By no means am I any type of college maestro, but the last year of my life has put me through countless hoops, and I feel it is only right to share. The course of life is never linear, but this year really put me to the test. I moved across the country, mastered the art of Amazon Prime ordering, and slipped on too many patches of ice. I have been graced with the friendship of wonderful new friends, but I also lost an extremely significant presence, my grandfather.
As I gear up to go back to school, I’m taking a moment to reflect on my memories and compile some tips for the incoming Class of 2019.
Everyone is the New Kid
The best part of college? No one really cares if you weren’t in with the cool kids in high school. This is your chance to make friends on your own accord, not based on the kids in your tiny high school class. You will meet people from all over the world, so embrace their unique personalities and soak in all of their stories. Remember, everyone is the new kid in town. It can be daunting to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger, but I can almost guarantee they want to talk to you too.
Whether it be joining a club on campus or getting lunch with the girl that lives next door, say yes. The phrase “don’t knock it ’til you try it” certainly applies to your first semester of college. Eventually, you’ll establish a list of activities you love and a solid group of friends, but you can’t achieve these until you test the waters. The word “networking” stresses me out, but this is essentially the task at hand. Join organizations, make friends, and the rest will fall into place.
Stay in Touch
The thought of leaving your friends and family behind is especially daunting. Some of you may be staying close to home, but in my case, I was thousands of miles away. Because of the distance, I developed a great system to keep in touch with my loved ones. I enjoyed calling my parents on my way to class because it kept things concise, but was a consistent way to catch up on daily activities. My best friend and I FaceTimed at least once a week. They could last anywhere from five minutes to an hour, but we always felt like we had been briefed on the major happenings of the other’s life. I am a firm believer that relationships become stronger when distance is thrown into the mix. They require hard work from both ends, but it makes time spent together so much more special.
There are times that you will feel lonely. There are times you will feel sad. But, this is completely normal, and you’ll quickly learn that you aren’t alone! College is wonderful. Embrace it.