It’s time. At this point, you’re a couple weeks away from moving into college, or maybe you’re already moved in. I was in your shoes just last year- excited and nervous all at the same time. College is a great experience filled with opportunities, but there are a few things that you should remember!
1. Be grateful when your parents help you move in.
Even if they don’t put things exactly where you want them, thank them anyway. Chances are, you won’t seem them for a couple weeks or maybe even months after move in, so let them know that you are truly grateful for their help and that you love them. Otherwise, you’ll end up regretting your frustrated tone later.
2. Scope out where your classes are ahead of time.
Your stress during the first week of classes can be greatly reduced by taking time to find your classrooms ahead of time. That way, you can find them more easily and avoid being late on your first day.
3. Try to RENT your textbooks.
Campus bookstores are always expensive. Even their rental prices are crazy high! I always try to get my textbooks ahead of time through Amazon. Their rentals run as low as $20 per semester if you order them at the right time (I have found early to mid-July to be the best time to order). Also, if you end up not needing the book, you have at least a month to return it for a full refund!
4. Go to the Welcome Week activities.
Many colleges have different “Welcome Week” activities that range from barbeques with music and free food to sports. Even if you aren’t a big fan of pulled pork or dodgeball, go anyway! These activities are perfect opportunities to meet friends! Chances are, many of the people there are freshman looking for friends also!
5. Don’t neglect your studies.
College is full of awesome activities, career building opportunities, and parties. While all of these things sound insanely fun, remember why you’re at school: to get an education. I’m sure you’ve heard that before, and if you’re like me, you’re 99% sure you’ll be able to stay on track, but trust me, it’s easier to go astray than you think. Just make sure your priorities are always straight. That being said…
6. Still set time aside to have fun.
Go out with your friends to football games and professional development nights. Grab dinner together. Join a club. Be sure to set aside some time for fun to de-stress.
7. Set aside some “you” time.
In college, you rarely get time alone, and if you’re an only child like me, that will freak you out. It will be okay, though! Just set aside some time each week to be by yourself. You can read or draw or whatever you enjoy doing! It’s important to spend time alone so you’re sure to stay true to yourself! Don’t let others start to define you.
8. Be safe and cautious.
There will be a time where you will think that your campus is the safest place in the world and that you are invincible. Or your friend won’t be able to walk you home, and you’ll feel the urge to walk alone. Although 99% of the time you will probably make it back to your room safe and sound, there’s always a chance. Crimes happen on college campuses more often than most people would like to acknowledge. Always be cautious. Carry pepper spray, and keep it somewhere accessible. Stay in groups at night; and take advantage of safe walk programs on campus.
9. Last but not least, call home.
Your parents have most likely seen you almost every day for the last 18 or so years of your life. This is hard on them. Give them a call to check in once in a while, and let them know that you love them.