1. “Popularity” does not matter
In college, there aren’t cliques. There aren’t “cool” people or “popular” people, there are just people. You are free to be friends with whoever you want, and you don’t need to be stuck in a certain group. That being said, “popularity” is all in your head, and in reality, it really does not matter. Be friends with anyone or everyone and make the most out of it, because what does matter are the friendships you make.
2. Be kind
You are going to meet all kinds of people in college. Students from different countries, from different upbringings, from different lifestyles. You may not agree with everyone you meet, and you may not like everyone you meet. But that is not an excuse to treat them without respect. There’s a quote that from Maya Angelou that reads, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” So be kind, because that’s what people will remember, and isn’t that what you want? To be remembered in kindness?
3. Staying in your comfort zone is awfully boring
College is a time for growth and a time to experience new things. I know everyone says that, but it really is true. That being said, if you stay in your comfort zone and fight the new experiences, you will lead a boring life. Now, I’m not saying go out and get wasted every night in the week, but if you stay in watching Netflix repeatedly, weekend after weekend, you probably won’t be very happy. So yes, it may be scary to step out of your comfort zone and try something new, but you’ll make new memories and hopefully have some fun.
4. You’re probably going to lose yourself at some point
It might not be freshman year. It might happen the middle of your junior year when you’re supposed to be in your prime. But it’s going to happen. Whether you realize it or not, college is a huge change, and it’s really easy to question everything you’ve ever known about yourself. Faced with deciding what to do with your future, different kinds of people you’ve never known before, and new experiences, you might feel like you have no idea what you’re doing. And that’s ok. Because that’s a part of life. And you’ll find yourself eventually.
5. Relationships in college are difficult
Honestly, I did not expect this one. I had some fantasy vision of going to college, finding my perfect boyfriend, and falling in some deep, fairytale kind of love. But college is surprisingly a very immature time for relationships. When you can go to a party almost any day of the week, get drunk, and hookup with whoever you want, it’s easy to let feelings go out the window. Therefore, when you actually get caught up in someone else, it can be hard to make things work. Not impossible; just difficult.