Written By Christina Kanu (@MissKanu)
The other day one of my Christina Kids (The name I give to those I mentor) texted me a picture of her college dorm room. As I looked at the picture it brought back many memories of my freshmen year in college. She had every item that is listed on those “What to Pack for College” lists. Freshmen year in college was an experience. College is not like anything you will ever experience in your life. The highs and the lows. The good times the bad times. And everything else in between. I immediately was nervous for her. There were so many things that I never imagined happening my freshmen year. As my nerves grew I thought of all of the college freshmen. In addition, I thought of those such as my sister who will be transferring from community college to my Alma Mater Old Dominion University. She has experienced college but now she is REALLY about to experience it.
With that in mind I decided to create a list of things to share with those who are about to embark on this exciting new chapter of life.
Nothing is EVER that Deep.
A lot of unnecessary things will happen your first year of college. You may get into an argument with your roommate. Or you will break up with your significant other. You will oversleep for a class or two (Don’t take 8 AMs if you can avoid it). The Café may serve the same thing over and over again. Remember it is not that deep. Do not stress over the things that you cannot change.
You will learn the true colors of those you know when you go to college. Not everyone that glitters is gold. Not everyone is your best friend. I repeat not everyone is your best friend. Everyone will not have your best interest at heart. There will be people who will give you their last. And there will be people that you wish you never even asked.
Buy or Rent your Books
This sounds self explanatory. However, it is not. It does not matter what the class is get the book for class. You do NOT want to be that person who is asking to borrow a book or copy 1000 pages. I do not recommend sharing books either. When midterms and final exams get real the last thing you want to think about is asking for a book. If you do not use the book when you are finished just sell it back. Don’t be that person who uses their book money on alcohol or clothes.
I have yet to find a couple that met freshmen year and stayed together. Use this opportunity to explore and date people. The most important person you should be dating is yourself. This is an amazing time for self discovery. It is hard to grow as a person when you constantly have someone else in your space. I have a paper that I wrote about Romantic Relationships in college. If you would like to read it email me for a copy (Info@ChristinaKanu.Com).
Life should not be all work and no play or all play and no work. Set a schedule that works best for you. Find time to focus strictly on academics. But also allow time to hang out and socialize. You do not always have to go to a party. Sometimes the best nights are those that consist of junk food, movies, and talking all night with friends. But always remember why you are there. It is to get a degree and get OUT.
It is really hard to change your reputation. I remember people who were one way their freshmen year and then by senior year it was like “who is that”. Of course people are consistently evolving. However, be very mindful of what you do because your reputation will follow you around like a shadow
Do not be that person who did nothing but go to class and parties during college. There are plenty of clubs and organizations that you can join. Join a fraternity, sorority, professional development organization, honor society, intramurals, community service organization, religious club, etc. Do SOMETHING. This is an excellent way to network as well as add to your resume. When you leave college employers want to know that you are well rounded.
College flies by. I cannot believe that I am done with undergrad and I am in graduate school. Soak up every moment and opportunity. College will some of the best years in your life. It is the only time where people will send you money for pizza in the mail. After those 4, 5, or 6 years are done life gets REAL. Appreciate your college years while they last.
I hope these few tidbits help. One more thing I left out. BE YOURSELF. Do not waste all these years trying to be what other people expect you to be. You are fabulous on your own. Best of luck to everyone going to college for the first time or continuing their collegiate years. Peace and Blessings !