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Real Advice from a College Student

For High School and College Students Alike

1. The first week or two of a semester, especially in the fall, parking will be hell.

Give yourself PLENTY of time. (I thought an hour and a half would be enough, a mental breakdown and a missed class later... I found out I was mistaken.)

2. Nobody cares what you look like.

I feel like in high school everything was fairly tight knit, and because you knew so many people and had more people to gain approval from, you felt like you needed to "dress to impress." I would throw that logic out the window because in college, everyone is pretty busy trying to convince themselves not to walk in front of a bus to care if you are wearing sweatpants or have makeup on.

3. If you don't put the effort in, you are screwed.

This is a generic rule; different teachers do things differently, but GENERALLY, teachers don't care too much about you and if you don't put the effort in, you are screwed. That sounds terrible, but a lot of classes in college are lectures, where the professor has tons of students, and if you are playing Fortnite on your laptop instead of paying attention in class, they won't notice, nor will they care. Again, I say not every single class is like this, but generally assume that teachers don't care if you are there or not. 

4. Furthering on that topic, college is like jumping into the deep end of the pool in the aspects of independence and responsibility.

The levels can vary depending what situation you are in, whether you are living at home still (as I am), or living in a dorm. But, across the board, you will have more responsibility. For school, you can easily sleep in and skip it; most of the time they don't take attendance (not always true, but for me that has been the case for the majority of my classes). It truly is up to you if you want to attend class or do your schoolwork, because your parents usually aren't hovering over you the whole time. 

5. I suggest you don't skip.

Whenever I have skipped a class in college, I come back feeling like I just walked into a level 3 Chinese class. I can understand a couple things, but everything else is not understandable to me. (I took a couple years of Chinese in high school.) They usually won't wait up for you, and I just find it hard to catch up. So even though it's really easy to not go to class: DO IT. 

6. For those still in high school, do as many college credit classes as possible.

I only took 1 college class in high school and I wish I would've taken the opportunities to get more under my belt. Usually the college credit classes in highschool are easier than the actual college class, and because high school classes are usually smaller, you have more ability for your teacher to help you. And it is cheaper than actual college, and you'll have more done. It's seriously the best thing you can do!! 

7. Schedule classes as ahead of time as you can, because classes fill so quickly.

Have a basic idea of what times and days you want the classes, and what classes you want, but expect to have to be more lenient than what you may have originally planned for. Really think of what time schedule will work best for you; some people love mornings so they can get it out of the way, others love night classes so it's the last thing they have to do. I personally have taken my classes in the morning, til the early afternoon, and I like to either do all my classes on MWF or T/TH. I don't like having classes everyday of my week, because I don't live on campus, so it's hard to drive there everyday, and I'd rather have all my classes in one day, then spread them apart. But, it is truly up to you! Just find what works! 

8. Find some kind of extracurricular.

High school can be easy, because it's smaller and less intimidating to participate in a sport or club. So even in college, find a hobby. It definitely doesn't have to be something directed by the school, it could be a swing dancing night at a local club or a painting class at a recreation center. I just think it's so important to find something you love doing that will help you make more friends. 

9. Don't overdo things or set your expectations too high.

College is a scary transition, it is hard and crazy. Don't register for too many classes for yourself or create too busy of a schedule for yourself. And, don't expect everything to be what you see in the movies. College is a fun time and all, but don't expect too much partying and dates, because there is a good chunk of late night studying and final week breakdowns. It's a crazy time, but it's that way for everyone who goes through it! Eventually, you'll learn how to go through it. 

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