Here are 10 things that I wish I knew before I went away to college…
- You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate: Yes some people have great roommates that they are friends with forever, but that isn’t the case for everyone. I think as long as you and your roommate are able to respect each others stuff and spaces you will be fine. Sometimes you even have a horrible roommate. I don’t say this to scare you off, just to tell you that it doesn’t always work out like on tv shows.(But it isn’t as terrible as some movies 😉 )
- Sometimes it is lonely: Whether it is a weekend that your roommate is away or a night that you just want to stay in, sometimes college will be lonely. It is totally fine though. Learn to enjoy the times where you can just relax alone.
- Get involved/ find a community: This can be anything from joining a sorority to getting involved in a club to joining a campus ministry. Find something that resonates with you- Not something you think you HAVE to do. There are so many clubs on every campus or you can even start your own club. I have met some of my best friends through the campus ministry I am involved in.
- You may- Or may not- miss your family: Everyone is different. Some of us have a hard time adjusting to being away from our families while our best friend has a super smooth transition to moving away. You see everywhere that missing your family is normal, but I want to tell you that it is okay if you don’t miss your family. It’s also normal to feel something in between- sometimes missing your family and sometimes being completely fine.
- Always buy USED textbook: (if you can, that is) One of my biggest tips is to use amazon, a website like Chegg.com, or using your school’s Facebook textbook page to find cheaper books. They are usually perfectly fine in terms of their condition and you don’t generally lose as much money when you sell them back. Another thing you can sometimes get away with is buying an old version of a textbook or buying a bound copy when they want you to buy a looseleaf.
- It is OKAY to eat in the dining hall by yourself: This was a really hard thing for me. I always wanted someone to eat with so I didn’t have to eat alone. You know what?! It doesn’t matter! Eat by yourself if you can’t find someone to go with. It may be a little awkward but no one cares!
- Use a planner: I don’t know what I would do without my planner. I would be so lost and never turn anything in on time. Another lifesaver has been my whiteboard month calendar. It was the best $20ish dollars I have ever spent! A tip is to use your syllabus as soon as you get it to fill in your planner, so you know exactly when everything is due.
- DON’T worry if you don’t know what you want to do: I wouldn’t worry about this until at least the middle of sophomore year. Explore classes, fulfill general requirements, and figure out what you like. I have learned so much about myself during college and I finally figured out my passion, which is now my major.
- You can transfer schools: For any reason. Don’t feel like you need to justify yourself if you just have a feeling. Maybe you don’t like the school environment, the size of the school doesn’t work for you, or you want to move closer-or farther- from your family. Make the best choice for yourself!
- Be HAPPY!: Explore your new city, make friends, and create memories! The most important thing is to make your college experience the best that you possibly can!
I hope you enjoy this post! Let me know what you think and if you have any other things you would add to this list.