Things I Wish I Knew Before College

I am two months into my last semester at Appalachian State University and it is crazy to think that I will officially be a college graduate - a year ahead of schedule no less. Keeping in mind that every college experience may be different, here is some of the advice that I wish I had known before entering college.

  1. 1. Don’t Fear Your Roommate Before You Meet Them

    women sitting at computer

    You will hear more horror stories than humanly possible, which is why a lot of people - myself included - stress out over meeting their roommate Freshman year. This isn’t me saying to go into college believing that you’re going to be best friends with your roommate(s). This is more to remind you to walk into college with an open mind. You’ll be surprised to find that they’re probably just as nervous as you are. 

  2. 2. The First Year is Crazy but Manageable 

    Overhead view of Students In Class

    I came to college believing that I wouldn’t have time for friends because I would be spending all of my time hitting the books and working multiple jobs; however, that isn’t what college is all about. Even the smartest and most studious of students take breaks and enjoy time with friends. It’s all about time management. Don’t panic - a lot of people struggle with time management throughout college. The whole point of college is that it’s a learning experience - literally. It isn’t just about the classes, so soak it all up!

  3. 3. Greek Life isn’t so Bad

    Bid Day 2

    We have all seen those movies and television shows that portray sorority girls in a negative light, partying all of the time, and the belief that girls are just ‘buying friends.’ The rep that gals in sororities get makes it hard for others to want to join, and even parents sometimes tell their kids to stay away from that scene. I’m here to tell you that it actually isn’t that bad. In the end, you’re joining a group of women who want to see you succeed and who will love you unconditionally. College is all about taking that leap of faith in discovering who you really are, and you can leave recruitment - and your sorority - at any time if you decide it isn’t for you. 

  4. 4. Self-Care … Do It

    happy woman removing a face mask

    Not to put pressure on you or anything … but self-care is incredibly important. There will be some days where you feel like you are drowning in all of the work that you have to do. On those days, it is really important to take time for yourself. Take a walk and enjoy the fresh air. Watch a movie or a television show. Even the smallest things like doing homework with your friends will make you feel better. In the end, you won’t be successful in college unless you’re successful in self-care and listening to your body. 

  5. 5. College Really is the Best Years of Your Life

    woman wearing graduation cap

    I remember when I was first told that “college is the best four years of your life.” I didn’t believe them because I didn’t want to think about such a big change like that. In your first year, you may be hesitant about how things are going. You may have doubts that you made the right choice in choosing where you wanted to go to school. All of that is completely normal. Parents like to believe that the grades we earn in classes are the only thing that matters, however, it is all about the journey. You may find yourself on the Parkway surrounded by a group of people you never thought you would befriend and realize suddenly you made the right decision. While everyone’s experience is different, when you find your people who make the years go by incredibly fast, you’ll see that they were in fact the best years of your life. 

Some of these may seem obvious, however, the number of times that I’ve been told that school comes first is astronomical and puts a lot of pressure on finishing school first before taking care of yourself or doing the things that you enjoy. College is all about you so, do what makes you happy in the next four years.