1. You’re going to have to eat by yourself in the dining commons. I once pretended to be on the phone with my best friend the whole time. I was stupid. It’s okay, you’ll get over the initial fear of having to sit by yourself. I promise. It’s not high school, no one cares.
2. Really, it’s nothing like high school. If you had a shitty experience in high school, take college as an opportunity to take advantage of your experiences.
3. If you have a set group of friends, you’re doing it wrong. Of course you’ll have your closer friends, but if you limit who you hang out with you’ll miss out on everyone you could be meeting. Who knows maybe they could be a potential boyfriend/girlfriend? ;)
4. The first few months will be hard!! Oh boy will they be hard. Harder for some than others but boy do I remember having my fair share of tear shedding and feeling like I don’t belong. Fast forward and just the other day I couldn’t decide who to eat dinner with because three friends texted me all at once to grab a bite. I promise it takes time and as cheesy as that sounds—it’s natural to have a hard time adjusting. Don’t let that get to you.
5. You’re going to have freedom. So much of it you won’t know what to do with it and when you see your parents you’ll enjoy every second of the nagging. No curfew, no parents, no rules. Enjoy the independence but the second you get the feeling your parents wouldn’t be proud of what you’re doing—pay attention to it. You’re not living for your parents obviously, but lets be honest, no one likes to be a disappointment.
6. You’re going to miss home. If you’re not homesick, you’re still going to miss your parents. Talk to them often, it means more to them than you think. If your mom is as emotional as mine, just a simple good morning text will make her day. You are their world, recognize that your moving out will impact them greatly.
7. College is the time to make mistakes before you go to the real world. And not like forgetting to attach your works cited page in MLA format or failing a midterm. I mean like real world problems—figuring out how to fix and keep relationships, do your laundry (you will be so surprised to see how many freshman struggle the first week of college with laundry), learning how to network and make connections with people, and figuring out what you want to do with your life!
8. That reminds me, it’s okay not to know what to do. It’s okay to graduate and not know what you want to do. It’s okay to be 25 and not know what to do. You have your whole life to figure out what you want to do. Look at college as an investment through which you can explore fields you’re interested in. Once you get your degree, you can do whatever you want with it. REMEMBER: YOUR MAJOR DOES NOT = YOUR CAREER!!!!
9. No one is going to take care of you. You already know this and maybe this is the aspect you are most looking forward to when you move out, but really. No one is going to wake you up (unless your roommate is loud and sets 20 alarms) (I may have been that roommate) (Well what can I say I didn’t want to sleep through my 8 am classes). No one is going to make sure you eat except maybe your overly concerned mother on occasion. No one is going to check in on your progress. Learn to take care of yourself, you’ll need to sooner or later.
10. Get involved, oh my goodness get involved! Invest your heart and soul into something you love, join a club, and go be adventurous. If your university is by a beach, learn to surf! If it’s in the city, go to museums, take walks and take pictures! If it’s in the middle of nowhere, grab friends and wander aimlessly until you find something to do (if not an exciting adventure, it may offer you procrastination time—something everyone needs). Not only will it be the best distraction when things suck, but you will be so thankful for the experiences it provides you with and the people it introduces you to.