What should I expect during my first year of college?

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Answered by: Zachary, An Expert in the College Kids - General Category
Your senior year of high school is over. You have been enjoying summer, but now reality takes over. You are on your way to your first year of college and have only heard stories and seen the movies. In reality, what should you be expecting? I am here to tell you to set aside any worries, because I and thousands of kids just like you and me did not know what we were getting into.

There are a lot of factors at play in this game. What kind of college are you going to? Are you on or off campus? Are your friends at the same school, do you even know anyone in this place? For me the harshest reality of going to college was the friendships I was leaving behind. The memories, good and bad, my house and all that was familiar. Do not fret, I know I am making this sound tough, but let me tell you a little secret: your first year of college is going to be the greatest thing to ever happen to you.

If it is not the new relationships, it is the learning experience. I found that the most exciting part of this experience was that everything was fresh. I could reinvent myself and learn new things about me that I never knew before, I could be anything I wanted to be. With that in mind you need to get involved, join clubs and look for niches that you can fall into. If you aren't a socialite, then find hobbies and explore this new city, break your mold and explore your own self. I met more than enough people who have interests similar to mine, I had the benefit of a few friends going to the same university as well. I must say though, do not let yourself be something you are not. Don't forget where you came from and be yourself, you will find that relationships made while you are being yourself are going to be genuine and last a lifetime.

Keep in mind too, while looking for new hobbies and things to do there are academics that need to be cared for. Do not forget the money you are spending and maybe like me, the money on loans you took out are going to follow you. It can be so easy to forget that your grades are not what they should be when you are just trying to fit in and make yourself comfortable. I will not lie, being homesick to me was the easiest part. I loved being independent and away from home, on my own with responsibility and a new environment. Do not let that make you lazy though, make rules for yourself. Call your family and let them know you have not forgotten them, because they will miss you too. Have a bed time, eat right and stay fit; take care of yourself. Go out and have fun, meet all the people and make relationships, be involved with school work.

Now since I am speaking from personal experience, let me tell you one thing that will be very important; booze is not the only thing that will help you find friends. There are so many pressures when you head off for school, one of the very top for me was the parties and late nights that were offered. Go have your fun, but please do not let it be the only thing you find that your new "friends" and you have in common. I know one too many people who have gotten lost in this party life and it always ends up being unfavorable.

There are a lot of things coming your way kid, but do not stop thinking about this opportunity that so many people miss out on. Do what you know is best for you, have fun and love every minute of it. Get involved and be known in your school. This is the start of the rest of your life. This is the beginning of what is going to really matter, high school was nothing. This is where dreams are made, where relationships that will last a lifetime are built and ultimately, where you will find out who you really are.

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