As I'm writing this, I still can't believe I graduated high school a year ago. They say time goes fast, but I think your time in college is a sprint. Looking back at my first year at college, here are 10 things I learned after graduating high school.
1. Staying in touch with friends from home will be hard, but it's worth it.
The first few months, you are getting adjusted to a new atmosphere at college and so are your lifelong friends from home. Reach out to them and make sure they feel that they aren't alone. Text, call, Snapchat them! College gets busy but reconnecting with friends from home will help you in many ways!
2. You can't coast.
In high school, I always worked hard and got really good grades. But we all know you can slack in some cases in high school and still get away with an A. In college, it's a whole different ballgame. Grades won't come easy but that's okay! Hard work will teach you a lot!
3. Rooming with someone you don't know isn't scary.
Going into college I was honestly worried I would get the typical antisocial, mean, messy roommate and I would have to deal with roommate disagreements my whole first year at college. Go into your roommate assignment with an open mind and set boundaries early. Luckily, I lucked out with an awesome roommate, but even if you have the worst roommate, don't be afraid to venture and get to know people in your dorm!
4. Time management is key.
You're on your own in college, and a lot of people can take this new freedom and really put themselves at a disadvantage. College is for academics so get your work done before you make big plans for the night!
5. There is more out there than the people/places you're used to.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with where you come from, but you'll quickly realize that the people you meet are so interesting. It's a good change to meet new people that can push you during your college career.
6. You will find friendships in unexpected places.
In high school, you made friends with people purely based on the fact you walked the same halls as them, played a sport together, or you just clicked and have been lifelong friends ever since. During my first year of college, I met friends through orientation week, a group chat, church, and dodgeball at the Corec. After getting to know each other, we realized we knew each other from different things on campus.
7. It's okay to talk to your family.
Getting the encouragement from your family will really help in the long run at college. While they know you are at school studying and having fun, call them or text them and tell them how you are doing, who your friends are, and what things you are enjoying at college. Your family supported you all the way up through graduating high school and they should still be involved now!
8. Rushing isn't a bad thing, but it also isn't for everyone.
It's okay to rush, and it's okay not to rush. Get a feel for where you want your time to go and go for it if you want to try! But don't feel like you absolutely have to (I ended up not!).
9. If you feel alone, God is right there with you.
College is hard, and sometimes you don't hear what you want. Situations will arise where you don't know what to do or turn to. I found that my faith grew in huge ways during my first year of college. I was involved in a community of believers through a Bible study and also found a group of friends that went to church with me, hung out with me, and went deep in conversations about God with me. There is a peace when you find these people!
10. Home will always be there.
The first few months of college, I wanted to come home almost every weekend. One time, in the beginning, my dad gave me this piece of advice; home will always be there, it's okay if you aren't here, it will be the next time you're here.
College is an exciting time in which you pursue your degree in your academics, get involved on campus, meet new people, and experience new things. Take it all in!