Making the transition from high school to college is a tough experience for everyone.
What makes it tougher? Being young, naive, and not knowing what to expect in this new world of crazy roommates, midterms, research papers, hookups, wild parties, cafeteria food and everything in between.
If you stayed away from the party scene in high school or had a serious relationship throughout, college can seem like the craziest place in the world when you first step foot on campus.
Luckily, I have been there myself; I was not much of a partier in high school and has a serious boyfriend all four years so you can imagine my shock and surprise when I arrived at UConn, one of the biggest party schools in the Northeast.
I wish I had someone to tell ME what to expect and be cautious of in college, especially at a large university with a huge student population and even bigger party scene.
So if you are in high school or thinking about transferring, keep these tips in mind and remember to be cautious when arriving at school!
To Get Good Grades, Go to Class.
I know what you are thinking: “yeah, yeah, go to class, obviously.”
But do you realize how much harder it is to go to class when: (a) there is no one there to wake you up in the morning (“time to get up sweetie”), (b) no one checking your attendance (“you’re late, where is your pass?”), and (c) when you are hungover (no quote, you just feel sick)?
It may seem like a no-brainer, but if you are the type of person who needs a shove in the right direction (read: a swift kick in the ass to get moving), college can be a seriously dangerous place for the likes of you.
If you go to class, you will get the notes, learn from the professor, know what is going on, and thus, do well on the exams. If you skip class, miss notes, and play catch-up all year, I can literally GUARANTEE that your grades and your mental stability will suffer.
Be Careful of Excessive Partying.
If you didn’t party much in high school, heading off to college can be a serious shock. You are thrown into a world of crazy partying, drinking, and wild behavior (a lot of which you have probably never seen before) and it can be tough to avoid getting caught up in the scene.
You don’t have your parents waiting up for you to come home so going out during the week or sleeping in someone else’s bed/couch on the weekends may seem like a great idea.
This may be your first taste of real freedom and let me tell you from experience, the taste can be very sweet, but it can also turn very bitter, very quickly.
You don’t want to end up becoming such a party animal that it affects your grades or your relationships. You may start finding yourself ducking your parents calls, your roommates judging eyes, or your teacher’s “why are you late again” glare on a weekly basis.
If you find yourself skipping classes so you can start drinking early, missing classes because you are too hungover /tired to get out of bed, or too wrapped up in someone else’s sheets to make it to your exam, you may have a problem.
Be Wary of Who You Are Hooking Up With.
When you get to college (especially as a Freshman), you will notice there is a surplus of single hotties looking to compliment you, offer you a drink, and then take you home. If you are a guy, you will see plenty of drunk chicks who are willing to do more in one night than what your girlfriend of 2 years gave you in 6 months.
Whether you are a guy or a girl, the lesson here is the same: don’t go around hooking up with anyone you can get your hands on.
The last thing you need when entering college is a reputation or an STD, both of which can follow you around for years to come.
You have to be careful not only to protect your body, but your self-esteem and dignity as well. You don’t want to wake up on graduation day and not able to count the number of people you have slept with over the last few years.
I’m not saying don’t experiment and have fun, but do it safely and wisely; you will have fewer regrets if you are careful.
No One is Going to Hold Your Hand.
If you think going to college is an extended version of high school, you are sorely mistaken. In college, no one is going to force you to go to class, make you sit down and study, or hand in your homework on time.
There is no mommy or daddy standing at the foot of your bed forcing you to get up when your alarm goes off or calling the guidance office to make up an excuse for why you can’t make your exam.
If you don’t take it upon yourself to get good grades, get to know your professors and guidance counselor, and find yourself an internship, you will leave college with a lot less gained than some of your peers.
The reason you go to college is to find out who you are and what you want to do with your life. If you sit around waiting for someone else to give you all of the answers, you will be waiting forever. Take it upon yourself to figure it out and take advantage of those who ARE willing to help you.
Know that as soon as your parents drive away, you are on your own and it’s time to start acting like an adult. I know it’s tough trying to figure it all out at such a young age, but if you are aware of what your goals are (graduating and getting a job), you will be just fine!