No matter who you are, the transition from life at home to college is filled with unexpected surprises and discoveries. Life outside of the safety of your childhood home is filled with horrifying concepts like “doing your own laundry” and “personal responsibility.” Just like most new events in life, with enough time you learn the ropes and don’t feel like the awkward freshman on campus. However, I have compiled a list of things I had to discover on my own and wish someone had shared with me along the way.

1. Disease runs rampant and there is no running away from it
I considered myself a fairly healthy person who rarely got sick before coming to college. The communal environments fosters all sorts of plague like illnesses that are simply unavoidable no matter how often you Purell your hands.       

2. Sleep is for the weak
College is an active place, filled with people who all have different schedules. Between the night owls who stay up all night studying, or the chatty girls who want to talk about their day outside your door at 2 a.m., getting a good night’s sleep is as a mystical concept as a unicorn spotting. Do not plan on sleeping more than six hours a night, with the exception being on the weekends where it is considered appropriate to never get out of bed.     

3. Check the weather BEFORE you walk outside
It involves pressing two buttons on your iPhone, but even still nobody seems to think to take the time to look. Nothing is more amusing than walking through campus on the first cold day of the year watching a girl uncontrollably shiver in a sundress because she didn’t get the memo the weather changed.      

4. Avoid the unknown in the dining hall 
It’s good to be an adventurous person, but that character trait can steer you very wrong when it comes to dining hall food. Stay away from the more questionable options: i.e. chili, overly fancy chicken and homemade pasta salads     

5.  Never approach the crying girls 
You’re walking down the hall and you hear the distinct sound of female tears and hysteria. You might feel compelled to stop and try and help, but do not act on this feeling. Crying girls are a special kind of crazy, and unless you want to be screamed at or have two hours to listen to a dramatic story, just keep walking and avoid making eye contact.      

6. Nothing makes college kids move faster than free food 
College kids possess a sixth sense when it comes to finding the free food. If you want a high attendance at any event, just whisper the word "Canes" and hundreds of college students in search of chicken fingers will magically appear.      

7. It's only a bad idea if you think of it after 2 a.m. 
It might sound like a really good idea at the time, but you should probably find your way to bed. You’ll thank yourself in the morning.