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8 Things No One Told Me Before I Started College

What I Learned on My Own


It’s okay to go to the gym by yourself.

No one is going to judge you for working out alone. I used to feel so self-conscious and wouldn’t go to the gym by myself but then I realized something: no one is paying attention to whether or not your face looks weird when you run on the treadmill—because, hey, everyone else is working out too! So go to the gym whenever it fits into your schedule because let’s be honest, the Freshman 15 is real.

Just because someone else does it doesn’t mean you have to.

If your friends want you to do something that you’re not comfortable with, here’s a crazy thought: don’t do it! Your friends will respect your decision, and if not they probably aren’t that great of friends anyways. Stay true to your values and don’t do things you don’t want to do. You’ll thank yourself in the long-run.

Bring a picture of your dog.

I’m not kidding—do it. I packed lots of pictures of my family and friends to hang in my dorm, but nobody told me how much I would miss my dog. Make your dorm room as homey as possible and bring pictures of everything you might miss. It’s cheesy, but you’ll thank me later.

You don’t have to go out every weekend.

It doesn’t make you a loser to stay home and watch Netflix on a Friday night every once in a while instead of going out to parties. With all the homework and new things going on, sometimes you just need to take a break. Go out and have fun, but know that it’s okay to have a night in.

Be as involved as possible.

Join clubs, look into Greek life, play an intramural sport—anything! Especially if you’re at school far from home, the best way to meet new people is to get involved on campus. Whether it’s the Quidditch team or a sorority, you’ll never regret meeting lots of new people.

For the love of all things good, eat a salad once in a while.

Ah, freedom. Mom isn’t here to make sure I’m eating vegetables instead of junk food, which is nice—for a while. Starting college and getting to make all your own decisions is fun, but I’m serious. Don’t eat chips and soda every day.

It’s okay to have a meltdown.

College is weird because somehow you can have the time of your life yet be so overwhelmed all at once. Balancing classes, homework, work, and social life and not being able to run home to mom whenever you need help is a little bit stressful. But guess what? Everyone else has been there too, and it’s okay to have a meltdown if you’re overwhelmed. Freak out a little, call your mom, take a deep breath, and go get some coffee. You deserve it.

Be yourself.

You don’t have to be someone you’re not to impress people. This isn’t high school; if people don’t like you then move on and find others who actually appreciate you. College is a time to start fresh and meet new people in a new place, but don't change who you are. Be yourself, and I promise you will find your place.

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8 Things No One Told Me Before I Started College
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