This is it! If you haven’t already headed off to college, you will be any day now. This is the moment you’ve worked your entire life for. You’re about to embark on an adventure that will expose you to new surroundings and ideas; where you’ll have experiences and meet new friends that will last a lifetime. How cool is that?!
So as you begin this exiting new phase of your life, I wanted to leave you with a few final tips that will help you make the most of this experience and remember it for years to come.
Write It Down
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked longingly back on my college experience, wishing that I could once again experience the freedom and wonder of those four amazing years. But what I really wish I would’ve done is kept a journal, specifically of my first few weeks in school, when I was just getting acclimated to my new surroundings and meeting new people, some of whom would end up becoming lifelong friends.
If you’re already an experienced journaler, you know how rewarding it can be. But if you’re new to it, just pick up a nice notebook and start taking a little time at the end of each day to write down your thoughts, what you did, and who you met. It doesn’t have to be Shakespeare or anything. You can even just have a list of bullet points. Just make sure you chronicle these first oh-so-important days of college. Ten, 20, 50 years from now, you’ll be so glad you did.
Just Be Yourself
When you’re thrown into an entirely new situation with a bunch of strangers in a strange new environment, it can be easy to try to fit in with the crowd or take things to the extreme just to get a little attention. But although your surroundings and the faces around you are all new, there’s one thing that’s still the same as it ever was: you.
If you’re feeling a little out of place during your first few days and weeks of college (and most likely you will), don’t over react or curl up in a ball in your room. Just be yourself. Remember who you are and where you came from, and be proud of it. College is just like high school or grade school or any other place that at one time was brand new and full of fresh new faces. It’s going to take time to feel comfortable in your new surroundings and make new friends. The best thing you can do right now is just relax and be yourself. Everything else will just fall into place over time.
Remember Why You’re There
College is unlike anything else you’ve ever experienced. You’re no longer a high school kid who has to ask permission to use the hall pass or make it home by curfew. Now you’re completely on your own with a ton of freedom, not to mention a ton of responsibility. There’s no one around anymore to tell you what you can or cannot do—it’s all up to you.
The independence that comes with being a college student can be exhilarating. However, unless you keep some perspective and remember why you’re there — to learn and prepare for your career — things can quickly spin out of control. Am I saying you can’t have any fun at all? Of course not. College should and will be one of the funnest, most enjoyable times in your life. Just remember that the next four years are an investment in your future. So do everything in moderation and make sure you take advantage of all of the amazing resources you have at your disposal.
If you do, your college years will end up being some of the most valuable and memorable ones of your life.
Good luck! ~