As I write this, I am sitting in my dorm that I’ve lived in for just a few days. Prior to college, I had numerous fantasies about what it would be like, and none of those fantasies are quite true so far, but college is awesome, regardless. Here are some realities about college life and how to adjust.
1. College is TIRING.
You might think you’re a pro at all nighters, but college is exhausting! Between extracurriculars, classes, homework, walking to classes, working out, going to dinner, socializing…well, when do you actually have time to sleep? Balancing your time is important because though you may be able to pull all nighters, that doesn’t mean that you should. Your health is important and should be your priority.
2. You will most likely walk…A LOT.
My campus isn’t even very big, and for the most part, the walks aren’t long. However, I live on one far end of campus and walking to the recreational center and the football stadium takes at least 20 minutes. That might not seem like a lot, but when you’re constantly walking back and forth, it can take up quite a bit of time and energy. I didn’t pack sensible shoes for college because I didn’t realize how much the walks would affect my feet. Bringing sensible shoes is a good idea!
3. You might not meet new best friends right away.
In your fantasy world, you would find best friends instantly and would get along perfectly with your roommate. However, building good relationships often takes more time than that. If you don’t make friends right away, don’t let that get you down. Join some clubs and talk to new people; you’ll make friends eventually! If you have roommate issues, talk to your roommate and if that doesn’t work, talk to your RA.
4. The party scene isn’t overwhelming.
Even if you go to a “party school”, if you don’t want to party, you don’t have to. People will have parties and you will most likely hear about them, but you don’t have to go. In my mind, “everyone” went to parties in college, but that’s definitely not true.
5. It’s still summer.
Depending on where you live, it will probably still be hot outside when you start college. If you’re anything like me and you pictured college as some kind of eternal autumn with crisp leaves and warm coffee, you’ll unfortunately have to wait a month or so before wearing your sweaters and riding boots.
6. Everything will be alright.
College may not start out exactly how you expected it to. Maybe it will. Either way, it will be a great experience. I have learned so much and have done so much already. Even if you struggle to adjust at the beginning, everything will be okay. Actually, if you have a positive attitude and keep exploring, everything will be great.