College is such a fun experience that can sometimes take a little getting used to. When you move away from home and go to a big university that has over 10 times the amount of kids your entire high school had, it can be a challenge. A number of new opportunities and experiences you can surround yourself with are too many to count. As a fifth year senior, here is my best advice to the incoming freshmen who are about to embark on the post-high school chapter of their lives.

Home will always be there.

Sure it’s normal to miss home. We all get homesick once in a while, but that doesn’t mean that you need to live in the past and keep up with the happenings of where you’re from. Now that you’ve relocated it’s important to surround yourself in the location you’re now in. You are on your own and it’s time to start living on your own. Leave the past in the past and relish in it when you go back home for a visit. It’ll always be waiting for you with open arms.

Get involved.

There are so many opportunities to get involved with your new school. Whether it’s a new club, Greek life, student council, etc., it’s important to surround yourself with extracurricular activities that keep you busy and involved somehow. You could meet your new best friend by taking part in this.

Immerse yourself in school spirit.

You’re not too cool for school, and if you think you are you need a reality check. You chose to go to this school because something was appealing about it. You were selected above others who were denied to attend here, so start appreciating it. Even if you’re not a sports fan you should still go to all the big games and show your school spirit. Trust me, it’s so much fun!

Don’t be afraid to fail.

You can retake classes, but you can’t retake life. Sometimes you will have to choose between a social life and studying all night. It’s okay to take study breaks and go out for ice cream with friends. Professors are a lot more understanding than you think and they’re more than happy to help you when you need it most. It’s up to you to take advantage of their offers.

Your high school teachers weren’t always right.

No one cares if you attend class or not. They don’t care if you turn in an assignment or not. Everything is entirely up to you and is completely your responsibility. That being said, if you contact professors and let them know your struggles, 9/10 times they are willing to help and work with you. Especially if you’re being honest and not just being lazy. Don’t think of them as your enemies, but rather as your colleagues. To be honest, a lot of the time high school teachers are much harder than college professors.

High school is in the past. College is your future.

You won’t be the same person that you were in high school, and you shouldn’t try to be either. It’ll never work out that way. Take it from me; I was in charge of every school event, every social event, and anything you could think of. As a college student, I am still involved with organizations and events but not as many as I once was. And that’s okay. It just means I now focus on other things and know how to balance academics and my social life. I no longer compare myself to my high school self; now I embrace the new and improved me.

Enjoy it while you can.

If you thought high school goes by fast, just wait until you hit the end of your first quarter or semester. It’s crazy how fast time flies, but just remember to always enjoy it. This is a time where you can be irresponsible and responsible at the same time and have as many or few commitments outside of school as you choose. Remember to enjoy every piece of it and make as many friends and memories as you can. You’ll look back on your college days and be thankful you did what you did.

So enjoy your freshmen year and the rest of your college experience. There is nothing that exists as a routine day because every day can be a new series of events and adventures if you allow it to be. It’ll be the time of your life that you’ll talk about for years to come. So make the most of it.