First of all, congratulations to all of you on graduating high school and getting into college. That’s a bigger accomplishment than it may feel and in your first year of college remembering how hard you have worked is important. That being said, I wanted to share a few things I have learned in the last year.
1. Call your parents. I don’t care how close or far you are from home, call your parents. I promise that it will make their day. Chances are your parents have given up a lot and worked really hard to help you go to college so even if you just got an A on an exam and you’re going to see them this weekend, call them and tell them, it’s a sure way to make them feel good and you feel good.
2. When you can go home and visit, do it. Being across the country I take advantage of every second I get to be home. If you are able to go home and visit, even for just a few days, do it. The no place like home thing is true.
3. Don’t let social media fool you. Just because someone makes living on their own look like a breeze doesn’t mean it is. If you are struggling on your own, you are not the only one. We all get home sick, we all have to choose between that extra few items at the grocery store and gas in our car for the week. Living on your own is hard. Especially for the first few months. Don’t be hard on yourself if it’s a hard adjustment.
4. College sucks. Sometimes it’s amazing but sometimes it really sucks. I love my major, but sometimes it is exhausting. Sometimes teachers aren’t fair and sometimes the people you go to school with can be assholes. There will be times where everything feels easy, and there will be times when you have way too many assignments due at midnight and an exam at 9 am that you really need to study for.
5. Sleeping is underrated. Everyone seems to think that going to class and then going to a party to be tired at your 9 am lecture is what college is about, I promise it’s not. As a student that goes to a 24 hour school I sleep when I can, even if it’s during the day. Being tired and failing your exam that you are paying a few thousand dollars worth of tuition to take is NOT worth it. I promise.
6. Not everyone you meet on your first day is going to be your friend when you graduate, or even your friend next month. Everyone does a lot of growing in college and the person you are on your first day, the person you are 2 weeks later, 2 months later and a year later, is not the same. That’s okay. Just because you were inseparable for a few months doesn’t mean you are meant to stay in each others lives forever. But you will also meet people that are going to be around long after you graduate.
7. Unfortunately not everyone is on your team. Sometimes when people are struggling to find who they are and feel like they are sinking they want to take others down with them. People get competitive, and they will try to outshine you, brush them off and continue to work hard, it’s not worth your time.
8. It’s basically high school all over again. Except with bill to pay…sorry.
Best of luck to you on your first year of college, I am on your team. Have fun, learn much, and be safe.