So you finally finished High School. You took the SAT, worked your butt off for 4 years (or maybe 3 1/2), toured colleges, and listened to your parents talk some nonsense about college loans. You filled out countless applications and checked the mail everyday for an acceptance letter. You finally got that acceptance letter and you're going to the college of your dreams (or the college that's giving you the most scholarship money). You brag to your friends. Your parents brag to their coworkers. Your grandmother brags to her bridge partners. You're going to college!
That's it, right? Well, not exactly.
For starters, college is not High School Part II. You're no longer a Senior and standing high and mighty on top of the totem pole. As a matter of fact, there isn't much of a hierarchy in college, at least in my experience. The best advice that I can give you as a new college student is to think of your education in a different light. Don't think of it as a purely social event. Sure, you'll have plenty of fun, but mom and dad won't be too happy when they see your report card and neither will any future employers when they're reading through your resume. College is a different experience that involves a good deal of responsibility and diligence if you want to do well. Your parents aren't there to wake you up in the morning and no one is breathing down your neck to do your homework. If you don't do either of those, you'll simply fail.
There are two different ways that some people view college. There are those who "Party Hard" and those who "Party Hardly". Those who choose to Party Hard put their social lives before their school work and those who Hardly Party sit in their rooms playing World of Warcraft until their eyeballs bleed.
Pick the happy medium. Have your fun, but put your studies first. If you have a paper due, get that paper done before you go out with your friends. Don't drink excessively. I know, you're in college and I sound like your parents, but it really does more harm than good. Too many new college students mess up their first semester because they go out drinking every night. Trust me, it's hard to make up ground on a bad GPA.
Speaking of friends--make them. College is a great opportunity to meet new people, especially in the beginning. Join clubs, play sports, talk to people in class. You won't regret it. You're all in a new place and everyone is looking for new friends. Don't be shy!
Since we're all writers (hopefully that's the reason why you've discovered this blog), I'll be offering some summer writing and reading tips for those of you who want to brush up on your skills before the Fall semester in the coming weeks. See you next time!