I kept putting this post off because I wanted it to be close to the start of the new semester, but I was in Walmart a few days ago and it was packed with kids and parents getting school supplies so I guess it already is close to the start of the new semester! I can’t believe how fast this summer has gone by. It seems like I just started summer semester, but I guess when you’re busy time does tend to fly by. I’m getting off subject….
Three years ago (has it really been that long??) I was starting college, and while I was really excited, I was also terrified. It was the first time I had ever been away from my parents, and, being an only child, I was really close to them. I had no clue what I was doing, and I found myself asking anyone and everyone for advice, so I thought I would share some tips I learned from other people and just through experience.
- Get involved!!! Oh my geez, I cannot emphasize this enough. This was definitely the one piece of advice I kept getting from other college students, and it is incredibly important. While it is true that you can meet people and make friends in your classes, it just doesn’t compare to the friendships and inclusion you get from being involved in a group or sport on campus, especially at a bigger college. It’s also a great opportunity to connect with new people and learn new things. My junior year I joined rowing (I had never rowed a day in my life….didn’t really even know it existed) with my roommate, and I ended up really enjoying it.
- Everyone there is just like you! For some reason going into college I felt like I was the only shy, scared, homesick girl on campus which couldn’t be further from the truth. Everyone going into college is feeling the exact same things that you are. Everyone is looking to make new friends and have fun so use it as an opportunity to put yourself out there, do things, and sign up for things you wouldn’t normally try. College is definitely what you put into it.
- Keep up with your studies. I know so many people who started having such a great time living the college life their Freshman year that they completely threw studies out the window….just don’t do it. You may decide later on that you want to go to graduate school, and you’ll spend the rest of your college career trying to get your GPA back where it needs to be which may or may not be possible at that point. Besides, if you’re paying for it you might as well get the most you can out of your classes.
- Bring some homey touches. Making your dorm room/apartment homey and comfortable may not seem like that important, but it’s amazing how something as little as this can make being away from family a little more bearable. Make sure to bring lots of pictures of friends and family back home and maybe even your Senior yearbook. I brought mine, and it made me feel better to look through it and read messages from old friends when I was upset.
- Bring a pencil and paper your first day…. Yeah, I know this seems obvious, but I got so worked up about getting to class on time and finding the right building that I completely forgot to bring paper. Then I had to awkwardly ask the person next to me for it which was probably one of the most embarrassing moments of my life, especially after the look they gave me lol. This brings me to my next point.
- Find your classes before the first day. Yes, yes, yes. You do not want to have to try and find your classes on the first day. It may seem like it’s going to be easy, but I’ve had so many classes where the buildings were just screwed up. Class 201 was on the first floor, they added a wing called F that was between B and C. Just take the extra time the day before to familiarize yourself with the campus and your route to class. Take your roommate along and make it a bonding opportunity!
- Have fun! It’ll go by so fast, and since it’s the last stage before becoming a full time working adult, make sure you enjoy it!
And just because, here’s some pictures of my first college dorm room!