I could make a generic, bullet point list of what you really need to bring to college or what to expect in your classes, but that wouldn’t be the most exciting thing. Starting college as a wee freshman is always a little scary, and the people you first click with will most likely not stick around that long. The more time we spend at school, the more people we get to know and the more comfortable we get with branching out.
Throughout your four years, you’ll see a solid progression in your emotional maturity. Yes, this happens as anyone gets older and has more experiences, but it seems to go extra quickly in college. College forces you to take care of yourself, make your own decisions, manage your own time and most likely spend your own money. All of this being thrown at you all at once can be pretty eye-opening.
I’ve written a lot of articles on how to build your social circle and not let the actions of others affect you, but I’d like to point out that college can be one of the most difficult times to handle a social life. Depression rates are extremely high in college students, which can cause people to either not go out at all, or to be somewhat different than their usual selves. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you never know what someone is going through. People act the way they do for various reasons, and we all have to be a little more understanding. It’s okay to disassociate, but never be unkind.
When it comes to school work, unless you’re going into an intense and specific field, like the medical field, employers are most likely never going to ask you for your GPA. So we can all stop worrying so much about it. As long as you graduate and get your degree, you’re qualified. Grades don’t have that much to do with a person’s intelligence. They have to do with a person’s ability to memorize and perform under pressure. Those are two useful skills, but should not be direct indicators of someone’s overall intelligence. There is something to be said about not testing well or having test anxiety. That’s something that should be more understood across the board.
Finally, when it comes to stress and time management, these things will get easier. We’ll have to deal with different sources of stress throughout our whole life, so even though college is a particularly stressful time, it’s a time to prepare for the future. Once you reach senior year, you’ll most likely be pretty good at time management, which helps reduce stress. Remember to keep your heads up and know that whatever is bothering you won’t last forever. It may seem like you’re old once you’re in college and you have to have life all figured out, but that’s not the case. There is so much life to live; cherish your time in college. All the freedom and the friendships. The good times will always outweigh the bad.
Tessa Pawlik is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.