High school graduation comes. The excitement that built up the entire school year explodes on one night— you never have to take another 8 a.m. gym class! No more annoying high school teachers! Sweet, sweet freedom is finally yours!
You make a list of all you want to accomplish before your first day at college. Surprisingly, such things as “packing for college” and “signing up for classes” are nowhere on the list. Whatever, it’s summer! That is a problem for the future! Right now, you want to eat a whole watermelon out by the pool without putting on any sunscreen. Ah, the sweet bliss of adulthood.
After staying up late watching Netflix and putting off all of your college responsibilities until the last possible minute, it is finally time. You pack up stuff that you will probably never use, throw it into the back of a car and head to school. Class schedule? Eh, you can look at it later. Did you pack bed sheets? Probably. Woo, college!
While it may sound fun to put off college responsibilities, it eventually will be time to move on. You can Google what to pack for hours on end, but if you don’t actually pack, then what is the point?
College can be scary and intimidating. You may be pushing off any prepping due to laziness or you may just be genuinely terrified of the future. While you can get advice from family and from strangers online, no one really knows what will happen when you actually start your trek into college life. Will you go to killer parties and fail all of your classes? Maybe! Will you not have a social life and keep a report card of all A’s? Maybe! Will a giant whale fall down on the school the first day of class, crushing all of the faculty and staff and therefore keeping you from going to school for another year? It is unlikely, but maybe!
Forcing yourself to face the reality of what college will be is not easy. You may fear your roommate will be crazy or your professors will expect impossible things from you. Who knows if you will make any friends, and what is this “freshman 15” thing? However, it might be comforting to know—everyone has those fears and questions. The fear and excitement that you feel before your first day of class is normal and is something that you should expect to happen. Even approaching my third year, I’m scared.
College life can be hard, busy and stressful. It can also be exciting and adventurous. So I am going to share with you the three simple things I wish I knew before my first day.
1. Go to class
2. Get some sleep.
3. Know your limits—don’t sign up for an 8 a.m. class if you aren’t likely to make to that class on a regular basis. Also, breathe. You got this; college won’t know what hit it.