It’s almost impossible to believe that my time as an undergrad student is coming to a close. It seems like only yesterday I was preparing for freshman move in day with excited yet anxious knots in my stomach. At the time, I was the type that had never been to a teenage party. I’ll even admit, an evening out with my friends was accompanied by constant worried phone calls from my mom.
Above all else, I anticipated the thrill of finally being on my own and experiencing freedoms I’ve never had before. As a senior, I can proudly say that the last four years have positively shaped me into the person I am today. Despite the drama and disappointments I look back on my beginning years with fondness and the occasional regret.
I’d like to take some time to share the things I wish I knew before my freshman year. Perhaps this can list can help a nervous teen who’s preparing to start this transformative chapter in their life.
1. Don’t lollygag on joining clubs
Let me digress for a moment to point out that no one uses the word lollygag but it has a nice ring to it. Joining clubs not only looks good on your resume, it’s also the key to creating lifelong friendships. The first few months of your college career can be frightening so it’s comforting to hang around people you share a common interest with. It took me a while to join clubs I was interested in because I didn’t want to attend meetings alone. With that mindset you’ll have a really difficult time meeting people and spend most of your Friday nights alone in your room on YouTube like myself.
2. No one cares if you eat in the dining hall alone
When I had a meal plan I felt weird about eating alone. I convinced myself that people would thing I was odd if I occupied a whole table on my own. I felt everyone was staring at me and mumbling about how lonely that girl must be. Suddenly, I came to the realization that no one cares if I choose to eat lunch alone. Thanks to varying schedules, you shouldn’t expect to always eat with others.
3. It’s true, many college students just want to hook up
If you think it will be easy to start healthy romantic relationships in college you’re in for a rude awakening. I’m going to put it bluntly, beware of the upperclassmen with an agenda of wooing fresh meat. Before you become involved with someone, discuss the boundaries of your relationship to avoid heartache.
4. Choose a major you’re really passionate about
I know a few unfortunate souls that regret choosing their college majors. The student loans are in your name so it’s important to choose one that relates to your future goals. Fortunately, I think I made the right choice with communications but others fall victim to pressures from their family or society as a whole. Mom may want you to be an accountant but if you hate math and love the arts, follow your heart’s desire. At the end of the day, you’re the one that has to go to work every morning.
5. www.ratemyprofessors.com will be your best friend
I wish I knew about this site before my first semester. It allows students to anonymously rate their professors on difficulty, teaching style and even hotness. I’ve had my fair share of monotone professors that made me dread going to class. Utilize this site every semester to avoid enrolling in a disengaging course.
6. Fix your procrastination problem as soon as possible
My name is Anjie and I’ve been a procrastinator all my life. The number of tearful all-nighters I’ve pulled is astounding. Your professors are kind enough to print out detailed syllabi so there should be no excuse why you’re scrambling to complete a five page paper and presentation in one night. You may have been able to get away with it in high school, but college assignments can be complex and time consuming. Break out of that habit before you trap yourself in an endless procrastination limbo.