When freshmen go into college, sometimes the conceptions and expectations they have are pretty high. Not that you shouldn’t go into college expecting to love it, but college is an emotional ride that no one really tells you about. Those four (or more) years will fly by, and you’ll experience a rollercoaster of emotions over those quick four years. If you’re looking for some tips to getting ready for college, then these tips will help you become a college pro before you even start!
1. You Might Not Love It
If I’m really going to tell you the secrets of my own college experience, I’m going to start with the hard stuff. You might hate college. I really did hate it for the first two years. I know a lot of people who hated it at first too. You could hate it for a number of reasons: a bad roommate, homesickness, tough classes, or a lack of friends. I’m not telling this to scare you, I’m telling you this because often when it does happen, people feel alone. You aren’t alone if you don’t love college.
2. It’s a Lot of Work
Log into your Twitter and Instagram and you’ll probably see a lot of people older than you who are out partying every weekend. Sure, it looks like fun, but it’s not all that college is. College is a lot of work. Those older people aren’t exactly Instagramming their late night study sessions. One of the biggest misconceptions about college is that grades don’t matter, but believe me, they do, so don’t fall into that trap!
3. It’s Normal to Freak out Sometimes
On that note, it’s all right to have a freak out every once in a while. Because college is a lot of work, you’re bound to freak out every once in a while. When I finished my first year, I lived by the mantra that everyone has at least one breakdown during his or her first year. You’re not alone in those panic attacks.
4. Your Major Isn’t Nearly as Important as You Think It is
I spent a year and a half wondering what my major should be. I unofficially changed it five or six times. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do. At one point, I sat down and identified my strengths and what I would like to do as a future career. When I narrowed it down, the choice was easy. However, looking back, I realize just how unimportant my major was. Sure, it’s important, but it wasn’t nearly as big of a deal as I was making it.
5. You Probably Won’t Stay Close with Your First Roommate
I think there’s a common misconception that you’re supposed to be best friends with your first college roommate for the rest of your life. However, more often than not, that is not the case. In fact, I’ve heard more stories of people who hate their roommate than people who made a lifelong best friend. Don’t go into your first dorm experience with high expectations, because living with people is hard!
6. Your Friendships Will Change
My brother is currently getting ready to graduate from high school and move out of state. I keep reminding him to enjoy these last few months, because his friendships will change. He refuses to believe me, and I was exactly the same when I was graduating. Your friendships will change with your high school friends. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but when you’re not seeing each other everyday, the dynamics change, and it’s something to prepare for.
7. Have Some Prior Experience to Find a Job
Whether you’re joining clubs or looking for jobs while you’re in college, get some experience while you’re in college, even if your school doesn’t require internships. By the time you graduate, you’ll have years of experience under your belt ahead of everyone else.
Are you going to college soon? Have you already gone to college? What would you tell yourself before you started?