Ahhhh, College! A time of freedom, independence, and possibly the hardest adjustment you will ever have to make. From the time you begin applying to college to when your parents finally drop you off, you will hear many “do’s and don’ts” from friends, parents, teachers and other “experts.” However, there are plenty of things that older siblings and friends don’t tell you, or just want you to figure out on your own. No one can really forewarn you about anything when going to college. They can only give advice based on their experience, and your college experience is just that: YOURS! So, take our advice and apply it whenever you can.
It’s an emotional roller coaster: The Constant Building and Burning of Bridges
Friends come and go, and this does not stop in college. In fact, not to scare you, but it gets worse. Whether at a school with 26,000 or 4,000 students, it will be challenging to find your “crew” at first. Don’t let his discourage you. You do not have to confine yourself to only one group of friends. Join clubs and organizations that share your beliefs and moral. This time will allow you to bond with people, and create great connections. Branch out, and you will be amazed at who your closest friends will be.
And how could I forget roommates! Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Hopefully you have a good roommate, because this can make or break your college experience. If this is your first time having to share your space, give it a try before passing judgement on the situation. Your roommate may turn out to be your best friend, your shoulder to cry on, and your support system. I recommend trying to get to know your roommate, if you can, before moving in. This gives you an opportunity to find out what you have in common, set a few house rules, and maybe plan your dorm decorations. You roommate may be the best part of your freshman year, or the worst.
There are plenty of roommates from hell, and boy do I have stories for you! Don’t worry! There is always a solution to the problems you may face. Don’t let your roommate issues boil over and become an even bigger problem. Talk it out, and don’t be afraid to say how you feel. Get familiar with your dorm director and R.A’s. They can help.
Stay Active and Eat Healthy
Freshman 15 is real! As a college student you are on your own schedule, meaning mom and dad are not there to tell you when dinner’s ready or what to eat. This means a lot of eating out, late night munching, and sometimes forgetting to eat.
For many of you, this will be your first time away from home, but do not let that steer you from an healthy lifestyle. If you were active before in sports or clubs, stay that way. Manage your time well, and there will be less stress when trying to fit everything into your schedule.
Indulge yourself, but know when to stop. Knowing how to make the right choices is important, as well as working with what you have. Your cafeteria may not have a plethora of healthy options. This makes it easier to choose a cheeseburger over a salad or light sandwich. Eating out is very tempting, and you may spend a lot of your time eating fast-food. That is okay, but find a balance so that McDonald’s is not all you eat. Yet, if you are use to eating out, switch it up! Panera one day, Chipotle another, because let’s be real, Chipotle is life.
Staying active is not only good for your physical health, but it’s good for your mental health as well. If you are not on an official sport team, there are plenty of clubs and organizations you can join that promote fitness. Even if the gym is close, you have a whole campus with tracks and open area.
Do not become the typical college student who waits until the last minute to complete assignments, and then has mental breakdown in the library. Plan ahead! You are in college now, so professors will not constantly remind you of assignments. The syllabus they had out in the beginning is your best friend. Do not lose it! Make copies! I guarantee that if you familiarize yourself and follow the syllabus, your year will go pretty smooth. There are many resources out there — free tutors, study groups — use them wisely!
Take time to get to know your professors and show them you are trying. When you need help, ask. This is a lot easier than going to their office with two weeks left in the semester begging for extra credit.