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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at KU chapter.

Okay, I know what you are thinking. If you are a college freshman like me, you have probably heard all about the dos and don’ts of college. I started hearing about it ever since I showed interest in going. Some of the most popular ones are:

  1. Do: Go to class
  2. Don’t: drink all the time
  3. Do: meet new people
  4. Don’t: procrastinate

Now, these are all good “rules” you can say to follow. However, I think most college freshmen have knowledge of this already. Unless you are one of the rare people who never got told any of this. If that is true, follow these guidelines first. But for the rest of you, hearing this advice can become repetitive real quick no matter how true they may be. So, you may be thinking now: why are you writing a piece on dos and don’ts if you literally just bashed them? I am here to tell you about the dos and don’ts that you may not hear enough about. I know I didn’t when I moved in a few weeks ago. So here are the dos and the don’ts to the new and crazy experience that is college:

DO: Buy a planner— If you are like me, I have had an on and off again relationship with planners. I would buy one, use it for about a week, and then forget all about it. Money forever wasted because I thought that it was my time to be productive and organized. I was wrong; however, in college you will be balancing classes, clubs, a job, and a social life all at the same time. If you don’t write it down, there is a good chance you will forget about it. I know I have. So, utilizing a planner doesn’t just make you more organized and productive, but it also makes sure that you don’t forget to do an important task, and you can schedule in times when you do self-care and hobbies for yourself. Because trust me, college will be busy, so you need a planner to keep yourself and your life sane.

Don’t: talk about high school— We all went to high school. We all know exactly what it is like and what we were like while we were in it. Trust me, if I could forget some of it I would. This doesn’t mean you should pretend high school never happened because it was a part of your life. However, college is meant to be a fresh new start so if you go into it only talking about your life in high school, people may see it as you peaked in high school. So instead of bringing the last 4 years into every conversation you have, talk about college and what you are most looking forward to. Use your new start to your advantage.

Do: explore the city you are in— College towns are known for the university that takes place there. Nevertheless, there is usually a lot of rich history and fun things to do outside of campus. After the first week of classes, go get lost in your town. Go shop places you have never been to, try food that you are not used to, search for fun places and activities that can get you away from campus life, etc. There are so many interesting things connected to a college town. You just must go out and find them.

Don’t: feel like you must be included in everything— Whether you are an extrovert or an introvert, this tip is so important. I am an extrovert and when I first arrived at college, I told myself I would go to every event and meet so many new people. Which I did. But when that week ended, I was exhausted and felt physically sick. That first week of college is always going to be busy, there is no changing that. My problems were that I felt like I had to be there. That is not true whatsoever. If you don’t feel up to it or are too tired to go out one night, don’t. Stay in, do some self-care, and get some much-needed rest. No one will be mad at you if you decide to not include yourself in something. And if they are mad then they are not worth it. That is the beauty of college. You get to decide how you want to live your life. However, if your mind and body is like “we need a break”, take a break! Your health is most important.

Do: change your major if you don’t love it— There is this tale that you shouldn’t change your major because it will set you back when it comes to graduation. People also use the excuse that you just wasted your time so don’t change it. Or my personal favorite, “this major will pay well so don’t change it”. I am an elementary education major, so I am not in it for the pay. I chose this path because I love working with kids and teaching young minds. If you don’t love your major, don’t do it. Even if it does set you back, that is better than being in something that you hate for the rest of your life. Trust me, you will thank me later.

Don’t: come into college with the highest of expectations— Look, everyone will tell you college is supposed to be the best four years of your life. For some, that is true. For others, that is far from right. What I am trying to say is don’t think that you will make a huge group of friends, have a boyfriend/girlfriend, know exactly what your future will look like, have a job, be in so many things, etc. right when you get there. For some, you may get that. For most, you won’t, and you may even feel depressed or lonely about it. But don’t worry, those things will come in time if you truly want it.  You may just have to be patient. However, this doesn’t mean drop your standards. You are too amazing to do that.

I hope this helps some. If you have heard about these dos and don’ts, good for you! But for the rest of you, think about these things quite often. They will do wonders in your life. How do I know that? Because that is what they did for me. Now go enjoy the college life! Reach for the stars.

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Madison Swafford is on the writing team for Her campus at the University of Kansas chapter! She writes mostly opinionated articles dealing with life and culture. Beyond Her Campus, Madison works at the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence where she utilizes her creative mind to help behavioral children and design lessons for them. She is also getting involved in the University Daily Kansan. Madison is a sophomore at the University of Kansas studying multimedia journalism with a minor in psychology. In Madison's free time, she loves to sing and read. She loves trying new things and hanging out with friends. Her competitive nature makes everything a challenge and she enjoys writing creative stories whenever she has the time.