10 Tips for Incoming College Students
Hello, everyone! Long time, no blog!
Before I begin this post, I just wanted to thank everyone AGAIN for all of the love on my last post about coming out of the closet. You shared it with your friends and family, left lovely comments, and helped it reach over 10,000 impressions on Facebook and almost 2,000 page views in under a month. I can't express into the right words how much that response meant to me. I received so much love and was able to have so many great conversations about being a part of the LGBTQIA community. Thank you, thank you. I'm grateful for you all.
Today, I'm going to be doing a post I've wanted to do ever since I ended my first year of college. I wanted to give some advice to incoming college students that I was able to piece together after having my own experience. I was able to have a wonderful year, and I feel like I can attribute that to some of these tips that I'm going to share with you today. (NOTE: you don't have to be an incoming freshman to get something from this... you could be starting your new year and want it to extra special!)
Alrighty, here we go:
1. Join organizations and clubs.
Sign up for a million things at the first organization fair/event. Then you can pinpoint exactly what you want to do. It's in these clubs and organizations where you will get to know some of your closest friends. You will meet people with common interests and bonds. You will get to follow passions and try new things. Seriously, it's gonna be so cool if you do - you can do things with your passions!!!
2. Remember: you don't have to be best friends with your roommate or suitemates.
Coming from personal experiences as well stories from friends, you DON'T have to be best friends with your roommate. You honestly don't even have to be friends. You just have to be able to live together and trust one another.
You will meet people that are besties with their "froomie" (friend roomie ... I thought it was freshman roomie at first). It might seem like a lot of fun and you might even be jealous, but you are also going to meet people that don't get along with their roommate and even use the word HATE when describing their roommate.
Don't let their experiences affect yours. Create a relationship with your roommate for sure, and definitely communicate with one another in some form. Don't go behind each others back. Be honest.
After a little while, you'll figure out what kind of relationship you'll have with your roommate. Don't fight it. Just keep it mature, honest, and responsible.
3. Stay busy.
You will have A LOT OF TIME ON YOUR HANDS. You won't be in class from 8-3 every day like you did in high school. There won't be someone watching your every move any more. You can make your own decisions. Be responsible, especially with your time.
If you have extra time in between classes, do something productive. Anything big or small. Do a class assignment, laundry, or even start a personal project. I did that with this blog actually. When I wasn't working on homework or responsibility for organizations, I would work on this!
This is a very adulty thing to do.
4. Turn off Netflix.
You might only go to college once, so you need to experience it FULLY. when you graduate in 4 years, you aren't going to remember that TV show you watched, but you will probably remember the relationships you created when you joined that club, greek organization, or sports team.
Step away from the TV shows and movies. You can watch those in your bed at home while on break. Get out there, make friendships, and TRY NEW THINGS!
5. Pack light.
So, I packed alot..... WAY TOO MUCH. It took two different trips to get all of my stuff down. (We went to a "move in early day" and then again to main move-in day.) It actually took a U-Haul to get all of my stuff home. I'm coming from this experience to tell you- YOU DON'T NEED LIKE 40% of the stuff you want to bring.
No, you don't need that random corkboard thing on sale in Bed, Bath, and Beyond. No, you don't need that shirt that you only wore once but think you might at a college party. No, you don't need those books you think you'll read. NO, you don't need all of the handy dandy things on sale in the college dorm section of target.
Make it simple. Pack clothes that will last you for a few weeks because you don't have much closet space and you can do laundry. You don't need all of those little knick knacks. You don't even need all of the school supplies you're used to in high school.
Just think this: if you have to question if you're going to need something, you probably don't. SO DON'T BRING IT.
6. Call your friends from home every once in a while.
This is something that I didn't do and wish I did. You don't have to do it every day or even every week, but just make sure you're staying in touch with friends from home. Skype every once in a while. Have a group chat. Update each other on your lives.
Just because you went to different schools doesn't mean your friendship is over, but you have to make EFFORT to keep it alive.
On the other end, don't stay glued to your phone texting your friends from home while you could be making relationships with new people during your first year of college.
7. Give yourself me time.
This is something I learned to cherish through my first year of school. When you go to school, you will probably be surrounded by people ALL THE TIME. Think about it, when you lived at home, you probably had your own room where you could just unwind and be alone for a little bit. If you have a roommate, you've probably lost that.
With that in mind, check in with yourself. Go to a coffeeshop by yourself, get a coffee, and think about the stuff you have to do. Study. Make sure you are doing okay. These times became especially important to me when juggling a lot of the assignments and different things going on in school.
It's ok to be honest with a friend and say, "I just want to be alone right now." If they are a true friend, they will respect that :)
8. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.
Do it every chance you can. Make it a priority at night to sleep. Your body, mental health, and grades will thank you.
9. Document everything.
Take pictures. Take video. Blog. Take selfies. Save EVERYTHING. You will not regret. You want to be able to go back after the year is over and see what you did and how you grew and change.
If you actively use social media, you are probably are already doing this. Keep it up. Don't stop cherishing every moment.
10. Remember: you're not competing.
Everyone going into college is coming from a different family, different schools, different interests, and more. With that in mind, there is no reason that you should feel you are competing with people. Your senior year of high school was probably already full of competition when it comes to college admissions. THAT'S OVER NOW. Now you can focus on what you want do and what you want to study.
Don't reveal your grades. Accept the fact that there will be people that are better than you at things, but that is a part of life and that is why you are at school (to learn). You are on a personal journey that you get to mold to your own liking. Don't let someone else stop you from doing yo thang :)
The first year of college is scary, but it's also extremely exciting. I promise if you just keep an open heart and an open mind, you will be just find.
If you ever need anything or have any questions, don't be afraid to reach out to me on social media at @feistyfletch or at my new "professional"(???) email email@example.com.
I'll be back next week with more *online content*!! YAY :)
email me: firstname.lastname@example.org