Hey college students!
Now that I am mostly settled into school, I've began to figure out a thing or two about this college life. I noticed in my first few weeks there that I entered into this experience with a few misconceptions. Therefore I am beginning a 3-part series on Things They Didn't Tell You Before You Began Your Freshman Year. I'm going to share with all of you the things I figured out the hard way about living in a dorm, college classes, and sorority recruitment.
Things they didn't tell you about: Living in a Dorm
Prepare to feel like you're at summer camp. When I was having my pre-move out freak outs, I never expected to get to school and feel like I wasn't actually leaving home. The morning I packed up the car and hit the highway, my brain switched into summer camp-mode and I was convinced I was coming right back home. Honestly, that feeling still hasn't even faded away yet.
Value alone-time. You're not going to get any of it. If you go to a school like mine, getting a single room is extremely unlikely. Chances are, you'll have a minimum of one roommate. I actually have three roommates, all of whom I love, but finding time to be alone is close to impossible. If you can escape to the deep corners of the library or anywhere in silence, relish that time like nobody's business. You never know when you'll get a moment to yourself again.
Your roommate doesn't have to be your best friend. Don't feel any pressure to be besties with your roomie, obviously you should try to get along at the very least. However, you don't have to spend all of your time together. Dive in and meet people, don't confine yourself to a set amount of friends. This is college. Go out and spread those social-butterfly wings! Helpful Hint: If you are just chilling in your dorm and not doing much homework, prop your door open and give the girls (or boys if you live in co-ed housing) on your hall an opportunity to drop in and say hi! It's a great way to get to know your neighbors.
You're not going to remember everyone's name. I have always prided myself on being very good at remembering names, but going into a class of 720 was my biggest challenge yet. There are a billion Sarahs, Hannahs, and Emilys. Don't be afraid to ask someone "I'm sorry, remind me of your name?". Chances are, they have forgotten your name too.
Your RA is on your side. She's not there to get you into trouble for everything, but to help you survive your freshman year. Build a friendship with her and don't be afraid to ask her anything. Her job is to help you out, and make sure you're not doing anything stupid that could mess up your year.
Food in the cafeteria will get old. Fast. You may be required to purchase a meal plan, but no matter how great of a cafeteria you have, you'll be tired of it more quickly than you think. You may not even find the time to make it to the caf at times because of studying or work. Keep some healthy food stored in your dorm for times when walking to the cafeteria just isn't worth it. My suggestion: Mini Wheats wit a touch of fruit! Yummy as a snack or meal. Helpful Hint: Stock up on immunity boosters and vitamins, such as Emergen-C, you're going to be battling all kinds of germs in college.
Nobody is going to sleep early. As a matter of fact, I'm writing this from the library at 11:40pm, with no idea when I will head back to the dorm. The likelihood of anyone going to bed before 11:00 is quite slim. That being said, if you are staying up studying or watching a movie, respect quiet hours that your dorm may enforce, your neighbors will appreciate it. Also, if you have to stay up until 1:00am or later studying, give yourself a break or even a 20-minute nap. Don't burn yourself out, or these college years will be miserable.
Good luck to all my fellow freshies! This year is going to be great. Don't forget to visit blog.dormify.com for more of the Things They Didn't Tell You Before You Began Your Freshman Year Series!