Hispanic mother helping daughter pack for college

What You Need to Know About the Transition to College

Getting into college is a huge feat, so before anything else, make sure to congratulate yourself and celebrate this wonderful accomplishment. The weeks before you start college can be a flood of emotion for some. You’re nervous, excited, confident, worried and unsure of what to expect. It is normal to feel this way but remember that as an incoming freshman you are not alone. You have a whole group of peers going through the same thing as you by starting a new unknown journey.

Hopefully we can help give you a few ideas on what to expect when you start college to help calm your nerves and start school like a boss.

The most important thing to know is that you are considered an adult now. That means your grades, your time management, your decisions are all your responsibility now. If you do poorly on a test you can’t have your mom call in and fix it. If you get busted for breaking a rule in the dorms, it goes on your record. You are in charge of you.

Moving into the dorms may seem uncomfortable but it’s actually awesome. Your roommates and floor mates will turn into family. You will have meals together, study together, hangout together and even have some classes together. Your RA is not some evil person out to get you. They are there to help guide you through your freshman year. Take advantage of any dorm events and any free food offered!

If you are worried about fitting in at college, don’t. This is one of the many reasons why college is so great. In high school there are cliques and bullying and all kinds of things like that to bring you down. In college, no matter what you’re interests are, you will find your people. There are so many different clubs and organizations on campus, you even can start one up yourself! Uniqueness is not only accepted but it is encouraged.

If you are concerned about the work load and keeping your grades up, that’s valid. There are multiple resources on campus to help you. Reach out to your professors, go to the library, check out the writing center and join a study group. Unlike high school, you can’t just skate by and hope to pass your classes. College is expensive and if you slack off you are wasting money and time. Make sure you go to class and work hard to keep your grades up. That’s why you’re there after all.

Your class schedule will be different and may take some getting used to. Unlike high school, you may have some very early or very late classes and you will have free time in between. The beauty of this is that you get to pick your schedule. If you know you aren’t not a morning person, those 8am classes probably aren’t the best choice.

Peer pressure is real. If you didn’t experience this in high school you will definitely experience it in college. While college is the time to try new things, you should never be forced into doing something you aren’t comfortable with. Saying no is okay! No one will be mad or judge you, and if they do maybe they aren’t the right crowd to be hanging out with.

The freshman 15 is also real. Again, you are now in charge of your own decisions and eating pizza and ice cream in the cafeteria every day is easy to do, but not smart. Make sure to watch what you eat and try to exercise regularly. You don’t want to be unhealthy and you don’t want to be the kid who comes home over winter break 15 pounds heavier.

When you do come home for break, there will be some weird rivalry between your high school friends and everyone’s new college friends. This is normal. You might notice that some of your friends have changed for either the better or the worse. You can either accept them or move on. You have probably changed a little too, as you should.

College is a great experience and for many it is the best time of their life. You make lifelong friends and memories, try all kinds of new things and get an education in the process. Take advantage of your time as a student, you will miss it after you graduate. Remember to be yourself, keep an open mind, work hard, try new things, and you will do just fine.

If you enjoyed this post, check out the 15 Things to do the Summer Before College 

about the author

Callie Pederson

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Degree in Communication and Creative Writing. Outdoor enthusiast, animal lover, blogger.

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