1. It’s 100% okay to be nervous. Going to college can be a really scary thing, and there is absolutely, positively, no reason to feel bad about being a little skittish. Moving into your first dorm room; going to your first class, those are some BIG “firsts”. Take in things as you feel comfortable and give yourself the space you need. It will be awesome!
2. You should go out of your way to meet new people — especially at first. I am a natural introvert, so my gut instinct was to stick with my high school friends as much as possible. There is NOTHING wrong with keeping your high school friends around if you guys go to the same college, but the first few weeks are an awesome time to connect with new people who could impact your life in ways you’ve never even imagined! Get meals with people on your floor or in your classes, attend “welcome week” events and hang with as many people as you can. It will pay off!
3. Don’t be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Go to that party you are antsy about attending; ask out that cute guy you remember from orientation. College is a time of intense growth, and you can propel yourself to places you’ve never imagined by taking risks.
4. But don’t let other people bully you out it. Having friends that encourage you to “put yourself out there” are great, but don’t let people force you into doing something you straight up don’t want to do.
5. You don’t have to hookup. Not everyone in college is having mind-blowing sex. If hookups aren’t your thing, no problem, that’s YOUR choice! And if people are trying to make sex a prerequisite for “friendship” or being in the “cool group” they DEF are not worth your time.
6. But if do hookup, nobody should give a shit. Your body is your body. Don’t feel guilty about doing something you feel comfortable doing. There is no real limit to the amount of safe, consensual sex that you should have.
7. It is NORMAL to screw up. You might have a semester that doesn’t turn out so great academically, or you might have that night where you drink too much and embarrass yourself. It’s okay. I promise. Learn from your mistakes, take responsibility, and move on. You are an adult now, but you’re still new at all (hell, so am I).
8. You should never feel bad about “staying in” or finding alone time. College is such a hyperactive place, and living in a dorm means you are ALWAYS surrounded by people. If you need time to yourself, though, you should find it and enjoy it totally guilt free.
9. You owe it to yourself to keep an eye on your emotional wellness. College can be a really turbulent time, so don’t let yourself be consumed by anxiety or feelings of depression. I didn’t watch myself during my first semester and let some emotional health issues get out of control. Make sure you know your campus’ mental health resources and use them if you need to.
10. Going to office hours is about more than just a better grade. Like, naturally, talking to a professor about the class content can only help your grade, but attending office hours can also create an amazing professional connection. The instructor might be conducting research that you can get involved with, or possibly serve as a solid reference in the future.
11. Always wait for the first class before buying books (unless you 100% know you’ll need them). A lot of the times professors will list books but openly say the class is possible without them. You might have to battle long lines at the stores, but you could end up saving some serious dough.