Last year around this time I was frantically researching what I needed to be prepared for college, what the experience was going to be like, and it was a stressful time in my life. The month before move-in, I considered dropping out of the college I was going to attend to take a few classes at my local community college because I was so scared.
But, I survived my freshman year of college and you can too.
Here are a few things I learned last year that no one told me.
One. Don’t be scared to venture into the dining hall alone on your first day.
I didn’t eat a real meal for almost 24 hours my first day on campus because I was terrified of the dining hall. I had no idea how it worked, what was there, and I didn’t want to eat all by myself.
No matter what happens, PLEASE go to the cafeteria your first day. As terrifying as it might seem, just do it.
You will need to eat something because you’ve been running around all day trying to move in. Even ask your roommate, or wonder around your hall and see if anyone’s door is open and ask them. Even go ask your resident assistant. You can even go alone and no one judges you.
Trust me, the cafeteria isn’t that scary. Just be sure to have your student ID and your room key (you don’t want to get locked out your first day!) on you and see what your campus has to offer food wise. Your body will thank you.
Two. Don’t be scared to talk to your RA.
Your resident assistant is there for you to ask questions to and seek for advice. I am one of those people who never ask anyone for help. Had my RA not come and knocked on my door multiple times forcing me to talk and do something outside of my room, I’d have no idea where I would be today.
My RA pretty much got me involved in something I didn’t think I would enjoy: housing. He knocked on my door and basically dragged me to floor dinner and to the Residence Halls Association (RHA) meeting the first Thursday night for free t-shirts.
Despite the fact we were over an hour early and were playing random card games for an hour, it was a great night. Had he not done that, I would’ve probably sat in my room for the rest of the year alone and hated everything about college. I even met one of my best friends at college because if it!
Even if you’re just looking for someone to hang out with, your RA is basically the older sibling on your floor. You can go to them and talk about honestly anything and they’ll be more than happy to listen or do something with you. You have no idea how many weekends I spent in my floors lounge playing board games and doing home work (turning up our GPA) with just my RA.
Three. Don’t wear your lanyard.
I know everyone is going to tell you this one. Just don’t do it.
If you’re like a normal incoming freshman and don’t want everyone to think your a freshman, don’t wear your lanyard. You’ll regret it.
I never wore mine. I even have my keys, ID, and wallet on mine and I still never wore it.
Just don’t do it!
Four. Going to floor/hall/housing/campus events is actually cool.
People put tons of time into planning these random events that seem to happen all over campus and for the majority of them, they’re actually pretty cool or useful to attend.
Many of them even have free food. And who doesn’t love free food!
They’re more often than not free. They even have something to do on a random night where you’re going to need a break from studying and watching Netflix. Drag your roommate to that lip sync battle and sing High School Musical. I did and there happened to be free ice cream!
No matter how terrified college seems, once you arrive and relax a little bit, you’ll realize how amazing your next 4-ish years are about to be. There’s going to be amazing friends, unforgettable 4am pizza runs, and random adventures with the people you never thought you’d be hanging out with.
Make sure to check out my advice on making friends at college too!