As a high school senior, I was told many things about what it would be like to go off to college. But through so many pieces of advice that were given by friends, family, and older siblings, nothing could really prepare me for what my college experience would really be like. Here are a few really honest things that I wish someone had told me before I went off to college.
1. You're going to get homesick
Whether you go to college close to home or across the country, you'll likely become homesick at one point or another. Don't worry- it is totally normal and it will go away with time. A huge life transition is a clear cut path to homesickness, but try and avoid visiting home too soon or often, as you will become used to your new home and family around you. But don't hesitate to give your mom or best friend a FaceTime call everyday!
2. Nobody really likes their first semester
First semester is awkward and full of meeting tons of people and experiencing things at your college for the first time, all while adjusting to your major and your college level classes. If you have roommate trouble or wind up in the wrong group of friends, there's so much time to change things up in your life. Once you get to second semester, you and your friends will be much closer and know so much more about life at college and be able to enjoy yourselves more without being so awkward and nervous.
3. You will make some of your best friends within a few short months
Though you have only known these people for the shortest amount of time, it will feel like you have known each other your whole life. Living with your best friends and doing everything together is a clear cut recipe for some of the best friendships that you'll have in life, and when you go on long breaks away from your college friends, you'll be missing each other intensely.
4. Getting involved on campus is crucial
Joining a sports team, fraternity/sorority, or club on campus will provide you with an immediate group of close friends. Getting involved is the best way to meet as many people as possible and have the most connections with people all over campus.
5. Living in a dorm sucks
Going from living in a normal sized house and having your own bedroom to moving into a room smaller than your bedroom with one or two other people is a huge transition and it is hard to get used to. You'll always be cramped and cluttered with all your things, and you'll have to get used to walking down the hall every time you have to use the bathroom. Dorm life does suck, but it's a right of passage for college students, and I guarantee you'll come out with hilarious stories of the things you did to get by while living in a dorm.
6. Less is more
When packing all of your things for college, you'll never be able to estimate how small your room actually is and how little space you have for all of your things. The less things you bring to college, the more open space you'll have in your dorm room.
7. You'll become insanely independent
Doing all of your laundry, dishes, organizing and cleaning your things without anyone telling you what to do will make you so much more independent. Making your own schedule is so important, and once you get used to managing your time and work you'll really find out how independent and successful you truly are.
8. You'll learn more about yourself in a few short months than you have your entire life
It's crazy how much you find out about yourself when you're living on your own and your whole life completely governed by just you. You'll discover so many of your pet peeves about living on your own and other people, what kind of person you are while living on your own, and much, much more.
9. Know your limits
Okay, people did tell me this one, but speaking from experience, I did not listen. You can learn this one the hard way by having a one or two rough nights, or you can take the easy route and listen to this advice. Don't drink ten beers at once or chug from a handle of vodka on your first night of college. Just don't do it. Trust me.
10. You're going to have to look out for and take care of others
Chances are, someone in your hall, on your floor, or in one of your classes is going to get taken away in an ambulance due to alcohol poisoning during your first few months at college. Always make the smart decision and tell someone if you see someone who is in danger. It's better for someone to be written up than dead. Some schools even believe in the Good Samaritan law meaning no one can get in trouble as long as you make the right choice to help save someone's life.
11. Your study habits can't be the same as they were in high school
Although you'll spend way less time in class than you did in high school, you have to make up for that by spending plenty of hours studying and doing homework to be successful. Always use the resources that your classes and college offer, such as office hours or tutoring.
12. You're going to be just fine
Okay, my mom did tell this to me a lot too. But as always, she was right. Although moving into a new place, making new friends, adjusting to your college classes and dorm life may seem tough, everything will work out just fine in the end, and I promise that eventually you will find that college life is the best life, and you wouldn't want it any other way.