When you’re fresh out of high school, college seems kind of scary. You’re on your own, you don’t know anyone, and you may be sharing a room with a complete stranger. But freshman year is also this really great time where you become sort of an adult. I wish I had known that before. So, what else do I wish I knew before I started college? Here are a few things:
Coffee becomes your life. Before I started college, I barely drank the stuff. It was more like an every once in a while treat. I even only got Green Tea or Strawberry Frappuccinos from Starbucks. It wasn’t until freshman year’s early morning classes or late night study sessions that I realized how important coffee was to me. At this point, I think my blood may be like 16% coffee. The rest is probably pasta sauce… I really like spaghetti.
Dorming is actually REALLY fun! Even though you might be homesick, if you get the chance to dorm you should go for it! It gives you the opportunity to learn self-efficiency, and make new friends. There’s also usually always campus events that you’d never hear about if you stayed home all the time- That’s what weekends are for!
The ‘Freshman 15’ is kind of a myth. If you’re worried about gaining those extra lbs… don’t be. To be honest, the whole thing just doesn’t really happen. Of course you could eat nothing but pizza and cheeseburgers every day, but after while, you get sick of it and actually want to eat things that are good for you. I actually LOST weight freshman year. So don’t worry. You’ll be fine.
Get your driver’s license. Just get it. From personal experience, I didn’t actually get my driver’s license until I was 19 (basically like a week ago). I had a permit, but that was it. Not being able to go get the things you need when you need them, or depending on other people to take you places really sucks. Not to mention, paying for cabs and Uber really starts to add up when you do want to go out and have fun! So yes, if you don’t have a license, you should probably get one before the semester starts.
The workload is a lot easier than HS. The entire “your grades now will greatly affect your life in college” saying is a hoax too. College is a virtually clean slate- and there’s a lot less busywork to do than high school. It’s a chance to start over and get better grades than before. Not to mention, professors are totally willing to work with you if you ask!
Learn how to properly use email. Mostly any correspondence you make with anyone in college, be it your professors, classmates, even your boss, will probably be through email. So its best to get savvy at it now. It’s your lifeline, So check it often and be able to write proper business emails.
The parties aren’t like on TV/Movies. Don’t expect Animal House or Project X. There’s music and dancing- of course lots of late nights, but most college parties aren’t a grandeur of togas and keg stands. They’re a lot more relaxed. Also, make sure you have money for food afterwards. You get hungry.
Be able to manage your $$$. Being responsible with your money is probably one of the most important parts of being an adult. You will be a broke college student. It’s okay. But, the money you get needs to be budgeted wisely so that you don’t just have to live off of 7/11 taquitos. You can’t call your parents every weekend and ask them to wire you cash.
You don’t only eat ramen noodles. This kind of seems like a no-brainer, right? Of course you have the dining hall on campus. But what happens if its closed for break, or you run out of points, or you get sick of it? That’s why you invest in dorm snacks. Quick meals and microwaveables are much better than noodles. Just make sure they’re healthy.
Don’t try and bring everything you own. You have a roommate, so ask them what they have, and collaborate on who will bring what! But you won’t need to bring everything you own, it takes up too much space, and your parents will have to take it back home. Pack light, but pack the essentials.
Don’t feel pressure to do anything. If you’d rather study, go ahead. No one is going to force you to do anything you don’t want to! The friends you make in college usually applaud you for being a better student and actually caring about your academics! But with that being said….
Go out sometimes! ….You shouldn’t be a hermit! Have good grades, and a good social life! Meet people!
And Last but not least:
THERE ARE NO RULES! Just like in Grease, the rules are that there are no rules. College is your blank canvas, and your job is to decorate it how you see fit! So forget all the things your friends and family tell you and live life the way you want to! Be free!
So there you have it. Now that you know these, I’m sure your first year will be a piece of cake.