College Part 1

I have two sisters starting college this year and it got me thinking about the college “experience” (as it is often called). I’m not talking about Animal House-esque behavior (necessarily), but more about the act of getting out of your comfort zone. Going to college brings up a lot of new things for most students. It may be the first time you’re living away from your parents. It’s probably the first time you’ll be left to your own devices for whatever free time you have while not in class. You’re likely in a new town. You’ll have to make new friends. You’ll be reevaluating who you are and what you aim to do in this life. Some of you will have already chosen a major and others will be happily (or riddled with anxiety) about their major-less status on day one of their new life on campus. Going away to college brings up lots of concerns and challenges for the soon-to-be initiated. Step one of going to college: Don’t worry.

Having been on both sides of the classroom in the recent past, I sympathize with the struggles students endure while taking classes. New environments, schedules, friends, routines, etc. are not an easy thing to get down immediately. It will probably take you a while to really figure out what you’re going to need to do on any given day to get all that you need to do actually done. If you’re studying all the time you’re probably doing it wrong (you’re missing the “experience” part), but if you’re drinking/sleeping/skipping classes all the time you’re also doing it wrong (you’re missing the “college” part). You’re going to have both the “college” and the “experience” parts pulling at you full-blast for the first couple of months. Be sure to go to your classes and do your homework (that should be a priority) but don’t miss out on a social gathering or a club-you’re-interested-in meeting just because you want to spend all your time studying. The mind needs the occasional break as well. One last thing: Good luck.