The end of freshman year totally crept up on me (so crazy to think that time has gone so fast) and I felt a reflection post was necessary now that I’ve been home for the summer and (slowly but surely) back to blogging! I’m trying to ensure this is not super repetitive to what others have said, because I know that’s probably the last thing you want to read, especially because this is so late in terms of when it would’ve been most relevant. Sometimes I desperately avoid these types of posts (list posts are extremely hit or miss), but hopefully this will be relatively interesting!
And before I get too far, please send me any questions you have about college – either in the comments or if something private, send me an e-mail (email@example.com). I’d love to be of help in any way!
Without further ado…
1. How much sleep you think you need is probably an overestimate. And honestly, it should be. Part of college is working really hard, staying up late whether it be doing work or hanging out with friends, and just generally – not spending time sleeping. There’s so much to do, and so many people to meet, and if you spend your time constantly sleeping, you miss out. Yes, sleep is crucial, and yes, you need to catch up when you don’t get enough (Sunday mornings!), but functioning on as little sleep, on some occasions, is possible (and worth it!).
2. Talk to upperclassmen and take their advice. They know the best professors, they know great things to get involved in, and they genuinely want you to succeed. (If anything, remember this – because taking classes with the right professors is imperative, and upperclassmen can point you in the right direction of what to do)
3. Take every opportunity, and apply for every program. Anything that is semi-interesting to you, take the chance and see what the outcome is. You don’t know what will happen, and there is no guarantee you’ll get everything, so try for as many things as you possibly can and see what happens. If you get everything (which would be an incredible feat), be proud and accept the a busy schedule – you’ll be grateful in the long run.
4. Keep an open mind and never stop trying to make new friends. It’s better to have a wider network than a smaller one, so take every opportunity to meet different people! Although it is nice to have people to surround yourself with for the adjustment period, you’ll never hurt yourself by constantly trying to meet more people at every turn.
5. Everyone lives differently, which was kind of difficult for me to come to terms with. Every single person you will meet has their own ideas and philosophies, from the way they’ve been raised. It’s just is what it is – there’s really no piece of advice I could derive in terms of dealing with this accept being aware of it.
6. No 8:30am classes! Granted, this doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone (some people are just naturally early risers, and other times there is no other option), but if you can avoid it, chances are, you’ll be thankful. I had a 9:40am this past semester which truthfully I didn’t enjoy but it was good to start my day early (but not too early) and get moving.
7. You are the only person who is managing you. This might seem self-explanatory, but up until college, I don’t think most people experience it. By this, I mean that no one is really looking out for you but yourself. Yes, you’ll have friends that have your back, but you are in charge of taking enough credits, seeking out the best help, balancing your time, making sure you are eating the right things, etc. It seems simple but at home, with your parents always around, you probably think about these things less than you realize. Being independent is a really good thing and something every should experience – but knowing this in advance will help you adjust (in my opinion) a lot easier.