When I first went to college, I had no idea what to expect. I was moving from a smaller town to a much bigger city, to a campus that I had visited exactly twice, and where I only knew one person. I eventually learned to love college, but it was definitely a big adjustment for me. Here are a few things that I wish someone had told me before I went to college.
- It’s ok to feel lost. All of the newness of college can be very overwhelming at first, especially if you’ve also moved to an unfamiliar city. Keep in mind that any feelings of uncertainty that you may have are normal, and most of your fellow freshmen are feeling the exact same thing. Try to find some way to express these feelings—by talking with a good friend or family member, speaking to a counselor, or expressing yourself through writing or art. Eventually you will stop feeling like the ‘new kid’ and settle into your new life at school.
- You won’t be friends with everyone you meet the first week. You will meet a lot of people during your first few weeks at college who will want to connect with you such as your roommate, your floor mates in your dorm, students who are recruiting for clubs and organizations, and more. It can feel overwhelming to be surrounded by so many friendly people at first, but eventually everything will settle down and you can find who ‘your people’ are. Be friendly and open to everyone you meet, and you will find new friends.
- Learn the art of studying. High school classes and college classes are completely different from each other. If you haven’t developed study skills that work for you yet, it’s time to start! If you know any current college students, ask them for some advice on studying and taking notes. You may still stumble a bit at first, but it’s better to have only a little bit of a head start than to start from scratch.
- Find a mentor. One thing I wish I had done more in college was to find caring adults to guide me through school. Having someone that is invested in your success is a valuable asset that can open a lot of doors for you. Try to make connections with a professor that you like or your academic advisor.
Adjusting to life in college can be difficult, but it is also rewarding. If you’re a current college student, do you have any advice for incoming freshmen? Share below!