Graduation season was one of the best times I had during senior year. All of the excitement that surrounds graduating from the school system you spent twelve years in and the plans that everyone has for afterwards is contagious. However, in every senior, there is another feeling in the midst of all the excitement- fear.
The unknown is what gets a lot of people. When I graduated high school and prepared to leave for college, I wasn't afraid of anything concrete. I knew I could handle the work- my teachers prepared me all throughout high school. I knew that I would eventually stop being homesick and love my school. I knew that I would end up making friends. What scared me was the fact that when I pictured myself at college, I didn't know what to picture because obviously, I had never been a college student before.
While no one can take away this feeling from seniors, learning more about college life from actual students that aren't paid to tell you it's great really helps. Here is a list of the things I realized when I became a real life college student.
1. Everyone gets homesick at some point.
You'll get homesick too and that's okay. I always thought of it from the perspective that I was lucky enough to have a home good enough to miss. That feeling will go away surprisingly quickly though, and when you come home for the summer, you'll miss your new home.
2. Even if attendance isn't mandatory, you need to go to class.
Let me say it again for the people in the back: you need to go to class. Far too often, students are mesmerized by the fact that school is no longer mandatory. Don't fall into that- when finals roll around and you realize you haven't gone to class in a while, you'll be sorry.
3. The "college experience" is different for everyone.
There is no such thing as a cookie cutter "college experience." Some kids opt for going to frat parties and joining Greek life, and that's great if it's what they want to do. However, if that's not your scene, there are plenty of other things to get involved in like clubs, club and intramural sports, and music groups. Don't feel like you're missing out if you're not doing stereotypical college things.
4. You may talk to your high school friends less.
The fact is, you don't go to school with your best friends anymore so you're probably going to talk to them less, which is okay. College keeps you busy. Rest assured that you will still remain best friends even if distance and a hectic life keep you from talking all the time.
5. You may not be best friends with your roommate.
Although we all want to love our roommates, it doesn't always happen that way. As long as you and your roommate respect each other, you have a good situation. Even if you end up being paired with an awful roommate, just remember that the longest you'll have to live with him/her is a year and then you can switch.
6. Freshman year isn't easy, but it's worth it.
Leaving home for the first time, meeting all new people, taking harder classes and being in a new environment where you are free to do what you want is hard at first. I can't promise you that the transition will be easy but I can promise you that it will be worth it.
College is a pretty great place. You'll meet a ton of new people, find new interests and start to pave the way towards your future. That being said, it's scary at first. But as they said in How I Met Your Mother, "Doesn't being scared let you know you're on to something important?"