Advice for new freshmen: 6 things I didn't expect in college

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Sydnie Ho
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College is a lot. This is the first time you are out in the world all by yourself. You create your own schedule, you create your own rules, you create your own life. All of high school has built up for you to experience what people say will be the “best four years of your life.” Although this is the start of an amazing four-year experience, there are things I encountered during my freshman year I wasn’t expecting to experience. These are 6 things I didn’t expect in college.

7 a.m. is not the same

You always hear people say, “never take a 7 a.m. class in college”, but it never made sense because in high school we were so used to waking up way before that, right? Wrong. It’s true, waking up early in college is way harder. You are staying up later, getting involved in more, and encountering more stress. It is hard to imagine if you haven’t experienced it, but take my word for it and get a little extra sleep. 

You will have doubts

Coming into college I thought I would have it all figured out. That I would instantly love college and everything about it. But that wasn’t the case. It took me a long time to adjust to everything and I doubted a lot. It’s totally normal and know that even though it may seem like it, you are not alone. It is good to talk it through with your friends and advisers so they know what is going on and they can help.

You will miss home

It’s bound to happen. Whether it is your home state, your family, your friends, your mom’s home cooked meals – you will miss home. In college, you are making a new home, which is scary at first. You hit a point where all you want to do is be in a familiar place. That’s the thing about being independent. Eventually you learn to be on your own and appreciate home even more when you get the chance to go back. 

Friends change

This was a tough pill to swallow but it’s true. Even if you are in the same state, you will probably meet new friends and drift from those from your past. For me, leaving my friends back home was one of the hardest things I had to do. I had to learn to make new ones. My fellow freshmen were learning to make new friends, too, so we immediately shared something in common. I met some incredible people during my freshman year and am so excited for what new memories I’ll make with them. 

Failure happens

In high school I was a straight A student, never failed, and always cringed at the thought of anything below perfect. Although they are still important in college, grades aren’t everything. You will probably fail multiple times. Maybe it will be a quiz, a test, or even a class. But that’s OK! You have to learn to move past it and not allow it to affect your next assignment. If you find you are really struggling, look for the free tutoring and services your college offers. They want to see you succeed.

It goes by fast

I thought high school went by fast, but college is a whole different story. I’m already seeing my years in college fly by and I just started. Your life is going at a quicker pace now and you’re always headed to do something else. Try to enjoy every moment before it’s done, but just know it goes by very fast!

These are some things I’ve learned to understand in college that I never expected to encounter. It really is a journey, but you will learn a lot about yourself and in time, you will have an amazing college experience.