There will be no lack of posts and articles like this one. You've probably read most them; written by college survivors and veterans addressing you, the newest recruits, and relinquishing kernels (colonels?) of truth. And while I can share some gathered wisdom, I will preface it with this: You will probably have a different experience than me.
The most exciting thing about college is its possibilities. There is no magic formula I can give to guarantee academic or social success. You will have to discover it for yourself!
Here are just some of the things I've learned:
- Shower flip flops are not necessary. I'm serious. I survived a whole year without any feet fungus.
- Be nice to everybody and keep an open mind. There have been several people that I initially said I would never talk to for whatever reason. And guess what? They ended up being some of my closest friends.
- Don't always contact to meet someone for a meal. Okay, this might not work for those folks at huge universities, but at my small campus, I never liked feeling tied down. Unless I'm making a point to spend time with someone I haven't seen otherwise, I try to sit with different people.
- Sleep. Need I elaborate? Health comes first--don't forget that.
- Seek out career services. Chances are you can schedule an appointment to meet with a counselor to discuss major/job/life plans or to finally write a proper resume. This will especially bode you well come summer. I had an advantage because I also worked there, but it is open to all and you should use it.
- Always consult the syllabus. Save yourself the trouble of asking people about readings, topic of lectures, etc. Instead, be the person who can inform others.
- Be mature. This isn't high school.
- Don't bring a computer to class. Now, I never did. But when I would see the occasional person on Facebook, I'd have to roll my eyes. Why pay so much not to pay attention?
- Get off campus. Even if you live in a college town, explore the other local eateries, parks, etc.
- Avoid studying in bed. You won't learn much this way.
- Avoid studying in your room. I don't think you'll learn much this way either.
- Save your money. College is a good time to curb your coffee habit or generally spend less on potentially non-essential items.
For those who have lived through it, what else would you add?
I guess my last token of advice would be to have a positive attitude.