For all the high school seniors out there wondering what your first semester of college is like and how different it is from high school, I will tell you a few things:

1. Expect the worst, prepare for the best

This was a lesson I learned the hard way within the first few weeks of school. I thought syllabus week was a preview of how my next four years would be and it seemed pretty awesome. I could go out as much as I want and had no worries. Boy, was I wrong. PSA: syllabus week is not how the rest of the semester is going to be like! After starting my semester with a few poor grades due to my lack of concern and simply enjoying my first taste of freedom a bit too much, I changed my habits. I started to write my notes days in advance and taught myself the material prior to my lectures and studying at LEAST a week and a half in advance for a test to make sure I thoroughly understood the material. This has by no means made me an A+ student but it as helped me tremendously in reach my goals for this first semester. So my advice to any high school seniors, do not underestimate your first semester of college classes. They can be a lot harder that they first seem. Especially you, science majors.

2. Focus on you

I have always been the person who has cared way too much about what others thought of me and would go above and beyond to make sure those around me were happy even if I lost a little bit of myself in the process. College has taught me that I need to let go of what others may think because the only opinion that matters is God's and my own. Not everyone in this world is going to like you for whatever reason they may see fit, but that is life. No one in this world is alike therefore not everyone is compatible. But when you focus on being your own person and making yourself happy, you find those who love you for you and enter your life to help you grow and flourish and be the best version of you. So let go of the negativity that may surround you and focus on what you think of yourself and how you can be the best version of yourself.

3. The Freshman 15 is real

No matter how much we all may deny it, the freshman 15 is a real thing. I have been lucky enough to be thoroughly enjoying having a gym that's only a minute walk away which helps keep the pounds off. However, if not for the gym I already know those late night Linda's quesadilla runs and bacon, egg, & cheeses would have caught up by now. Do NOT live in denial. The salad bar in Linda's is bomb, nothing can beat 63's fruit buffet, and at the right time of the day, the gym is half empty for you to get a good workout in. Not to mention the Zumba and body blast classes are a great time with some good friends and a lot of energy. Use the awesome options SHU gives you or you could greatly regret it, trust me. Now I just have to make sure I keep up the good habits so I don't get the Freshman 30 Spring semester.

4. Home & Family x2

This was probably one of the oddest changes for me. Your hometown will always be your home, but you are now only there for a little over 4 months out of the year. You now have a new home, your college. And it's weird because it's your school, home, and life. It's not high school anymore where you wake up, get dressed, go to school, come home and are free to do whatever you want. At your new home, you eat, sleep, work out, do laundry, go to school, hang out, party, and do everything in between. Now you have two homes and two families. The friends you make and the people you meet at school become your second family. I swear half of my friends have supplemented as a second mom for me most of the semester. And if you join greek life you gain a bunch of new siblings, over 100 approximately. It took some adjusting at first, but I am now so thankful to call SHU my second home complete with a second family and all the amenities to give me the tools to become the young woman I want to be.