As I prepare for my senior year, I want to give a warm welcome to college freshmen, who often have no clue what they’re getting themselves into.
Ah, I remember when I was a first-year, all those years ago. How long has it been? Three years? Those were the days.
Well, now that I’m an old lady, a senior, it’s my duty to pass on this wisdom I’ve gained while in college to the next generation. Though, we’re part of the same generation. You get the idea.
With everything going on in the world, it can be very difficult to think ahead to the future when you will begin your first year of college. I want to help alleviate some of that stress. Here are five things to look forward to when you go to college!
1. The People You’ll Meet
A large part – arguably the most important part- of the college experience is meeting new people.
You will be exposed to hundreds or thousands of fellow adolescents who come from all across the globe. In your classes you’ll meet people who have similar career aspirations.
If you join sports or campus organizations you’ll share unforgettable experiences, that will shape you into the adult of your dreams. Best of all, you’ll make lifelong friends!
Naturally, it’s your responsibility to meet these future friends. It may not happen right off the bat, after all, everyone else is new just like you. Forming connections and learning to network with your peers can only benefit you in the long run.
2. Freedom Over Your Time
In high school, you have to stick to a strict schedule of classes, followed by clubs, and other activities. In college, you choose your schedule.
Classes often have multiple time slots, so you can choose the ones that fit your schedule. What you do outside of class is up to you.
If you want to gain work experience, you can get a part-time job. You can volunteer with local nonprofits, conduct research with professors, or start your first college internship.
Remember that you may have less time than you think! It’s important to learn time management and organization skills. For more info on that topic check out my posts on my college’s student blog here.
3. You Can Start Over
Maybe high school sucked for you. I get the feeling. I saw college as a way to finally begin my new adult life, and start over. Your old reputation as the “lazy” or “smart” student doesn’t matter anymore.
Even if people from your hometown attend the same university, most people still won’t know who you are. This is the time for you to reinvent yourself and work towards becoming your ideal self.
You have new priorities and goals as a college student. If you want to focus on soccer or theatre, you can do that. You have the right to express yourself. For example, no one cares if your shoulders are exposed or if you wear short shorts.
4. Finally, Classes that Matter
There’s something about rocks that just feel grounded. It’s hard to describe, but I feel present and centered when I find a nice rock.
I have to bring it home with me, to add substance to my room, and to my soul. Only people who collect rocks will understand how special they are.
Each one is unique, there are gemstones and minerals that have different names and different histories.
I wanted to be a geologist, but decided to focus on the love of rocks as a hobby.
Someday, I will have a shelf of all my rocks, with labels, and take wonderful photos of them.
5. You Can Find Yourself
One of the most important aspects of college life is discovering who you really are. The new location, new friends, new food, new weather, new everything all impact our understanding of the world.
You may be exposed to ideas you’ve never considered before, issues that seemed so far away, and people you never expected to meet.
You’re responsible for your own happiness. Once you accept and adapt to your newfound independence as a college student, you’ll realize that you can be whoever you want to be.
Yes, there are paths that are harder – even far more difficult – than others, but you get to decide whether to try.
You set the limits on your own actions. Explore your interests. Make decisions. Change your mind. That’s life.
I look back at my freshman self all those years ago, and can only say that I tried my best. It’s alright if you don’t have everything figured out within your first year. Just try to make it through the semester.
If you want to know more about survive your first year of college, stay tuned. That post will be coming soon.
Make sure to check out my previous post on this month’s 30-Day Writing Challenge!