There are a few important pieces of advice that every college freshman should know when transitioning from high school to a big university.
As a junior this year, I personally wish someone had passed this advice on to me. Stay true to yourself, be open to opportunities around you, and never abuse the freedom college brings.
Many people say who you become in college is who you will be for the rest of your life. While I don’t think that is completely true, the person you were in high school is not who you are anymore. You will grow as a person with everything you experience in life, as long as you remain true to yourself. People can get wild in college – you might participate in activities you never thought of, but your personal standards should not be lowered by the change surrounding you.
With all the adjustments occurring, there will be a plethora of new opportunities including studying abroad, internships, jobs and professor-student bonds. Although you may have never considered participating in those activities and fostering those relationships before, do it.
If you visit another country and immerse yourself in its culture, you will not regret a dime. Get to know your professors, because someday you might need them for a letter of recommendation, a job or a friendship. If you have a 30-minute commute to get to an unpaid internship, do not fret. You got experience from the internship and something to add to a commendable résumé.
Do not worry about money or the debt you might get in during the next four years. You are probably going to have debt, but you will pay it off eventually. Worrying about money adds stress, and finals and midterms are bad enough. If there is an opportunity, take it. Regret will be worse than paying off debt.
Most importantly, handling increased responsibility is what every parent worries about when a child moves away to college. Being able to take care of yourself for the first time without having to answer to anyone is a lot of responsibility. No one is there to clean up after you or tell you when to go to bed.
Living on your own is awesome, but be wise in your decisions. Eating habits in college are horrible and sleeping habits are even worse. Classes are the most important aspect of college – the whole college experience is a plus. Have fun, but think about your future as well. Four years goes by fast. Enjoy what you can, and accomplish what you want to do.
There is a lot of important information to know about college. Learn what you can on your own, and listen when someone with experience teaches you. Orientation may not be your idea of a fun weekend, but the university staff has important information you need to consider. No matter what, be who you are, do not worry about money, and take the opportunity to learn what you can and cannot do. Good luck!