1. You will miss home
You may think you can’t wait to get out of your little town, away from stupid high school bullies and away from your overbearing parents. But at some point or another, you will yearn for home. It may be something small; you may just miss your mom’s chicken pot pie, or the way she folded your clothes for you. You may miss your dog. Or you may spend nights crying, hoping your dad doesn’t die from his heart condition one night while you’re drunk at a frat party. Call home; talk to your parents and your siblings.
2. Your weight will change
Ah yes, the infamous “freshman fifteen.” There will be all-you-can-eat buffets, drunken nights at the 2 am diner, nights getting high with your friends and eating entire jars of Nutella. There will be excessive calories from alcohol, Sunday brunch tater-tots, and home baked challah at Hillel. You may try to create an exercise regimen, but this will inevitably get messed up. You’ll refuse to walk to the gym one day because there’s a foot of snow on the ground. Your plans to go for a run with your friend on Sunday afternoon will be canceled because you’re both too hung-over. You may lose weight; skipping dinner because you had a club meeting, not eating because of stress, pretending a pop tart counts as breakfast and lunch. Whatever it is, your weight will not stay the same number it did. Get ready for it to fluctuate all over the place.
3. You will have a night where you get way drunker than expected
If you drink, this is inevitably going to happen. No matter how well you think you know your limits, how well you think you know the rules of drinking, or how much you tell yourself you’re not going to get drunk, one night, it will happen. You will forget to eat a sufficient dinner before you go out, or you’ll be depressed about something and try to drink away the sadness, or you’ll lose track of how many shots you took. You may forget most of (or all of) the night. You may kiss a boy you didn’t intend to kiss, and will later regret kissing. You may lose several important belongings. You may cry. You will probably throw up. The EMTs might be called. You might do all of these things in the same night. But be sure that after this night, you will (hopefully) learn your lesson. You won’t stop drinking, but you will be a little more cautious with your tequila shots in the future.
4. You will have a night where you have to take care of a friend who got way drunker than expected
Or several nights with several different friends…or everyone who lives on your hall. You will have to hold their hair back when they vomit. They may vomit on you. They may cry and tell you their deepest secrets (which they will not remember revealing to you in the morning). You may have to stop them from drunk texting their ex girlfriend/boyfriend. You will probably have to put them to bed and tuck them in and kiss them on the cheek and make sure they have water nearby. It will make you a better person, and hopefully make your friendship with this person closer.
5. College is really not that different from high school
Petty fights, stupid drama, immature boys, cliques, backstabbing. You name it, it happens. But you also get to choose your classes, and branch out into different groups of people. College is larger than high school. There’s freedom to get away from the people who you dislike. You get to choose how and where you spend your days.
6. You will be challenged like never before
This is not just academically. It is both intellectually and emotionally.
7. You will feel alone
You will go through things that will make you feel completely alone in college, despite being surrounded by people 24/7. Friendships will change, people will desert you and talk behind your back. You will be used and dumped by a boy you thought you could have loved. You will spend nights crying alone in your room, or in public in your dormitory hallway. College is really hard. There may be times you think you can’t handle it. But there’s nothing you can do but wait it out. Talk to the people who are there for you. Call home. But know most of all that you are strong enough, and that it will, eventually, get better.