A month from now I will be starting my senior year of college and I can’t help but think about all the things I learned, the things I regret, and what I wish I had known before I had entered college. Let me start off by telling you that it’s actually really scary how fast college goes by. People would always say that it passes in a blink of an eye, but I always thought they were exaggerating. When you start college you think you have all the time in the world, but for me, it feels like just months ago that I was moving into my freshman dorm.

So here’s some advice:

Orientation and Campus Events

First off, go to your orientation and go to the events your school hosts for you before classes start. I know that the idea of ice breakers sounds lame and like a waste of time and you’re not entirely wrong, but this is the easiest and fastest way to meet students who are in the same boat as you. It’s awkward, but effective. I, personally, am still best friends with the people I met at my orientation and I am so thankful that it brought all of us together. I don’t think I would have met as many people if I hadn’t gone.

Make Your Own Choices:

Second, college is completely different than high school. In high school your parents still made most of your choices: club activities, classes to take, etc. In college, your parents aren’t there to make the decisions anymore; you are. You get to make choices about friendships, activities, and classes based solely on you. You’re choosing the people you want to surround yourself with and the things that you want to participate in. No longer are you joining a club because it looks good on a college application. Now you’re doing it because it’s something you think you’ll enjoy. Make sure to choose the things and the people that make you happy. Do it for yourself, no one else.

Stay On Top of Your Work

Don’t wait until the last minute to finish an assignment unless you want to get a shitty grade. Trust me, I learned the hard way. College coursework is nothing like high school assignments. The workload is harder, heavier, and more demanding. So, unless you find pure pleasure in staying up until 6 AM finishing a presentation that’s due at 8:30 AM, I advise you to not wait to finish an assignment. In college you get a syllabus that will map out your entire semester. Use it. Get ahead on that project that is due in 2 weeks because in the end you’ll feel much better about it. Especially when your friends are all scrambling around you to get it done. Let me tell you, college professors are not as forgiving as your teachers in high school. They don’t care if you forgot about the due date. They will be less forgiving when grading assignments, so please, just leave yourself enough time to get your work done.

Changing Your Major

My best friend changed her major multiple times throughout her college career and while it was a pain in the ass for her, she knew it was the right thing to do. Don’t be scared to change your major if you don’t enjoy it. If your classes don’t excite you or interest you by the end of the year, you might want to consider looking at different options that might be a better fit for you. Colleges have so many different courses and majors, so if you know what you want to do right off the bat, you’re very lucky. All in all, your major is going to affect future jobs you may want after college, so why not do something that makes you happy?

Relationships

College is also a time where relationships come into play. You’re out on your own for the first time, surrounded by people your age, why wouldn’t you want to meet someone? What I learned is that other freshman don’t always want to be tied down into relationships. They want to have fun and who could blame them? So, if you’re looking for a committed relationship don’t be too surprised if someone tells you they aren’t looking for something serious. But don’t let that stop you. If you’re interested in an actual relationship keep going out and meet different people! You’re bound to find someone who feels the same way you do. If you’re just looking for some fun and a good time, enjoy yourself! You’re only a college freshman once!

Savor the Small Things

Lastly, enjoy the small moments. Stay up late with your roommate, go to the events your college hosts, order fried food at 1 AM- enjoy it all. College is only four years, so don’t waste a second. You may not realize when it’s happening, but you are forming memories that you’ll look back on when you’re a Senior and smile about. Make friends, discover new things, eat a ton of food, and don’t regret any of it.

Published by Megan Wong