College. It’s like this big scary place that you really want to go to but at the same time you’re absolutely terrified to go. Will you fit in? Will you like your roommate? Will you meet the love your life? Do you actually have to study? Do you have to figure out life as soon as you get there? Do you really have to read 300 pages a night? Will you gain the freshman fifteen?
I remember asking myself all these same questions. When I was in high school, from freshman year to senior year, I was 100% positive that I would be attending Purdue University. It had always been my dream and my plan and I couldn’t imagine not being a boilermaker. Then Purdue waitlisted that dream. My mom urged me to visit other schools and although in my heart I felt that I had to be a boilermaker, I went and visited UIndy. As soon as I walked on campus I felt like a student, not a number. At Purdue I was 1 of 20,000+ applicants and quite frankly, they didn’t care whether or not I chose West La La. At UIndy they REALLY wanted me to attend. They almost courted me. Sent me a birthday card even.
A small private school on the south side of Indy didn’t really seem like a place I would want to go. But walking around campus- I just knew. I called my mom 30 minutes later and told her I wanted to go to UIndy. So I did. I didn’t know anyone coming to UIndy, none of my friends were attending this small private school. I signed up for a random roommate and on August 29, 2009 I said goodbye to my parents and suddenly entered this “college life.”
Try not to judge your entire college experience on the first 2 weeks of freshman year. If I had done so, I would have transferred immediately. I hated it. Like absolutely hated it. I called my mom almost every night freaking out about how I wasn’t smart enough to succeed in college and how I would never have any friends, etc.
With all of this being said- here I am 4 years later- I survived, and now I just wish these things were said to me 4 years ago…
- Live in the dorms if at all financially possible. This is how you meet people and once you realize that everyone else is in the exact same position as you are- things get much easier. Keep your door open. Unless it’s one of those automatic doors that closes and stuff but I don’t know if that’s a thing.
- Don’t go home every weekend. Stay and get involved in activities. Go to sporting events and smile at people.
- STOP TRYING TO FIND YOUR SOULMATE. Even if you do happen to meet someone amazing while attending college and you think he/she might be your life partner, cool. You know what that means? You are going to spend the rest of your life with that person so go ahead and spend the night with your friends. The friends you make in college will change your life for the better. Appreciate them. Also, every wedding needs bridesmaids/groomsmen. AM I RIGHT?
- Stop beating yourself up for failing your first exam. High school and college are two different things. I’ve failed my share of assignments and tests and while this isn’t ideal: I learned my lesson and didn’t do it again.
- Get involved. There are always student groups and organizations with people that are similar to you and share the same values. So go and get involved- not only does it beef up your resume but you will probably make friends as well so just go ahead and kill two birds with one stone.
- Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to choose a major. I didn’t choose a major until my sophomore year and while this seemed weird at the time- I didn’t change my major after I chose it like the 2,349 other people did. Take time to get to know yourself and explore what you want to do.
- Take math as a freshman. Like seriously. Don’t wait until your senior year. JUST DON’T DO IT.
- Talk to upperclassmen. I was pretty intimidated by upperclassmen in my communication classes but as soon as I befriended them they gave me so much advice and these are some of my best friends now.
- Don’t feel like you HAVE to drink to fit in. Good lord, I sound like my grandpa. But in all seriousness, I’m not super into house parties and drinking cheap beer. You might not be either and that doesn’t mean you’re going to spend the rest of your college life alone watching Lifetime and eating bon-bons.
- HAVE FUN. So you have a paper due on Wednesday at 3 p.m. and it’s Tuesday at 10 p.m. and your friends want to go on an adventure. Go. Just go and have so much fun and make memories. You know you will get your paper done, because you have to. Those kinds of nights are the kind of nights you will remember for the rest of your life. You’re only in college once and while you do have to be semi-responsible to graduate and stuff, you also need to allow yourself to be young.
P.S. Study abroad. Go. and never look back.