It’s May 1st and high school seniors across the country are putting down deposits and enrolling in colleges; one step closer to adulthood and achieving lifelong dreams.
Summer has come and gone — you’ve discovered roommates, collected your stuff, and said good-bye to friends and family. The life you’ve always known is behind you, and the excitement for college has turned into sheer nervousness.
Your parents have gone home and here you are sitting in your new dorm room with a complete stranger. In the months ahead lie new friends, difficult classes, and wild nights you probably won’t tell your future kids about. These are the things that no one prepared you for, but you’ll inevitably discover anyways:
1. It’s okay to feel lonely
Change is overwhelming, and the majority of us are surrounded by strange people who haven’t known us our entire lives. It’s completely natural to feel lonely and lost. Not everyone figures out where they belong and who they belong with right away. Even if other people seem like they’ve settled in, chances are they probably don’t have it totally figured out either.
2. Your Roommate does not have to be your BFF
Culture today pushes us towards this totally false concept that you have to be best friends with your roommate. Chances are you and your roommates won’t be anything more than people who happen to co-inhabit the same space. Despite what people tell you, this is completely OK.
3. College classes are hard
For some odd reason I feel as though this is something that surprises a lot of incoming college freshman. The reality is that it’s no longer high school, and whether or not you even show up to class is completely up to you. Professors can be difficult graders, and very much expect that you’re going to keep up with the reading and take notes during class. Failing a quiz or doing poorly in a class is completely ok — it happens to everyone eventually you’re definitely not alone in this.
4. People can be very fake
For everyone who warns you that people put their best foot forward that first month are completely right. People want friends and to be liked, so it’s only natural that they’re going to hide all the shitty bits in order to achieve this. If someone seems too perfect and all around too good to be true, chances are that they’re just that…so just be careful.
5. You will doubt yourself
If you go in with a decided major, chances are you’re going to doubt yourself, drop that major, and be even more confused about your future than you were to begin with. That’s totally normal, and it’s almost abnormal not to doubt some aspect of your college experience — whether it be the college you’re attending, or the classes you’re taking. Doubts are completely ok.
6. Crying is healthy
Not everything is going to go as planned — even if you end up at your dream college and everything seems perfect. There’s going to be times that you feel like the entire world is pitted against you. So make time for a good sob and the occasional mental collapse, because what would your freshman year of college be without a regular breakdown?