What to Expect in Your First Year at College


Going to college is one of the defining moments in a person’s life. It will shape them and change who they thought they were. After the three (or so) years it takes them to complete their course, they will return home changed. Imagine college as the chrysalis that the high-school caterpillar weaves only to emerge as a post-graduate butterfly three years later (can’t you yell I did a creative writing degree…) Here’s what to expect and how to cope with it all.



Chances are, after the terror you feel when you parents finally leave you for the first time subsides, you will get the heady rush of freedom. It can go to your head and overpower you though, so you need to watch it. Take it steady and slow and enjoy the feeling of doing what you want when you want without anyone chiming in on what’s good for you or what you should be doing right now or any of that rubbish. You’re the boss of you now … until you go home for Thanksgiving and then get treated like a child again … nothing prepares you for that.



Meeting people is one of the joys of college life; because it is guaranteed that you will meet interesting and different people than you are used to. Unless you’re an army kid you will be used to the same old people from the same old town, but once you get to college, people from all over the country (and the world) will be met and it’s fantastic. You’ll meet people who have memorized the complete works of Shakespeare; basketball whiz-kids from an athletes-usa.com scholarship who can dribble like a God; or maybe even a girl who can recite pi to seven-thousand eight-hundred and forty-four places.



Next you will need to learn how to process all the information you receive, because it will be coming from every corner of the campus. You will need to remember people’s names, your timetable, your way around, your textbooks, your assignments, etc. It can be a bit disorientating, but remember everyone else is in the same boat and feeling just as mixed-up as you are but give it time and allow yourself a settling in period and everything will be fine. It’s usually why fresher’s week is such a good idea, because it allows you to get all the social stuff out of the way before having to think about calculus or Lord Byron, or whatever else your course is on.



As the year goes on you might get sad and nostalgic, but this is okay. Ennui among college students is perfectly normal as even if you’re having the best time of your life, your old life is still fresh in your memory. Just remember if you can last till Christmas you’ll last the whole three years. Coming back after Christmas is hard for a lot of students as it’s probably the pinnacle of their family life and so tearing themselves away and pack to college can be difficult, but very rewarding in the end.

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