1. Don’t go to college with expectations of what “college” is supposed to be. College is what you make it.
2. You do not have to eat Ramen every day.
3. Do not keep your boy/girlfriend from home. This is a recipe for disaster, especially since you are making new friends and who knows WHAT kinds of people you’ll meet in college.
4. Please don’t be one of those people who goes home every weekend. It’s okay to go home sometimes, but you’re in college in this far away place for a reason!
5. Don’t get into a relationship with the first person you hook up with.
6. Always try to get a good night’s sleep, no matter what you’re doing. Unless, of course, you WANT to have bags under your eyes at the age of 18.
7. Never ask the professor, “Did I miss anything important today in class?”
8. Don’t be the room/suite/housemate who snoozes for FIVE HOURS.
9. You’re going to drink, fine. But please don’t become the person who pukes in their hands. Do you think you’re going to be able to catch it and put it away or something?
10. Wear flip flops/shower shoes in the bathroom and in the showers especially. You have no idea what kinds of sordid mess is going on up in there.
11. My freshman year I tried to transfer to Cornell basically as soon as I unpacked my weaves. Resist the urge to transfer. Maybe you really hate the college you’re in, but give it a chance — at least a year. By then you’ll have some pretty good grades and can prove yourself academically if you really, really want to transfer.
12. 8 a.m. classes are a bad idea. The professors want to be there less than you do. Trust.
13. You know, there are other things to wear than sweats. Maybe try to be somewhat presentable? Not like Gone With The Wind Fabulous or anything, just like…human.
14. It’s really not a cute look to have a shelf of empty bottles of alcohol in your dorm — especially if you are not 21!!!
15. REMEMBER TO WASH YOUR SHEETS.
16. Don’t try to fit in just because. Every campus has its own unique stereotypes. But just do you. People will love you for it. And if they don’t, fuck ’em.
17. Try to avoid sexiling your roommate. Yes, everyone needs to get laid from time to time. But we are all adults here. Come up with a neat hook up system that is fair to everyone. Unless you are thinking about having a three-way with your roommate, in which case…go in.
18. Don’t come to campus with a major in mind. There’s a lot of debate about whether college is a preprofessional space or if you should just do what interests you. I say, do what interests you, because suddenly in your senior year you’re going to take some dumb elective that is going to absolutely open your eyes and change your life. And you will say, THIS is what I want to do with my life. But it will be too late. So, explore. Take classes outside of your comfort zone. And please, for god’s sake, DO NOT MAJOR IN BUSINESS.
19. Don’t go to college because you want to get a job. You don’t have to be in college to be successful.
20. Be totally OK with going to the Mental Health Center — a.k.a. the shrink’s office. I’m telling you, people be going through some shit freshman year. You are not alone.
21. Although you are all BFF right now, realize that the people you get really close with in your orientation group/first week of “Welcome to College!” stuff will probably not end up your close friends. You won’t see them again until graduation. Be OK with that.
22. Understand that you chose to go to college away from home for a reason. Maybe you were a geek in high school or whatever. Now’s your chance to completely get a fresh start and become the person you’ve been waiting to be. Nobody knows anything about you.
23. If you go to college with people who went to your high school, AVOID THEM LIKE THE PLAGUE BECAUSE THEY ARE ACTUALLY THE PLAGUE.
24. Check out the study abroad opportunities and plan ahead so you don’t miss any important deadlines.
25. Work your campus career center and start getting internships. Getting internships and having real experience in the area you think you want to work in is much more important than majoring in a thing you think will land you a hot job.
26. Classes on Friday? What’s that?
27. GO TO OFFICE HOURS GO TO OFFICE HOURS GO TO OFFICE HOURS GO TO OFFICE HOURS. It will be very hard for your professors to write a fabulous letter of recommendation about you for awesome stuff if they don’t remember anything about u.
28. If you are a gay, come out. Maybe not to everyone, but come out. To your roommate, at least. That way you won’t have to worry about your roommate coming back from class early when your face is deep in some dude’s crotch and you have to explain yourself. Chances are your roommate will support you and have a lot of questions, if s/he is not a douche. Makes for fun late night convos!
29. Take your clothes out of the dryer. Or else somebody WILL take them out for you, and you know how annoyed you get when that happens.
30. Get — and stay — organized.
31. Get out of the “campus bubble.” Explore the town you’re in, get involved while you can. It’ll make your experience so much richer.
32. Try new stuff. Yeah you were awesome at soccer in high school, but have you ever had a ballroom dance class? Why not learn German?
33. Please god do NOT go to Cancun for Spring Break.
34. Never put assignments off to the last minute if it doesn’t work for you. Your professor WILL know.
35. Speaking of which, before you turn in a paper check the first sentence and make sure there are zero spelling or grammatical errors, Jesus.
36. Remember to clean up after yourself. You do not want to be the “awful roommate” your roommate is telling everyone about.
38. Learn about people from different social/economic situations.
39. But most importantly, don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to fail an exam. Don’t be afraid of failing anything. Failure is learning, and that’s what college is all about.