What You Should Know Before Starting College
Trust me, you’ll need this info.
If you’re starting college, it probably feels like everyone you know has tried to give you some advice. Every other conversation is probably about starting college. You’re probably sick to death of hearing advice at this point, but here is what you should really know.
There is a huge difference between what you should be doing and what you want to be doing. You probably know this deep inside, but do what you want to do. This can be applied to most college situations, that extra class that your parents always talked about? Do you want to go, or is it to impress them? Now, don’t get me wrong – this advice isn’t to tell you to do the bare minimum, but if you’re cramming your schedule with things that will suck the joy out of you it might be time to reconsider. Try the class that’s been secretly catching your eye instead, you’ll likely meet people who are more like you there too.
Similarly, don’t stress about having to find friends on the first day. Everyone is new, you’re all in the same position – we’ve all been there. It’s more than likely that the people you hang around with in the first few weeks won’t be your closest friends at the end of your first year. As you start classes and meet new people (well, maybe Zoom classes this year), you will meet hundreds of people. You will find your people; so do not worry if you haven’t found them in the first week. On the other hand – if you have found amazing friends straight away, don’t take this as they won’t be your friends in a couple weeks because they will. Naturally, there isn’t one size fits all for friendships; it’s different for everyone.
Finally, when you’re in that class and you just don’t understand what’s going on make sure you reach out for help. The professor won’t know your struggling unless you ask them. You don’t have to do this in the lecture hall in front of everybody either, a quick email can be so helpful. More often than not, more people also want the same question answered. With classes so large, it’s easy to fall behind, as one way of teaching doesn’t suit everybody so there’s neither harm nor shame in asking. Always remember, if you email at 2am it’s not likely you’ll get a quick reply – two words OFFICE HOURS.
Good luck freshers!