7 Pieces of Advice I Wish I Believed Going Into My First Semester of College

Last year if you told me I wasn’t going to love college right away I would’ve laughed at you. Now, a semester into my Boston University experience, I wish I had listened just a little bit closer to the people around me who gave me the best advice on getting through my first semester. First semester is easy for some students and for others it is the hardest thing they'll experience during college. Here are 7 things I wish I had listened to when I was a high school senior:


1. “You are going to miss home so much.”

I take everything I said about never missing home back. I told everyone I knew that I wouldn’t miss high school or home or the people, but oh was I wrong. The second I was dropped off at Boston University I wanted to go back to the familiarity of my hometown. Three months into college, I wish I had believed everyone when they told me I would miss home. I missed so many opportunities throughout my senior year of high school because I thought I had already moved on from being a kid.


2. “Even though you think you have good time management, you are going to have to work on it.”

Throughout high school I never was stressed about work. I always got things done on time and nothing ever was too much for me to handle. Then I got to college and thought I could continue to do my work like I did in high school. The thing is, in college, things come in waves. There were weeks over the semester when I didn’t have anything due and then suddenly I had what felt like a thousand essays, a million tests, and a few lab reports to write by the end of the week. Figuring out when everything due and using an agenda or Google calendar is so helpful in college.


3. “Do not skip class.”

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This is a given, but it isn’t always easy to follow. I knew myself well enough to know that if I had started skipping classes I would always find an excuse not to go. Once I got sick and although it was hard to get myself to trek to the other side of campus for classes, I knew I had to do it. Skipping class is not a good idea… even if attendance isn’t mandatory. You are paying to be in the class and professors are there to guide you to do well. Sometimes, even a class you don’t expect to be interesting can become your favorite class, or you’ll find a new friend, but you won’t know unless you go to class. “I just don’t feel like it” is not a good excuse to not to go class.


4. “Save your money!”

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Another given, but somehow many people don’t listen to this one. I worked at home and was pretty damn good at budgeting. I got to college, and it was like all of the practice I had with money went right out the window. Between using Uber, so many of my favorite stores being so close to my campus, finding places off campus to eat, and constantly wanting to explore Boston I had blown through most of the money I had saved up in two months. Cafe’s became my weakness and all my money was going towards coffee. Ways to conquer your spending can include getting a job or working while your home, but definitely learn what works best for you when it comes to saving money for college.


5. “Join as many clubs that pique your interest as you can”

Going away to college is the weirdest experience. For me, I didn’t feel like I was at home in Boston, even though I had been so excited to get here. I wasn’t comfortable in my dorm room nor without my closest friends by my side. Joining clubs helped change that and became the best way to meet friends. The best part of BU is that there is a club for everything. My best friends here are all people I met through clubs. Clubs make it easier to start conversations because you all have a common interest and that interest is usually pretty easy to talk about. For me I met some really great people by joining Her Campus and I wasn’t even sure I was going to enjoy doing it. Turns out Her Campus was the best decision I made first semester. So who knows, go try out a club you never would’ve imagined yourself doing.


6. “Take care of yourself”

Taking care of yourself is so important and in the chaos that is college many students forget about themselves; they become their work. I have to remind myself to make myself a priority sometimes. The way I’ve done that through my first semester is walking along the Charles River a ton, eating healthy, and most importantly taking a day for myself when I just do whatever the hell I want to in order to de-stress. Most of the time that day is Saturday and I usually pick a place in the city to go to and enjoy the outdoors or the shopping it has to offer. Also, never forget to get the right amount of vitamins, since getting sick away from home is the absolute worst and should be avoided at all cost.


7. “Be independent and confident.”


Most importantly, remember you chose to leave home for college and in doing that you signed up to be independent. Learn how to do things for yourself, by yourself. Don’t cling to anyone for support that you can offer yourself. Now, I’m not saying to not make friends or support them, but know where to draw the line. Growing up is tough but make sure you can confidently do things alone, whether it be eating dinner alone, walking to get coffee, or getting a prescription. It is all a work in process and we are all going through it together, but make sure you can rely on yourself and value your alone time.


The thing about college is you won’t really know what it is like until you get there and it is so different for every single student. These seven things are things me and my friends have talked about though and I promise even if you feel like your the only one not sure how to handle college… you aren’t. 


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