As the summer begins to end and I look at the start at school, I cannot help but feel… Old. I am going into my sophomore year at Hofstra University. I have just arrived on Long Island and am staying in a hotel in Garden City before I move in tomorrow morning for the next nine months. I remember just like it was yesterday, my feelings when I was in this hotel the night before moving in last year.
I was going into my Freshman year and could not help but feel nervous for a number of reasons. Am I gonna make friends? Am I gonna do well in my classes? Will people find me to be TOO weird? WILL I LIKE MY SCHOOL? Rest assured all of these answers were resolved throughout my time at school that first year. A lot of my friends are going into their first year of college this year,and I can feel nothing but empathy for them, having gone through this process exactly a year ago.
So to get you through those first few weeks at whatever school you are going to, I will give you some friendly college that I know helped me my first year. Some of these I’m sure you’ve heard before from teachers, parents, and other friends who have gone through this; but it does not make it all the more true.
Be sociable: The best way to make friends in college is to obviously try to get yourself out there. Go to those first meetings with your floor. Participate in those stupid games. Trust me, you’re not the only one who thinks those icebreakers are idiotic; but if you try to make it a laughable experience, People will be drawn to get to know you. Also, as they always say, KEEP YOUR DOOR OPEN. do not shut the world out. You can play Xbox or Playstation with a door open to make people feel welcome. Who knows, maybe someone will come in and play with you. BOOM, friend.
Stay healthy: College is a place where all you do on your down time is slouch around. Whether that’s eating, sleeping, or just sitting around watching TV/playing video games. It is really important you keep up with your health so as to avoid the infamous Freshman Fifteen and to avoid getting sick. Make sure to head to the gym when you can and maybe run a mile here and there, lift a little, or if you’re feeling really ruthless, go to a Zumba class. I liked to go after all my classes are done so as to relieve some stress and get some time to myself. Just make sure you’re active in those moments of downtime and not eating your life away and you’ll be set.
Participate in what your school offers: A great way to meet people and even get to know others in your major (if you’ve already declared one. It’s alright if you haven’t) is joining a club! I made contact with Hofstra’s film club and made a few friends there. I even got to star in a senior film that way! Also, go to those random fundraisers or events like music festivals and what not. another great environment for social interaction. Maybe take a few friends you made with you. If it sucks, you guys can laugh about it later. Bottom line is, you go to college to not only get an education, but to also have some fun. Why not take advantage of what your school has to offer?
Which brings me to my next pointer, BE READY TO WORK: You are going to college to learn and if you thought because you coasted through high school that you can do the same for college, you’re just dead wrong. Because the difference between your high school and your college is you are paying for that school and you aren’t paying lightly. If you decide to just party and skip classes and not study, bye bye college! They won’t want you there, and your parents or aunt and uncle or whoever is fronting the money for school won’t want you there wasting their hard earned cash. You got accepted into college, that is a great feat. Don’t flush it down the drain. My brother used to tell me this, and it still holds true to this day: there is no better feeling than partying and knowing you’re getting good grades. Have fun when the hard work is over, and you’ll feel like you earned it, I promise you.
Having said all this, when all is said and done, you aren’t going to get anywhere in college if you don’t REMAIN POSITIVE. Always keep a positive attitude going into school. Assure yourself that you’re gonna make a ton of great friends. Assure yourself you’ll participate to the best of your ability. Assure yourself you’ll stay fit and healthy. Assure yourself that you’ll learn a great deal and use the tools your school provides you to a great advantage. I promise you if you do all of this, you will not only have a great college career, but a very bright future ahead of you. To everyone about to partake in their first year of college and to the ones returning, I wish you the best of luck.