13 Things I Learned From My First Semester of College

1. You think you can write a paper, not study, pass a class, etc…you can’t.
 
College is hard. that’s why you worked hard to get where you are. that’s why it’s the next step in your life before the real world. That being said all of those papers you wrote the night before they were due in high school and got an A on won’t fly. College is self motivating, there’s no “annotation checks” or turning things in a day later because “your printer wasn’t working”. You need to have the mindset and motivation that the person next to you has has a stronger motivation.
 
2. Greek life doesn't have to define your experience
 
Attending a big ten school, you come in and think greek life is everything and that’s okay. People end up making life long friends and for some people it's the step they need into the social world. Just remember, greek life isn't for everyone and that's okay! After having a difficult rush experience I quickly have realized  how amazing it will be to live on my own as an independent while still social but if you find your group of friends within the greek system that's great too!
 
3. Not everyone is meant to be a doctor, and not everyone is meant to marry a doctor
 
We all have those dreams from when we were younger. Doctor, lawyer, fashion designer, etc. When you get to college you realize school is hard. And not everyone is meant to pass organic chemistry. And not every story is Meredith Grey who marries McDreamy. It’s okay if your dreams change.
 
4. Your major will change, probably more than once
 
After working in a retail clothing store for 3 years in high school I was positive I wanted my major to be in Apparel Merchandising but after one class, I was done. Take classes that interest you and really discover a new passion that you were completely unaware of. My new major, Human Development and Family Studies offers me a variety of classes, future jobs, and minors I didn’t even know existed. People take classes with professors that change their lives and open their minds to new ideas.
 
5. Plug the address of your class into google maps and put in headphones
 
This one is killer. I did this the first day of second semester too. If you’re worried about looking lost and confused (even though nobody is probably looking anyways) plug the address of a building into google maps and put in headphones like you're listening to music.
 
6. Home is where the showers shoes aren’t
 
Flip flops in the shower always.
 
7. Value the money in your bank account
 
As my dad likes to put it “this is not a free for all”. The last $20 should be spent on something important not your 50th tailgate shirt. It should be for when you really can’t handle the meal plan today and need to order a pizza, or when you need a cup of coffee before that all nighter you're about to pull. Spend wisely. 
 
8. The health center is your enemy.
 
If you go to camp I like to compare them to the clinic. They like to get everyone in and out as fast as they can, so they're diagnosis is that there is nothing actually wrong with you (even if you're bed ridden with obvious flu symptoms). Suggestion: find the closest urgent care and see if a friend or cab will take you. Much more efficient and they are real doctors.
 
9. Become close with your floor and don’t hookup with people on your floor
 
 you live with these people all year. they’re great to order late night food with, study with, watch award shows with etc. Get to know them and they could end up being great friends of yours and people you end up going out with too. That being said don’t burn bridges and have awkward connections because those 5 minutes of you two brushing your teeth together will be the longest five minutes of your life.
 
10. The nose piercing you got during welcome week will get infected
 
just don’t do it.
 
11. No matter where you’re from you have an accent
 
East Coast, Midwest, West Coast. “Wait, say this” “Wait, that’s so funny how you say that” “Wait, what do you call that” “Is it a gyro or a “euro”’ conversations you hear daily. it never gets old and you and your friends will always be entertained by the way you all talk.
 
12. Sitting in a cafeteria alone is not weird
 
Coming from someone with high social anxiety this was my biggest fear. but more people sit alone than with people. Everyone is in their own zone whether they are studying or just eating nobody is paying attention to that kid sitting by themselves.
 
13. Call your parents
 
They’re the reason you're here. they want to make sure you're okay. you don’t have to talk a million times a day (even though I totally do, Hi mom) but just check in. This is a scary and new time for both you and they just want to hear everything.
 
You will never grow and develop as much as you do during these four months of your life. it is so important to make the most of it. try new things, meet new people, take a lot of pictures, laugh a ton, remember that other people are home sick too, and remember that what goes on the internet is there forever. To whomever is reading this whether you are older, younger, starting college, finishing college, i hope that this article brings back nostalgia, luck, and overall greatness to wherever you end up.