I know your thoughts all too well. College is a few short months away and it's one of the most exciting milestones in your life. But let's be honest, underneath the smiles and longing to move away from your parents is a feeling of anxiety and fear; a fear of the unknown. If you're like me, Waco, Texas is a long way from home. I came from Long Island, New York and coming to a school in Texas was one of the most nerve-wracking things I have done.
But, coming to Baylor has been one of my best decisions I have made thus far. It has been such an incredibly rewarding experience. Baylor University is such an amazing college because (as cliché as it sounds) it becomes your home; it's more than just a college... it's a community. It's comprised of loving students and professors.
I wish I had the opportunity to learn some inside tips before arriving to Waco in August. So, class of 2022, here are 11 things you should know about college from the Class of 2021!
1. It is OK to not know anyone coming into college
I did not have a single friend coming to Baylor with me! I was so nervous for my mom to leave after helping me move in. The thought of being on my own in a new and foreign state without a single friend horrified me. But fear not, freshies, you will make friends. The first night at Baylor I made a friend named Kayla and became friends with my roommate. Once classes start, remember everyone is feeling the same way you are. Go out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to a friendly face in your first class because I promise a friend can be made anywhere.
2. You might not love college right away
For me, when I arrived at Baylor, I immediately immersed myself in activities on campus and spent time with people I had met. It was a really great feeling to finally be off and on my own. But, after about two weeks, I was incredibly homesick and wanted my mom. These feelings are normal. Give yourself some time to adjust to this new environment. It is really tough to adapt to a life where you are accountable and responsible for yourself. Do not be too hard on yourself. Eventually, you will adapt to this new lifestyle and find yourself loving it.
3. Do not skip class
Even though you no longer have your mom or dad to force you out of bed and to school, skipping class in college is a really bad decision. You will fall behind in work very quickly if it becomes a habit. So, to avoid that, get in the habit of always going unless you are extremely sick. When the semester comes to an end you will thank yourself for that decision. Plus, you are paying to go to school, so why waste money?
4. Get to know your professors
The best way to help your grade in a class is familiarizing yourself with your professors. Take the time at the end of the first day of class and introduce yourself. Go to their office hours; this will not only help you review, but you will become a name not a number to your professor. This will be helpful when you need letters of recommendation. Building relationships with your professors will also show them that you care about their class and are putting forth effort.
5. Call your family
When you go to college, you will soon realize that the annoying little brother or patronizing older sister is something that made your day feel complete. Homesickness and missing your family will be something you learn to adjust to, but, in order to alleviate the homesickness, call your family, even better FaceTime them! It will really help you feel better on a tough day.
6. Get involved
The easiest way to meet people in college is to become involved in clubs, sports or organizations. You will be able to form friendships with people who have similar interests as you, and it will also give you something fun to do during your downtime.
7. Do not overload yourself with classes
Taking too many hours of class will affect your grades in those classes. In order to help yourself succeed, take a good amount of hours but not too many that you will feel overwhelmed. For me, 15 is the magic number.
8. Stay healthy
It is very easy to not watch what you are eating. With free meals and Late Night hours at Penland during the week, it is very easy to give into your cravings. Try to balance your meals and avoid overeating. Also, a good way to spend free time is going to the gym or going for a run.
Origination is a key to college. Invest in a planner and write all your homework, tests, and appointments in it. Organize your books and keep them neat. YOU ARE AN ADULT NOW! There is no excuse or exceptions for late assignments. It can be very easy to lose track of what you have due on which day, so just stay organized and avoid procrastinating.
10. Make time for yourself
You can become very rundown. Trying to keep up with all the homework and studying while also attending office hours and going to the gym and making time to eat and also spending time with friends and attending your club meetings or team practices can leave you feeling spread thin. Allow yourself some downtime to relax and unwind. Watch Netflix or just listen to some music to destress yourself.
11. Enjoy your time
Freshman year went by faster than I thought was possible! Enjoy every second at school because before you know it, it will be time to take your senior picture in front of Pat Neff Hall wearing your green robe. Do not take any moment for granted!