doesn't like you that's okay, not everyone has to like you; it's not a competition. Not only will you change but the people around you will too. Everyone's intentions change, majors change, interests change, etc. It's a good thing when you find someone who has the same interests/goals as you do because that's a friend you'll want to keep around. It's always good to surround yourself with positive people who can encourage and motivate you to keep going when things get rough.
The amount of homework can sometimes be overwhelming. My first semester of college I spent about 4-5 hours daily working on homework. I'll have to admit in high school I breezed through my classes just because of the fact that my teachers didn't like to give out homework. The purpose of high school is to prepare you for college, I'm not sure that it did. I think I prepared myself and I knew what to expect. In college you have to keep up with your own assignments because there's no one telling you the due dates besides yourself. The teachers don't care if you show up to class or not; they still get paid. On the days when you feel too lazy to get out of bed for whatever reason it is, and trust me there will a day where you feel this way. Think about this: if you are paying for your own tuition, regardless of scholarships, you are wasting your own money because every single time you have a class you're ultimately paying for it. Personally, I want to get my money's worth so I make sure that I don't miss a class and I can get the full education that I paid for.
Having a job in college can be super beneficial to you. It's great to have some extra cash every month and maybe start saving. Most people agree that college students are always broke and that's simply because we're all young adults and in our heads it's like, 'if you have money, spend it.' It takes a very self-controlled person to actually save money and not go crazy. I have an on campus job in the library at my university and I love it because I can work and do my homework for my classes. Sometimes on the not so busy days in the library I feel like I'm getting paid to do my homework, which is awesome! I totally recommend getting an on campus job no matter what college you attend. On campus jobs are supposed to work with your schedule and that's why you're a part-time student worker.
While college is a lot of work, there is also a lot of fun. Make sure that you go to some of the school events going on around campus, hang out with your friends, and maybe join some clubs! My first couple of months at college I wasn't involved in anything. I wanted to go to class and that was it; I realized that I felt secluded. I joined Chi Alpha, a Christian ministry for college students and then I made some new friends. Attending the meetings every Tuesday and Thursday night kept me a little busier and I felt like I was important to my new friends. Also at the start of my Freshman year I didn't know what to do with my new-found freedom so my roommate and I went to Walmart a lot. My college is in a small town, most stores close at 5 pm so going to Walmart was one of our main options. Feel free to go to Walmart late at night and see the people of Walmart! Just be careful! It's okay to play hard but work harder because after all you're not in college to party; you're here to get a degree to graduate!
Finally with my last little piece of advice, enjoy every moment! Try not to feel too stressed out, take a moment and breathe. Everything will be okay. If something is meant to happen it'll happen. Spread as much kindness as you can because you have the chance to make someone's horrible day a little better and you might even get some smiles in return. Surround yourself with positive things and I promise that you'll be happier. Beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from any kind of negativity. Happy studying!