It’s an exciting word, but also a terrifying one. After months of endless applications, emotional acceptances and rejections, and difficult decisions, you’re finally ready to pack your bags and go. Or are you?
As your departure date draws closer, you’re probably suffering from some serious pre-college anxiety. You’ll have to make new friends, adjust to new academic expectations, and learn how to live away from home. That’s a lot of new—no wonder you’re nervous! But never fear: we’ve compiled a list of some tried-and-true ways to calm down and get excited about the next four years of your life.
1. Talk to current college students
When you’re nervous about something, the best way to feel better is to talk to someone who’s been through it and survived—and no matter where you live, there are sure to be tons of college students home for the summer.
“I talked to a very good friend of mine who was a rising junior,” says Laura, an HC campus correspondent from Virginia Tech. “Listening to her tell me about her freshman year and everything she went through really put things into perspective that it isn’t as bad as you think and you CAN get through it.”
Even if you don’t have close friends who are in college, there are still plenty of people you can talk to—friends of your older siblings, people who were in the school musical with you or played on the same sports team, etc. If you work a summer job, there are probably college kids lurking around somewhere—see if you can start up a conversation with them while you’re scooping ice cream or on break.
These students are your most reliable resource for what college is really like, from schoolwork to clubs to dining to parties. Remember, though, that every college is different, and that traditions and customs at your friends’ schools won’t necessarily apply to your experience. Just because your friend’s entire school participates in a naked midnight run doesn’t mean you’ll have to do the same!