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5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Coming to College


With college decisions coming around the corner, here are some helpful things to know before move-in day. 

1.     It's okay to be homesick 

For most college students, this will be the first time you are truly away from home. Whether you are at your local state school or across the country, college is an entirely new experience. Once the excitement and pre-college jitters have subsided, you might feel a wave of homesickness. That's completely normal. Don't feel embarrased about missing your parents, friends or even your pets. Odds are they miss you too. If you find yourself missing your best friend's laugh or your dad's corny jokes, don't be afraid to give them a call. 



2.     Surround yourself with good people

One of the best parts of college is the opportunity to meet new people. Take advantage of all of the on-campus activities as a way to get out there and make some new friends. Joining clubs and sports teams are also great ways to meet people with common interests. Don't be afraid to take risks and try new things, you never know who you will meet or what you will fall in love with. However you decide to get yourself out there, make sure you surround yourself with people who make you happy. 


3.     Take time for YOU

Between balancing classes, meeting new people, and dealing with the responsibilities of a college student, you might not feel like you have a second to spare but finding some time to take care of yourself is key. Reward yourself with a piece of cake at the end of a long day or set aside some time to paint your nails and do a facemask before bed. College can be extremely stressful but establishing a healthy self-care routine will help you feel more relaxed when those exam weeks come around. Plus, taking time for yourself can help you refocus, alleviate your stress and boost your mood! 



4.     The struggle is real (literally)

It's okay not to be okay. College can be a stressful time, especially during those first few weeks. If you feel like you are the only one who is homesick or questioning their major just know, you are not alone. Everyone struggles in college so don't let the Instagram posts fool you into thinking you are the only one riding the struggle bus. If you are struggling with your academics or questioning your major, reach out to an advisor or peer mentor. They are there to help. If you are feeling low or worried about your mental health, reach out to an RA or trusted friend. There is no shame in asking for help when you need it. We are all in this together.


5.     Value the little things

Although your class might feel like four years, your time in college tends to go by quickly. Remember to take a step back and cherish the little things in life. College is far from a party so don't feel like you should be constantly doing something. Some of my best memories so far are the nights I spent in my dorm room, telling jokes and swapping stories with friends. 


Images: 1, 2

Melanie Grados

U Mass Amherst '21

Melanie is currently an honors student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is a sophomore pursuing a degree in Journalism and Communications. In her free time, you can find her listening to music and hanging out with friends. To see more into her life, follow her on Instagram @melanie_grados
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