Freshman year at college is filled with excitement and anticipation. Your suitcases are packed; you have chosen your furniture and other interior décor items, and you’re ready to begin a new chapter in life.
A new life awaits you as you get ready for higher education to fulfill your career dreams. Even the air around you seems electrifying as you prepare for the journey, eager to reach the destination and meet new people. But there are a few unexpected surprises in store.
The roommate experience
You probably hoped that you and your new roomie would be best buddies. Sadly, this is not always the case. You may get on well with them or they may be your worst nightmare. They may be noisy or worse, decide that your sense of college freshman fashion is better than their own, and start borrowing your clothes without permission.
This is the time to be mature and adapt. Look for someone who is in a similar position. Perhaps they will be willing to change places. Stay flexible and find a way to work things out to live in harmony.
Prepare for the following months
You may have enjoyed popularity and prominence at high school but at college, you are a nameless face. Lecturers and fellow students need to put a name to your face and try to remember it among hundreds of others.
Repeating yourself is going to make you feel like a number. You are not alone. Getting to know everyone will be tiring and can make you feel like a social pariah. Take heart, as this period will only last for about two months.
After this, you will feel as if you have been doing this for years. Sleep as much as possible to recharge during this time as your best defense. And while you plan to sleep endless, do what I do to maintain my academic performance, I turn to EduBirdie, where professional writers write my essay fast and free of plagiarism. For any college essay that you need, that’s really the best place.
The dreaded ‘orientation’
You had better get used to ‘orientation’ because your life is going to be ruled by rules—whether you like it or not. Every move you make at the start will be decided for you. Rules tend to take a lot of fun out of all the earlier expectations and excitement, but you will need to suck it up.
You will be required to answer to group leaders or to join an orientation group and be spending most of your waking hours with these people. Try to make the most of this experience as it is intended to be helpful. Once left to your own devices, you may find yourself missing the chaos of orientation.
Your two weeks of orientation are just an introduction. No one is going to rescue you. You need to take responsibility and rescue yourself by being proactive. Download a map of the college to aid your orientation.
You need to figure out where everything is on the campus in relation to where your dorm is. This can be quite confusing, especially if directions are not a strong point. On top of this, you will need to figure out the lay of the land external to college grounds for necessary supplies. Be proactive about your environment and how to get to classes.
Lecturers will not be impressed with your lack of preparation if you arrive late for their classes. Overcome this problem by finding out where all your classes are going to be held the day before. Use the campus map that you downloaded to prepare each day in advance.
Soon you will know exactly where you need to be every day. After this, you can focus on where the other things are, such as entertainment and sports facilities. Also, be sure to check out online classes and how this works. You must learn to help yourself because everyone is in the same position.
While it is difficult not to get caught up in the excitement of a new life, the fewer expectations you have, the less chance there is of disappointment. Approach your new life with an open mind and embrace new experiences. Even when roomies, orientation, and the environment threaten to get you down – remind yourself of how much you are learning and how much you are growing.
*Cover image shows freshmen students signing up for dormitory events at Cornell University
Michael Turner is an academic counselor working with college students to help them create a perfect student life balance. He mentors them, helps them with their thesis, essays, and dissertation writing, and counsels them if they have personal problems. In his free time, he loves watching the NBA and NFL, playing tennis, and reading crime and mystery books.