1. Relationships are fleeting. That girl you got along with so well at orientation? You’ll see her all the time and never speak. The guy who borrowed your pencil in calculus that you had a “connection” with? He will literally disappear at the end of the semester.
2. Yes, you will see people from your high school you don’t like. Yes, they will act like you’ve been best friends since preschool.
3. The dorm you are assigned to can make or break you. Each one has a completely different atmosphere and totally changes who your friends are.
4. Going out is an option every night of the week. That doesn’t mean you should go out every night, though, no matter how much you may want to.
5. You will change your major, or at least consider changing it, at least once. It’s inevitable.
6. Registration week is survival of the fittest. The classes with the hottest professors always fill up first, so be quick.
7. All those nerdy interests you didn’t share with anyone in high school? They’re awesome interests in college. Game of Thrones is marathoned religiously. Nietzschean philosophy is discussed freely. People care that you were in a community theatre production of Les Mis.
8. Freshman 15 is actually a thing.
9. You may come to college with a significant other and you may even make it through the first semester. Cuffing season is over come second semester, though, and it’s time for spring-cleaning.
10. Most of the time, you will end up binge-watching The Office on Netflix instead of writing your paper that’s due by the end of the week. That’s okay.
11. Your parents will worry about you. They will call. A lot. But you will also find yourself calling them a lot more than you expect.
12. Making friends is hard. It takes effort, and just because there are plenty of new people at college doesn’t mean it’ll be any easier than it’s ever been. It’s not impossible, though, and it will happen. You will find those people, and they will have some of the most meaningful, lasting impacts on your life.
13. Sometimes the only thing getting you through a long day will be coffee and your favorite Spotify playlist.
14. There are a lot of people more intelligent than you. You may have been the smartest kid in your high school, but in college you’re a small fish in a really, really big pond.
15. Join clubs. Be involved. Don’t just go to one club meeting, sit quietly in the back, and not say anything. Participate. Meet people. You’ll thank yourself later.
16. Do the things you want to do, not the things you feel like you should do. Don’t go Greek just because you’re a legacy. Don’t major in accounting just because you can make a lot of money. Don’t go out when you don’t feel like it just because your friends want you to.
17. Don’t be afraid of changing. Become the person that you could never be in high school and embrace it.