- Relationships are not easy: trying to date in college? Good luck with that. Finding the balance between school, fun and self-care is hard enough. Not saying it impossible to be in a thriving relationship in college, I’m just saying it’s not as easy as the movies make it seem.
- Your entire life revolves around school: I should rephrase….your entire life revolves around school, if you want to do well. You will have so much fun in college, but school is always in the back of your mind. You live on campus (or near campus), you plan your social calendar, meals and extra curriculars around classes and studying. School is a job and it will take up most of your time.
- You will learn every little thing about people you spend the most time with: I could probably name my roommates top 10 least favorite foods, the last 5 things she ordered from the internet and how much money she has in her bank account. Living with people and spending enormous amounts of time with them means learning a lot about them. This can bring you closer to someone, but be wary that it will also lead to annoyance and conflict; spending too much time with people makes them annoying sometimes. Just be patient and kind to people, always, it will pass.
- Not everyone will study as hard as you do: Take your education into your own hands and figure out how you need to do things to succeed. Just because your friend studies for two hours and then goes to a frat party the night before an exam doesn’t mean you should. On the other side of that, don’t study 10 hours if you’re prepared. Figure out how to find that sweet spot for preparedness (this comes with practice).
- College does not mean everyone is super smart: there is always that kid in class who asks too many questions about an assignment or asks a question that the professor just answered. It’s annoying, but it’s life.
- You’re not actually independent: Going to college is not an excuse to disconnect from your parents. Chances are they are paying for your education, food and housing. You’re still dependent on them, sorry.
- You will want to go home: People who tell you they have never once gotten homesick at school are full of
shit crap. No way. No way. 99% of the time I’m homesick it’s not because I miss home per se, but because something happened at school and I just need to get away from that environment, but it’s still homesickness. When this happens, make plans to go home, a weekend away can do wonders. But don’t get in a habit of it.
- If you want to do well in school, you can’t party all the time: Going out once a week or so is totally normal and necessary for sanity, but if you go out every night you’ll be tired
and hungover and will have wasted time you may need for work/studying. It will catch up with you.
- Partying really isn’t that fun: Yes, being with friends and meeting new people is fun, but partying can be hot and sweaty and creepy and end poorly to the point where you regret going in the first place. Don’t have expectations that are too high.
- Meal plans rock! People who complain about dining halls are stupid. Dining halls rock! AT my school there are always basics like sandwiches and salads along with a rotating menu. The key is to be creative! Mix and match pieces from different areas of the dining hall and you can make a kickass meal. My favorites? Rice with beans and lettuce and cheese from the salad bar, or get a tortilla from a sandwich station and shredded cheese from the salad bar and make a quesadilla on a Panini maker. The possibilities are endless. Watch what other people do and steal their ideas.
Do you have any advice for incoming college freshmen? Comment below and let me know!
You have list after list of the many things you need to purchase before you head off to university in August. But there are several things no one ever thinks to tell you to add to your boxes. Here’s a list of 15 things you won’t think to bring, but need to:
- Umbrella: I never thought about purchasing an umbrella. It wasn’t until one of the families I babysat for in high school gave me one as a graduation gift that it even crossed my mind. Walking across campus in the rain is a pain, but unavoidable. Make sure you’re prepared with an umbrella and rain jacket.
- Toilet Paper: some dorms provide toilet paper, some don’t. At my school the big dorms have staff who clean your bathroom and provide toilet paper, but the smaller ones do not. Go to your school’s housing website and find out which is the case for you.
- Cleaning supplies: Once again, rules differ by school and dorm, make sure you check so you don’t get stuck in a gross situation.
- Fans: Most schools by now should have air conditioning units in all dorms, but unfortunately I don’t think that is the case. If you’re going to a school with hot summers and springs and no air conditioning, it is worth investing in a fan to have in your room so you don’t die of heat stroke.
- Shower shoes: especially if you are in a hall style bathroom. You don’t want all that gross-ness on your feet. Suite style bathrooms are a little less gross because there are fewer people using it, but it is still a good idea. I recommend those cheap flip flops that places like Old Navy sell for $3 during the summer.
- Command strips: I swear by command strips. These things are incredible. Buy hooks to put in your closet and hang bags and scarves. Buy Velcro strips to hang picture frames on your walls. Command strips make it easy to make your temporary room feel like home. That being said, be careful. Some styles of strips are harder to get off and if you apply to walls (as opposed to brick or concrete), they may tear the paint off and leave a bunch of little missing-paint circles that you try to tape back on and then have to have your Dad spackle over during finals week so you don’t get paid hundreds of dollars to fix it…not saying that happened or anything….but here’s a picture of what it may have looked like if it did….
- School supplies: obviously you’ll need notebooks and pens, but you’ll also need things like staples, paper clips, rubber bands (we used hair ties as rubber bands for the entirety of freshman year…..), markers, tape etc. You probably didn’t think about these things because they are always at your disposal at home, once you get to school you’re on your own
- Surge protectors: First of all, its just a good thing to have to protect your stuff. Secondly, there are only so many outlets in that little room and this will help you plug in all of your gadgets.
- Brita Pitcher: CLEAN WATER, YAY! This probably sounds ridiculous, but if you don’t have some way to filter your water you’ll be drinking most of it from your bathroom faucet and if you’re a germaphobe like me, this just lessens the anxiety.
- First aid stuff: similarly to the school supplies, this is stuff you take for granted because it was always laying around at home. Don’t forget to pack things like Band-Aids, Neosporin and ibuprofen.
- Ethernet cord: Does your dorm have wifi? Does your dorm have good wifi? If you’re not sure, buy an ethernet cord to keep in your room. Keep it hooked into the wall outlet and plug it into your laptop if your connection goes out or becomes slow. It’ll save you from wanting to throw your laptop at a wall at 11:52pm when you have a paper due at midnight and the internet connection has gone MIA. Check and see if your school provides cords, too. I got on when I picked my laptop up.
- Extra laundry baskets: extra laundry baskets are great because you can use them for pretty much anything. I had two in my closet, one for dirty clothes and one for shoes, and then we used another to collect our recycling. These are easy fixes to a lot of problems, and they’re pretty cheap (I think target puts their dorm ones on sale in August for about $2).
- Lint Roller: for some reason you never need a lint roller until you don’t have one.
- Ziploc bags: so so so useful. You never know when you’re going to need a Ziploc bag.
- Stain remover: food. Makeup. Tooth paste. Ink. Alcohol. You’re going to spill things on every article of clothing that you own. DO NOT WASH YOUR CLOTHES WITH STAINS ON THEM; you’ll dry the stains into the fabric. Apply stain remover before washing any clothes that you have dripped on.
Have your own advice for incoming freshmen? Comment below and let me know!
until next time