Entering college is an exciting time for any student, promising new experiences and challenges. You’ve probably heard that college will be the best time you’ll have and that it’s a place where you’ll learn lots and forge friendships that will last a lifetime. But what aren’t those around you revealing? These are just some of the things no one ever tells you about your freshman year.
You’ll Need to Study
No really. You might have been one of those high school students that managed to retain enough information to still pass tests, but those days are over. College introduces you to much more complex topics and densely presented information. If you don’t review the notes you’ve taken during class each day, the ideas simply won’t stick. Establish good study habits early to make sure you’re not left behind.
There Are Better Study Spots Than the Library
The library might have all the books you need, but it’s not usually the best study spot. So many students congregate here that it’s often noisy and distracting. For a really productive study session, check your books out and find a quiet spot on campus or an empty classroom. When people see you working, they’ll give you a wide berth, so you can study in peace.
You Might Feel Lonely
You’re probably approaching college anticipating big parties and late nights spent chatting to fascinating people about life, love, and the universe. You’ll probably experience all that, but during your freshman year, there’s bound to be loneliness too. It’s normal to feel like a fish out of water when you move from a familiar high school to college, where you may not know anyone at all. It’s OK to take some time and find out where you fit. You’ll get there, but don’t be surprised if you feel lonely in the meantime.
There’s More to College Social Life Than the Greeks
Pledging for a sorority or fraternity might seem like an easy way to find your people, but there are plenty of other ways to connect with like-minded souls. If Greek life doesn’t sound appealing, trust your gut and look for an activity that is. Colleges have many social organizations, including sporting groups, bands, student newspapers, activist groups, and more. Pay attention during freshman orientation and explore all your options.
While joining groups is a wonderful way to meet people, it’s also not for everybody. Don’t be afraid to ask your lab partner to lunch, for example. A chance pairing could be the start of a great friendship.
Some People Aren’t Drinking
While boozy parties are a part of college life for some students, many people aren’t partaking. You won’t become a social pariah if you abstain from alcohol, so don’t feel pressured to knock a few shots back just to fit in. You can always find plenty of people who aren’t drinking at campus movie nights, games nights, and other events. Keep an eye on your college website and noticeboards to find alcohol-free fun.
Being a freshman isn’t always easy, but knowing what to expect should help you confidently transition from high school senior to college student.