The ten things I wish someone told me before I went to college
1.) As much as I’m happy to have “UMass award ranked dining,” your college diet will most likely consist of tons of caffeine and a lot of ramen/your choice of midnight snack (that you should probably shouldn’t be eating in the first place). No matter how many different things I eat at the infamous Berkshire, the food eventually does get old. There is nothing like a home cooked meal, so cherish it while you can!
2.) College actually is different! Creating a schedule and sticking to it isn’t as easy as it seems, but you should try to do it anyway; it’ll only benefit you in the long run. REALLY get accustomed to studying a couple of hours a day/week where you finish your homework or review class material. You’ll save yourself from pulling an all-nighter, not to mention saving the money you’d spend on carbonated caffeine drinks to help you cram.
3.) Get to know people, but you don’t have to rush to meet everyone all at once. Let’s face it- you are away from home and are looking to make all the friends you can. But truth be told, those groups of 40 kids that you used to go out with during Freshman Orientation won’t last all year (let alone semester). You might as well give yourself some time to find true friends that will last.
4.) It is a sad but true reality that you (or someone else) are now paying for school: go to class.
5.) It is okay to eat alone. After orientation weekend, you will probably need some down time anyway. This is not high school where your social standing depends on where you sit in the dining hall.
6.) I know it may seem like you have to go out Thursday-Saturday, and at first, you might even go out all three nights and go crazy. Just remember that it is okay to kick back and relax once in a while. This might sound cheesy, but you want to give yourself time to relax and do other things besides trying to piece together the night before.
7.) Call your parents. Enough said.
8.) Your friends at the beginning of the semester might not be your friends at the end of the semester.
9.) Don’t be the annoying person that leaves his/her clothes in the washing machine or dryer even when they are done being washed or dried. Pick up your laundry on time. Other people will throw your now clean clothes on the floor so they can use the facilities.
10.) Play hard, work harder. But do both. Going out night after night can get just as boring as studying for hours straight. Remember, life doesn’t happen in your dorm room, it happens in someone else’s!
Purti Pareek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.