1. Never judge a book by its cover.
College is a great place to meet new people. You probably won’t keep in touch with every single one of your high school friends. Take the opportunity to introduce yourself to everyone you meet. Say hi to the person sitting next to you in class and knock on your neighbor’s door. You never know when you might find a new friend.
2. Try new things even when you think you won’t like them.
When you start freshman year you think you have yourself figured out. I mean you’ve made it 18 years in your body and you know who you are, right? Wrong. After just a few short months of college you learn so much about yourself. You start to realize that high school is a place where you try to fit in with everyone else but college is a place where you want to be yourself. Embrace change and experience new activities.
3. Don’t be afraid to end your high school relationship.
Maybe you found your one true love but chances are the two of you will grow into completely different people when you start classes – especially if you go to different schools. You’ll meet new people, make new friends and experience things that will totally change you. Eventually you will begin to find that you have grown apart from your high school love. The best thing to do is let them go. There are other fish in the sea and you will find yours. Don’t let the past hold you back.
4. You’ll never remember the nights you went to bed early.
It might take until the end of your first semester/quarter for you to realize that there is little difference between a 3.8 and a 3.6 GPA. Grades are important and you are paying for those classes so make sure to take full advantage of your education but don’t waste every single night in the library. One day when your kids ask you about your college experience you won’t remember that you got an A on an exam, but you’ll remember the crazy 21st birthday party for your best friend. Take advantage of living in a town full of people who are your age.
5. Become friends with your professors.
Okay so they give you all these assignments and long projects to do but these adults are professors for a reason. They are very intelligent people and they can seriously help you land the best internships and hopefully a job one day. Don’t blow them off as someone “ruining” your college fun. Listen to all of their advice.
6. It’s okay to miss home, just don’t let it bother you too much.
You’ve lived with your family for your first 18 years and those first few months away from home are going to be hard. Especially when your younger siblings are calling all the time. Don’t go home every weekend though. Eventually you are going to have to learn to live on your own and be independent from your parents and they understand that. Yes, it’s a hard transition for everyone and it will break your heart to see your mom cry the day you move into your freshman dorm. But don’t let your sorrows ruin your fun. You never get those college weekends back. So go home on the holidays and every once in a while for a weekend but don’t pack up every Friday afternoon.
7. Your grades alone will not get you an internship or job.
Don’t expect to be handed things just because you have a 4.0. Get involved in an extracurricular right away. Whether that be a club for your major, the school paper, the television station, student senate or an educational fraternity. These things look great on your resume and will help you find connections to internships. Your degree is important but it’s all about who you know.
8. The freshman 15 is real. And so is the sophomore 10.
Oh you workout everyday so it won’t affect you? Wrong. College has this awesome thing called a dining hall where you have an endless supply of pizza, pasta, breakfast foods, and dessert. You can tell yourself that you are going to eat all the salad in the world but that will slowly slip away when you are studying for your first exam in the middle of the night and that box of cheez-its looks oh so good. The most important part though is that you love yourself for who you are. Try to be healthy but don’t be too depressed when you get on the scale over your first winter break.
9. Don’t regret anything.
The saying “everything happens for a reason” is more real than you can even imagine. Hate your freshman dorm room? Maybe you were meant to live there so you could meet the person living next to you because they will become your best friend. College is a time to accept what you have been given and to learn how you can be the best person you are capable of being.