Here’s just a few things you should know going into college. I’ll probably come up with more later, but here are the ones I thought of right off the top of my head.
1. It’s okay to feel awkward when you’re starting a new class, going to an event or pretty much doing anything social. Other people are feeling awkward too. You’re not the only one who wants to meet new people and make friends. So when you’re meeting people it’s okay to feel a little weird about it. You’ve been hanging out with the same people for a few years, you’re not used to making new friends, and that’s okay.
2. Don’t feel pressured to do anything you don’t want to do. You’re an adult now, you can make your own decisions. You can decide whether you stay in on a Friday instead of going out. You can eat a whole box of oreos without feeling fat. Go into college not caring if people like you or not. People should like you for who you are. If you do try to form yourself to what others want you to be, it will suck to get out of that when you realize you don’t want to be that person.
3. Like yourself. I know this kind of goes with the above one, but it is a bit different than not following the crowd. Some people don’t do what others do, but they hate themselves because of it. Some people don’t like to be different. Different is good. Different is amazing! We don’t want the same kinds of people everywhere, it would get boring. Love who you are and don’t feel self-conscious about who you are. But don’t be a hot head. There’s a different between being cocky and being confident.
4. Try new things. This is the time to find out what you really want to do with life. It’s the time to find new hobbies, make new friends, find your passions. In a way, it’s the time to find out who you really are. You’ll never find out if you’re not trying new things. Do you really want to wonder “what if I had joined this club” or “what if I had been more adventurous”? If you don’t like it after you try it, you never have to do it again, but at least you can say you tried.
5. Volunteer somewhere. First off, it looks good on your resume. Secondly, it can be fun. Third, you can meet new people/make new friends. Fourth, it’s good for you help people and think of someone other than yourself. We have a community engagement center on campus and they have projects you can volunteer for all year round. We have a group that goes and helps at the animal shelter. We have a group that goes to the retirement home and visits the residents on their birthdays. It’s a lot of fun.
6. Do some form of exercise. Whether it’s going to the gym, playing badminton, going for a walk, it doesn’t matter. Think of it this way, if you exercise more, the more you can eat without gaining weight. I like to go on long walks because it is a form of exercise and it helps me destress. I know tons of people who lift weights because it helps them destress and they feel accomplished afterwards. It doesn’t matter what you do, just as long as you’re doing something. And remember, if you go running for ten minutes, that’s definitely worth an ice cream cone.
6. If you’re having troubles with life, class or anything, don’t hold it all in. It will only make you more stressed. Either confide in a friend or a counselor. We have a counseling center on campus you can talk to. It really does help. It’s like in the movies with someone keeps holding everything in and finally there’s a final straw. Then they have a little freak out and they feel so much better after they talk to someone. Don’t let it build up, trust people and talk to them.
7. Use coupons. At SUU, you can buy a “starving student card” for $20 (I think) and it has TONS of coupons on it. It’s fantastic. There are coupons for food, movies, bowling etc. It’s great. My roommate has one and she uses it all the time. It’s so worth the $20. Also in the mail, those annoying ads you get can actually help you save money on groceries, there’s usually a pizza coupon that comes, Article Circle and Arby’s usually send out a page of coupons. Don’t throw these away, they are fantastic!