As a freshman at Ithaca College, it didn’t take me long to learn the ropes and figure out how to adapt to a completely new environment. Here’s 5 things that I learned after finishing my first month:
1. How to be on time.
If your senior year of high school was kind of a joke (like mine), you’re probably used to taking your own sweet time in the morning and getting to class a few minutes late without any serious repercussions. But that doesn’t cut it in college. Forget the first month, within the first week you’ll learn that college professors begin teaching precisely on time whether you’re there or not, and being late means facing the shame of walking into a huge lecture desperate to find a seat while everyone amusingly watches you struggle. Their beady eyes will easily force you to figure out how much time you need before class to successfully get there with at least five minutes to spare, and that is something you will live by for the rest of your freshman year. But hey, if you’ve always been an early bird kudos to you my friend.
2. Surviving the freshman plague.
Not to freak you out, but just take a moment to think of all the doors you touch on your daily walk to class, and all of the desks that have been sat in before you. Sounds like a place for many disgusting, virus spreading germs to fester, right? Right. This is exactly how you will get the freshman plague that almost every person gets within their first few weeks of college (and if you haven’t gotten it yet, watch out it’s coming). I mean, it makes sense. You’re in a new environment, adjusting to a new schedule, eating food you haven’t necessarily been eating before, and getting less sleep than you were in the summer. Though it is difficult to prevent, the best you can do is eat right, exercise, get sufficient sleep, and take your vitamins if you can. If that doesn’t work and you do get it, go to the health center right away and get the treatment you need. Trust me, it will go away much faster than if you wait for it to just go away on its own.
3. How to deal with noise.
This one is pretty obvious, but college can get quite rowdy at times and not necessarily at the most convenient hours. That being said, you’ll quickly discover how you personally deal with noise, whether it be in the comfort of your dorm, in a busy lounge, or even in the library. More often than not, your roommate will have a completely different schedule than you and when they are waking up at the crack of dawn for an 8am, all you want to do is sleep in. This is when your body will learn to tune out their ongoing series of alarms and become accustomed to sleeping through their whole morning routine if you aren’t already a heavy sleeper. The same goes for nighttime when everyone is hustling and bustling enjoying the night life despite your efforts to have a quiet night in. If you can’t manage to tune out the noise at night, headphones will seriously become your best friend. Just bump up the soothing tunes and you’ll slowly doze off into a soothing, relaxing sleep.
4. If you’re a party person or a night in person.
Speaking of drowning out noise, it won’t take you long to figure out if you’re the type of person to love noise and the crowds that follow it, or if all you want to do is have a quiet movie night in with some friends. Who knows, you could be somewhere in between, but usually the first month of college is where you put yourself out there and try new things you may potentially like, or dislike, such as immersing yourself into the party animal lifestyle. But hey, if sweaty, packed, bumpin’ parties just aren’t your thing, don’t worry. You’ll figure out what your social groove is within the first few weeks.
5. That college is way better than high school.
Finally, freedom! In only a matter of days, the feeling of being on your own and figuring out life as an independent individual will slowly start to sink in, and trust me it will feel so good. No curfew. No limitations. Just you being able to, well, “do you”. Whereas in high school you were forced to take the core curriculum that you absolutely hated because it had nothing to do with any of your interests, college gives you the freedom to explore courses you enjoy and help you discover who you want to be as an individual in the “real world”. Oh, and you’ll also meet amazing people with the same interests as you and with way higher maturity levels than some of your high school peers you had to deal with. So yeah, college is extremely better in comparison to high school, and it will only take you about month to figure that out.