So, you did it. You took the ACT/SAT, visited a few campuses, narrowed down your list to a few schools, applied, and got accepted into college. Now what? The summer before college can be a pretty scary, emotional time in your life. Two summers ago, when I was getting ready to head to college, I had a lot of fears and wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Arriving on campus in the fall, my life changed pretty dramatically as I learned how to not only survive college, but to make it my own. Today I’m sharing some advice I wish that I had been told before entering college, so that you can survive & thrive your freshman year, too.
1. Don’t be shy
I know, it’s crazy scary to be leaving all of your high school friends behind and starting over in a completely new location where you may not know anyone. But it’s 150% possible to make a million new friends and have a great year as long as you don’t prevent yourself from doing this! You need to be able to break out of your comfort zone and interact with people – they are just as scared/nervous/shy/lonely as you are, and will definitely be interested in making a new friend too! Don’t be shy and introduce yourself to everyone you see/meet. I promise you won’t regret it!
2. Make the most of Welcome Week
Most colleges have a host of “Welcome Week” events specifically designed to help first-years get to know people and feel comfortable on campus. Make sure to attend these events! I remember I won free T-shirts and ate a ton of S’mores at one of my welcome events and it was a lot of fun. Grab a few other kids from your dorm or your roommate(s) and go!
3. Learn what your campus offers
Learn about all the different kinds of services and resources your campus offers – from guidance to student orgs and everything in between. College is about finding who you are and who you want to be. It’s a long, amazing and complicated process that requires you to take advantage of the vast amount of resources and services you have access to for four years.
4. Keep up with your classes
I won’t lie to you right now: high school classes are kindergarten compared to college ones. That stuff is HARD, okay? Mentally prepare yourself for how much effort and time you will have to put into your classes in order to get the grade that you want. Although you should be actively embracing all of the fun parts of #collegelife, never lose sight of the fact that you are in school first and foremost for an education.
5. Get some sleep
You will be tempted to stay up all hours of the night, either to study for that Chem final or to watch the rest of #GameOfThrones. Sometimes it’s necessary, but do not do it every night. You need to get your sleep, especially during the week when you (as a freshmen) probably have 8 A.M. classes.
Lastly, just take a few calming breaths. You are going to be fine, I promise. Being #CollegeBound is scary, but trust me when I say these four years will be some of the best of your life. (And a million times better than high school). Make the most of it. Ask for help. Smile. Be nice. Be you.
That’s all, everyone! Enjoy the rest of your summer and I hope you have a great first year of college!