6 Things I Wish I Knew Before Coming To College

When entering college there are so many things we experience, yet we aren’t prepared for them. But don’t worry, with these tips you will be more than prepared to take on college! Some of the biggest challenges in college are; making friends, finances, housing, studying, and being far from home.

  1. 1. Making friends

    Everyone claims that it is really easy to make friends in college, and well, it can be. It depends on everyone's situation, but a safe way and fairly easy one to make friends for college is by making them online. Through online, you avoid the first awkward moments of sparking that conversation and once you get to know them you can then arrange plans to see each other. This has been one of the safest ways to make friends, given COVID-19 took over, but overall it is an easy way to make friends. online, you can make friends when getting on campus, but also before getting to campus.

  2. 2. Save money before coming

    Money is one of the biggest issues for many college students. There is this idea that we are “struggling” college students, and for many of us… this is the case. It is hard to get a job as soon as you move in for college, so if the opportunity comes around, take it! Just remember to work around your school schedule and not the other way around! If getting a job is something you don’t think you can handle right from the start or you simply can’t get a job, try to save before moving. If you work the summer before going to college you can have enough money to give you that leeway until you get a job or you can save a bit more and live off of that until you’re ready. This way you can begin to be more financially independent.

  3. 3. Housing

    There are many different options when it comes to housing. You can get an apartment or room in one of the many dorm rooms your college may have. You can live on your own if you choose to or decide to find a roommate. Many people decide to room with someone just so the cost for their dorm or apartment can be cheaper. Living by yourself can keep you from meeting more people and can possibly cause you to want to spend all your day in your room. Although rooming with someone else will cause you to have to give up on some things and set up boundaries. If you do decide to room on your own keep in mind that the cost may be more and if you decide to room with someone keep in mind that you have to be very comfortable with that person. If you are not ready to communicate and would rather not talk about conflicts then rooming with someone may not be the best idea, since there will be a lot of compromising to do.

    Having a roommate can have its pros and cons but if you get a roommate it is best you guys set boundaries and rules before even signing your contracts/leases. This way there can be better living conditions and less confrontations between you both. Remember that it is okay to not want a roommate, just make sure you are ready to give up some of your space and privacy.

  4. 4. The workload

    I remember hearing back in high school so many misconceptions about how college was going to be. My teachers would exaggerate that there would be so much work. While yes there is a pretty hefty workload, it is not as bad as they made it seem. Of course it all depends on the major of your choice, but don’t let that discourage you. You make your own schedule and you know how much you can handle. Also, professors are really understanding for the most part. Everyone always says that professors don’t care about you and won’t help you but this is a really big lie. Professors are willing to help as much as they can and will make time for you so you can receive the help that you deserve and need. People want to help and will help you!

  5. 5. Studying habits

    Classes can get tough, but remember you are not alone, so create a study group for every class if you can or try to join as many as you can. Also, attend office hours, they will help clarify any questions you may have. Through office hours you can get more insights and it is more private time between your professors/TA’s and you. Study at least thirty minutes a day and maybe increase the time you study as you go. Even if there are no tests coming up, study. Studying topics you may struggle on or didn’t quite understand the first time around will help you a lot. Even if you understand the topic, reviewing will help maintain the info in your head.

    Also I recommend that you make a plan for what you need to get done, ahead of time. While planning your days make sure to keep track of important dates coming up, look at your syllabi and put important dates for those big assignment due dates & exams on your calendar.

  6. 6. Homesickness

    No one really talks about how hard it is to leave and start over in a new place. Leaving your home and all the people you care about can cause a big shift. While it is sad, there are many things to look forward to. 

    Also it could be too far to not be able to go back as often as you’d like and it could get expensive going back and forth. Something that helped me was looking at it as if i was creating a home away from home, where i could be my true and independent self. It will get hard missing everyone and everything, and it can be a scary feeling, but it’s something we must prepare for. Homesickness is something that no one really brings up because it causes fear in many, but it’s okay to feel this way. Missing your home & loved ones will only make your trips back home even more special.

It's okay not to know everything and not be prepared for everything. These few tips will help give you that push that you may be needing to find a sense of comfort for entering college. Don’t be so hard on yourself, everyone gets lost & has a difficult time finding their way around college.