The jump from high school to college can be tough, but what’s even worse is filling your mind with irrational college fears and expectations. So here are 10 things you should know about college, even if you weren’t a “cool kid” in high school.
1) Everyone is feeling what you’re feeling on move-in day
The butterflies and the jitters. Bearded 300-pound football players helping you carry your TV as you trail with your parents like a child. It’s move-in day and it SUCKS. It’s full of weird feelings between you and your parents, awkward introductions to your RA, and stiff conversations with your new roommate.
But you need to remember, this is not exclusive to you. Every one of your peers is in the same shoes; they’re just as embarrassed and nervous as you. It’s completely normal to worry when you first step on campus, but really, there is no need. Just think of the upcoming parties and 2 A.M. stumbles at home that awaits you.
2) It’s impossible not to meet new people
It can be a big struggle trying to talk to new people on your floor or on campus, trust me, I’m awkward as fuck.
But, I made friends by just existing. College gives you a much greater sample size than high school. You are bound to find people with similar interests on campus. Even if you’re interested in nothing, I bet someone nearby feels the exact same way.
3) Clubs aren’t lame anymore
Clubs aren’t for kids whose parents can’t pick them up until 4 P.M. anymore. There is no shame in getting more involved in something you are interested in.
Also, these groups aren’t run by a high school health teacher trying to get a little bonus. They are led by professionals that are passionate about what they do.
Plus, clubs are the easiest way to find people that relate to the same things you do. So go join one, there’s no downside.
4) Athletes aren’t what they were in high school
The letterman jacket wearing, blue jean rocking, stud of a quarterback that walks around the hallway with three blonde girls surrounding him doesn’t exist anymore. Now, they sit in the back of class with a single-color tracksuit with Beats headphones on.
No disrespect to athletes, but this advice is for incoming college NARPs (Non-Athletic Regular People). Don’t be afraid to talk to them for advice in a class or just start a conversation. We’re all just students.
5) Cliques are gone… for the most part
We all know Greek Life can be very cult-like, but they are almost in their own world. The average student will see them at parties and rarely in class. That’s it.
For the rest of us it is free reign (at least in my experience). No one is going to write you off immediately because you’re not a part of their “squad.” So go for it, talk to new people and make some friends.
6) There’s no shame in eating at the dining hall alone
God, I felt awful the first time I ate alone at the dining hall. It’s natural to feel this way; obviously you’d prefer to eat with your friends. But as the semester continues, this stress will fly away.
Since everyone has different schedules in college, it’s difficult to get lunch with your friends. You really just have to eat what you can, even when you’re alone. I promise, no one will care that you are shoveling down a Caesar salad in between classes.
7) No one cares about what you’re wearing to class
Everyone is flying from class to class with their own problems. They couldn’t care less about your shoes or your hat.
Chances are you’re going to have a few problems yourself. So take care of those and forget about what others think about you. The extra stress is pointless and SO unnecessary.
Personally, the fact that no one cares about you is one of my favorite aspects of college.
8) Professors aren’t the same as teachers
College professors, for the most part, are much more laid back and chill than high school teachers. Sounds great right? But, with this nonchalant attitude comes a teacher-student relationship that is foreign to high school students.
Professors don’t give a fuck if you do the reading, hand in an assignment, or study for a test. And they sure as hell aren’t going to hold your hand through the process.
So like anything in life, you need to adapt to this new environment.
9) You need to start thinking for yourself
Part of the adaptation process involves becoming more independent. Your parents aren’t there and you’ll find that Google doesn’t have as many of the answers as it used to.
There’s no real smooth way to grow into this; it’s more of a baptism by fire. But again, remember, everyone else is going through, or has been through, this portion of life.
10) Be yourself
Corny, I know, but it’s also true. Everyone can sense the one person that is desperately trying to be “cool.” Fuck that. Don’t be that person.
Instead, be true to who you are, follow what you want to, and do whatever you want how you want to. Life-long friends will flock to you eventually if you just be you.