Some people have a harder time with the transition to college than others. College is going to be a rough rid
e for those of you who have not come to terms with certain essential truths, so I’m here to lay some of t
hem out for you. This is probably applicable for the rest of life for the most part as well, but I think it definitely begins to come into play during college. This is part one of a series.
1 . You do not know anything. I’m not joking about this. High school is when you learn everything and college is when you learn you do not know
anything. Your textbooks are being revised every year. You get to the level of science classes where they have literally discovered and rewritten parts of your textbooks. The Pluto not being a planet anymore thing? Remember how earth-shaking that was? Happens all the time. College is less about knowing your whole textbook and more about realizing how much more there is to learn and how ever-changing the nature of knowledge is.
2 . Even so, your classes will often be outdated. Most classes are still based off of you having to actually remember and know things. The fact is, in the real world, you will have to understand concepts and have a strong and broad overview of many topics, but most things can be solved by google and critical thinking in the real-world. You will have calculators and the internet and probably a smartphone instead of having to have an encyclopediac knowledge of your field. This is not true of your tests. Good luck.
3 . Most of your grades will be based on 2 exams and a couple papers. You will be used to having a lot of homework and participation type-grades to fluff your grades. You will rarely have such luxuries in college. Fail one exam? Get ready to fight to the death for a C.
4 . People do not wash their hands as often as you want them to. Beware. Carry hand sanitizer and wash your hands. Dorms are cesspools. You almost definitely will get some form of sickness in your first couple months of school due to the new environment and the proximity to new people’s germs.
5 . Some people are not worth your time. Learn who is and who isn’t early on. Evaluate the people in your life every once in a while and decide whether or not they are worth the esteem you give them. Sometimes it changes. By the same token, not everyone is going to like you and not everyone is going to make you a priority.
6 . First impressions and instincts are important but not everything. Remember that first impressions are only first impressions, but your instincts will pick up on information you don’t consciously process. If something doesn’t feel right, especially if you are alone, do not put up with the situation.
7 . Everyone changes in college. Yes, even you. This is very much a result of how and with whom you spend your time. Expose yourself to as much diversity as possible. Once again, it is very important who you spend your time with. They will shape your values and ideas and challenge the ones you have already established.
8 . You will make mistakes. Get over it. It is going to happen You’re going to make a fool of yourself. Someone will over react to something you did. Things will get blown out of proportion. That doesn’t make things your fault and you are not responsible for anyone’s actions but your own. Own up to mistakes and let go.
9 . Mental health issues are common. They are extremely common. Anxiety in particular is on the rise. It’s not a big deal to ask for help. It’s not uncommon for you to find out about a friend having issues or for you to experience new issues at college age. The main thing is not to be free of mental health issues, it’s to manage them when and if they arise. Take care of yourself and your friends. Don’t make it a bigger deal than it is but take it seriously.
10 . You will not wake up as early for classes in college as you managed to do for high school. It’s just a fact. Anything before 11am will be a struggle, especially if you want breakfast. 6:30 was afine time to start the day in high school. It is not in college but for a very select few.
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