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Continuing your educational journey to a college or university is life changing! And also an incredible way to hear every bit of advice from family and friends from "their old days" in college. Not to mention how suddenly open everybody becomes about their wild adventures in their early 20s.
The advice can be overwhelming and annoying. But, before you roll your eyes one more time let me just save you the trouble: they are right. The teachers all these years are right about the school work. Mom and Dad? Definitely right about the friend groups. Older friends give sound suggestions about nightlife and social faux pas. BUT there are some basic things that happen in college that have a huge effect on everyday life, and not a single person is likely to warn you before you go full force into these exciting years!
So, let's break these down:
1. No matter how much sleep you get, you WILL be tired. Just accept it.
Ah, yes. Sleep. As a high school student, staying in class from approximately 7:30 AM - 2:10 PM may have been hard certain days, but we all made it through. In college, it will all change. An average student will have 2 or 3 classes a day, with a break in between, usually starting around 10 AM. And no matter how many years you got up at 6-something to do your makeup or take your time eating, making it to your 10 AM will be HARD. Naps will become your friend. Just make sure to set your alarm!
Throw on your comfy clothes, grab your portable coffee mug, and truck on, sista. You'll refill your coffee after class, and you won't be the only one.
2. Nobody cares. At all. About anything. Embrace that.
College is great for many reasons, but one of them is the freedom! No, not talking about the freedom to go out and party or skip class (which, by the way, do not skip class). The freedom to be YOU. Everybody in college is trying to figure out their life, find their people, and (honestly) just trying to stay awake most of the time. So, take this chance to be yourself!
My freshman year, I was in the library socializ—I mean, studying!—and a guy walked by holding a book and a muffin and completely tripped over his own feet and face-planted. I looked around wide-eyed trying to hold in both a laugh and fear if he was alright. Two people perked their heads up to see if he was hurt, then went right back to what they were doing once they realized he was fine. Nobody else in the library budged. In high school, he may have been the laughing stock for at least 2 weeks. Nobody cares.
I pass people of different hair, clothes, lifestyles every day! There's even this Star Wars club that waits until dark and literally FIGHTS with light sabers outside. It's awesome. One guy motorized his skateboard and zooms by at like 20 MPH on campus. Nobody cares what you do. One girl uses her vape pen to somehow magically blow bubbles. Also awesome. And I guarantee you that whatever you do, there will be people in your college that are doing it too. You will find your people by being yourself. There's no better place to do it than college.
College is your chance for a fresh start, and the safest environment for you to test out to find who you really want to be. Or, it's a great place to continue the path you're on and seek bigger, greater steps! Whichever end, being in college is the "in between" step before real life—so take advantage of it!! Let life happen! Things WILL come and go, but you, my dear, will stay put in this wonderful life and there is no better place to figure it all out than college. Restart, reach out, be risky, relax, just do it! Life is happening, and life reaaallllyyy starts happening in college. Let it, and also go get it.
This world is yours, and college is a big part of that! Get excited, the best years are truly yet to come.