“College will be the time of your life!” That’s what everyone says when you’re gearing up to move to college. For the most part, they’re right. However, it’s not all good times. Between grades, new friendships, and learning how to live on your own, the first semester of college is a bumpy ride.
Many times, people enter college after feeling pretty confident in their academic capabilities throughout high school. They think, “I’m smart; Surely I can handle college. How difficult could it be?” The answer to that question is very difficult. There’s no way you can gaze over your notes and ace your midterms. Even after hours of studying, office hours, study groups, and lost sleep, you still might not get the grade you expected. That’s college for you. For me, this reality struck me hard. The key here is to realize that college is really all about learning, not just what grades you recieve. When I realized this, I started to actually enjoy my time in the classroom.
For some reason, TV always portrays new college friendships as easy and inevitable. As with any other friendship, you don’t make friends instantly. You have to, for one, put yourself out there and try to connect with others. After basically having the same friends all of my life, this idea of trying to make new friends was incredibly intimidating. The easiest way to begin to make friends is to simply spark a conversation about literally anything. It could be about how nervous you were to first come to college, your course schedule, the weather, or really anything else. Letting people know that you are approachable and want to talk is the first step to creating friendships in college.
For some, the idea of living on your own is terrifying and, for others, it’s exciting. I was more on the terrified side. However, I quickly learned that it is great to be able to decide everything on your own. Want to eat cookies for dinner? Go to bed at three in the morning? Want to binge watch Netflix all day without interruption? You could do it all when you live on your own. The hard part about living on your own is missing everyone at home. By making it a priority to keep in contact, homesickness stays in check.