Starting College 101: Living On Campus
Going off to college is a big step in life, but also one of the scariest. For many freshman students, this is the first time you will not be living at home. For the first time, you are on your own whether it is financially or truly independent. I wish when I started my freshman year someone was there to help me along, but luckily the college I went to had provided a lot of resources! Please read the whole article because at the end will be the MOST important tip to surviving college. There are three aspects about college that you must understand:
1. You are now the freshman again! That's right big shot. Senior year is over! Unlike high school, you will not be "fresh meat." You will be in classes with students from every grade level. It does not matter whether you are going to a huge university or even community college many people will not take the time to get to know you. College is not about how "cool" you are or who can "drink" the most. College is about your future! This is the time to prepare for your career, not job.
2. The second thing to understand is even the person who can "party hard" is at college for a reason. When final exams come around, you will understand this. The library that you avoided all year will be crammed. Students sharing table space with strangers just so they can have some room to study. If you fail in college, you get another chance to redeem yourself, but by doing that you are wasting money and time. The longer you are in college, the more you have to pay.
3. Last, you need to realize is that every college student at some point in their life will be "broke" unless their parents are helping them pay to go out to eat every night. The people who can buy beer or go to the movies most likely save whatever money they have to have fun. A lot of students have jobs through the work-study program, jobs on campus, or local jobs.
So why are these all important? As incoming freshman, straight from high school, many do not realize that part of the "real world" dapples with the college life. You are not a full adult, yet, but there will be a lot of trials that will prepare you for that "world." I learned this the hard way. During the summer when I am home from school, my father gives me "tests" to see if I can handle the "real world" like going food shopping or finding a summer job. These tests are not easy, especially for full-time student. I was not prepared, but I am learning and adjusting. I am growing up, just like you will.
Alright so here it is, the most important tip to surviving college! STUDY! What a minute, hold up, did you just read that right? Yes, you did. What you would think is a no brainer to surviving college is one of the top reasons people do not survive freshman year. Let me explain this, when you first start college your mind will be blown. All the freedom will hit you hard. There are practically no more rules! You can stay up however late you want. You can study if you want. Some colleges do not care if you go to class, some. The attendance policy at colleges is changing fast. With all this freedom comes a lot of responsibility. Responsibility in high school was turning your homework in, going to class, taking tests, clean the dishes, clean your room, curfew...etc. In college, your only responsibility is doing whatever it takes to stay in college and get your degree. Every decision has a result. What I am about to say will make my parents so proud: you have to accept the consequences of your actions! If you do not study, you fail. If you party too much, you accept that hangover. People party and graduate college, but those people know when and how to party. For example, are you going to party when you have a huge paper coming up? Are you going to party the day before an exam? Most of you will answer "no," but do you know how many students actually do this? Many have and learned from their mistakes. How did they let themselves do this? Freedom gets so into your head that you forget when there are tests. No one is going to baby you in college. Forgot your homework? Zero. Can't make it for a test with a legitimate excuse? Zero. Your dog ate your homework? It was an online assignment, ZERO!
It is now time to become an adult. You are paying for your education, not an A. It is up to you to make the best out of this. Freshman year is the most important year. Unlike sophomores, juniors, and seniors, you do not have an established GPA yet. To flunk college, you have to have a really low GPA. Upperclassman have their old grades to fall on to try again, but as freshman you do not. Freshman year will be the most difficult year, but also the most exciting year: new friendships, classes that are actually interesting!
If your college does not offer a mentor program, befriend an upperclassman. They will help you because they know the tricks! They know how to register for classes. (Trust me, it is hard to get the class you want) They know the shortcut to buildings. They know when the bus comes to drive you to another campus building. Most importantly, they know where all the good food is! Yes I said it. Good food. Cafeteria food is still pretty bad in college, depending on the college. Oh yes, Freshman Fifteen is not a myth.
If you remember most of these tips, you will survive your first year in college!