You have been accepted at the college of your choice and you are packed and headed out the door when the thought assails you: what will my freshman year be like? Panic may set in. Your parents may have difficulty disengaging your fingers from the front door handle. The first year is definitely different from anything you have experienced before, but that can be a good thing.
The First Thing You May Notice is Small Dorm Rooms
According to Mashable.com many freshmen are surprised at the restrictions both the room size and the dorm rules place upon them. You may have to send some of your prized possessions home with your parents. Most schools allow students to have small refrigerators and TVs in their room, but you will have to work out with your roommate who will bring what. Aside from that, there are beds and desks; there is no room for your six-foot stuffed giraffe. That small space will make it vital for you to get along with your roommate and you may or may not become best friends. You may find you grow away from the high school friend who came to the same school. That’s all right. You will make new friends. Still, students who go to college expecting to spend a lot of time partying may be disappointed. Most freshmen will be like you. You may all spend too much time sitting on your beds eating junk food, but don’t forget to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Some colleges are especially well-suited for outdoor enthusiasts.
The First Day of Classes
You are on your way to your first class when it strikes you: you have no idea where that class is. Campuses may be large and it may take longer to make the trip from your dorm to the classroom than you planned for. The freshman year at most colleges and universities is when the school attempts to give you a good liberal arts foundation for your major; you will take only a few introductory classes for your concentration. There will be immense amounts of reading and writing. Deadlines may be much shorter than they were in high school. In short, the workload can be overwhelming. It is completely normal to feel doubts and be frustrated. As you get accustomed to the routine, those feelings will pass.
Being your Own Boss
Being in charge of yourself is perhaps the hardest thing about your first year. With all the responsibility of class work and with the possibilities of new friends and new experiences, it can be tempting to just throw out all those rules you may have had at home. You will probably have a checkbook or credit card at your disposal: use it wisely. Many college freshmen get into financial trouble from overspending. You will need to budget your time as well. Staying up all night talking with friends once in a while is fine, but it can’t become the norm.
There are so many possibilities that lie before you, and there are some pitfalls. It is important to remember that soon all of the uncertainty will pass. One day soon you will be a sophomore looking back at your freshman year.