Welcome to the college life! It will be one of the most transforming years in your entire life, and it is up to you on how you will handle that. Here are some words of advice, practical and then some:
1. College isn’t high school, you will be treated like an adult, and no one will chase after you making sure you’re on the right track.
2. Do not hesitate to ask for help, in terms of anything. Having trouble in class? Ask a classmate, a TA, the professor, or go to the tutoring center. Google helps some of the time, but asking live people will prove more beneficial.
3. Major in something you can see yourself do for the long term without feeling miserable. Be happy with it, have a passion for it, don’t do it because everyone else is doing it, or do it because of the money, or parents are forcing you to.
4. Pick your circle of friends wisely. Be with a group that you can be yourself in. Don’t rush it either. These folks will become your family.
5. You are not obligated to become close friends with the first group of people you meet especially within your dorm or classes.
6. Don’t fret if you take an extra year or so to finish your bachelor’s, stuff happens, it is ok, trust me.
7. Join at least one organization that you can commit to, be it sport, cultural, faith, or career/major based.
8. Community service does wonders to you, reminds you of your purpose, so do it.
9. Just because someone is crushing on you, doesn’t mean you have to hook up. Relationships are a huge commitment, and can go either way. Be smart about it, go with your instinct.
10. See your advisor on a regular basis, and talk to them about anything especially course/major related, they are there to help, but you have to make the first move.
11. Stuff will happen to you that will be out of your control, if it is overwhelming, take a semester off if it comes down to it.
12. Take advantage of “free” resources on campus, after all you paid for it.
13. Become friends with the upperclassmen, they are awesome mentors
14. Become friends with the lower classmen too, they need you as mentors.
15. Don’t forget your friends from high school, if they are nearby, meet up once a term or so.
16. Study abroad, but start researching it freshmen year.
17. Get into an internship/coop program if available.
18. Working in the library is study friendly.
19. Don’t let anyone make you feel you’re incompetent, including professors.
20. Stay in touch with your family at least once a week if not more.
21. Register for elective classes that are fun, like painting, theatre, music, etc.
22. Do something memorable during spring/winter break, go somewhere and do something that you normally wouldn’t get the chance to do.
23. Make some time for yourself and be a bum, once a week. I dance by myself, it works.
24. Your faith will be tested; it can grow weak or strong, or go up and down like a rollercoaster.
25. If your faith is very important to you, join a faith based group on campus and attend services regularly. Do not let that slip.
26. Having that one friend you can trust on campus is a must; they will keep your head and heart grounded.
27. Be grateful towards your parents, don’t do anything that will give them grief, they raised you better than that.
28. Keep in touch with your favorite high school teachers; they will greatly appreciate the efforts.
29. Commuting from home is drastically cheaper.
30. Living on your own outside campus as a commuter will make you grow up quick.
31. Do your homework
32. Go to class, don’t cut.
33. Study effectively.
34. You will learn how to manage your time.
35. Don’t take online courses, unless you are that confident in that class.
36. Hand write your notes, don’t take pictures of it, it will stick to your memory better.
37. Don’t copy homework from a classmate, and don’t let others copy from you. Cheating isn’t going to help anyone.
38. Don’t compromise your integrity by doing something you shouldn’t.
40. Don’t get caught up with someone who complains about everyone and everything.
41. Don’t compare yourself to others, do your personal best.
42. It is ok to cry it out.
43. If you’re going to drink, know your limits. It’s best not to, less drama physically and emotionally.
44. You will learn to love public transportation.
46. Get a checkup once a year.
47. Vote during elections.
48. Go to the gym with a gym buddy, the freshman 15 is inevitable with cafeteria food.
49. Eat healthy and well.
50. Sleep is precious.
51. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, just be mindful what you post. Deactivate during midterms and finals.
52. Above all, be happy in the moment and be excited when you discover what all you can do with your purpose in life.