11 things I wish I knew before I went to college

I am sprawled out on my couch, sipping iced tea, still trying to come to terms with the fact that I’m a quarter of the way through my college career. My first year flew by at lightning speed. I had a blast, met some pretty cool people, and I can’t wait to head back in the fall and see what the next year has in store. Professors and associate deans always call the freshman year the “transition year,” and until I was smack dab in the middle of it, I didn’t entirely grasp the concept. But they were right. You move away from home, start learning how to live independently…it can get pretty crazy, but man. it. is. fun. Even so, there are a few things I wish I knew before traveling to my wondrous college campus.

  1. As heart-wrenching as it may be, your college experience will most likely not be identical to Pitch Perfect. I mean, Skylar Astin never showed up at my dorm with a stack of John Hughes movies and some juice pouches. Sigh. Anyway, life goes on.
  2. When packing for school, do not bring every article of clothing you own. People will urge you not to do this, and you’ll think, “Nah, whatever. It won’t be that bad, everything fits in my room right now.” That’s what I thought. But I was knee deep in regret and storage bins the night before I moved out, having just had a life-altering epiphany and coming to the realization that I was, in fact, wrong, and I brought waaaaay too much stuff.
  3. Also, invest in a rug. After cross-referencing every college packing list that you can get your hands on, you may think that a rug is something that you can live without. Trust me – you want the rug.
  4. Expect the first time being sick away from home to be pretty rough. But by the second time around you’ll be trudging to class, pockets loaded with tissues, downing DayQuil like a champ.
  5. Developing Stockholm Syndrome with the dining hall food is totally normal. It happens. Nothing to worry about.
  6. You’re going to reach a point when you will question every life decision that you’ve ever made.
  7. But that’s okay! Everyone does, even if they refuse to admit it.
  8. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to take classes you hate. On the flip side, you’ll also get to take classes you love. And sometimes, you’ll end up loving the one you thought you’d hate and vice versa.
  9. You will see your professors…everywhere. Whether it be at CVS, the movies, or the coffee shop you frequent every Tuesday and Thursday. It happens, it’s a thing. Be prepared.
  10. Do NOT feel guilty for frequenting the amazing, 24/7 hour diner and ordering french toast, bacon, and sausage at 10 o’clock at night and cleaning your plate. Life is good, you’re young, you’re in college…eat the glorious breakfast food.
  11. It’s a crazy ride. Sorry to use the roller coaster cliche, but it’s true. There will be ups, downs, twists, turns, loops, free falls, and everything in-between. There will be moments when you don’t know up from down…there will probably be a lot of those, actually. So yeah, it’s a crazy ride. But it’s one of best ones at the park.

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