If you’re reading this, it’s likely you are about to start your final year of high school. Even though that means it’s time to say goodbye to all you know and meet new people in a different environment, it can be a nerve-wracking time for many. As you approach this milestone, be mindful that change and uncertainty can potentially translate to anxiety and stress. There are things you can do to help ease the transition into adulthood and prepare yourself for your first year of college. Pay close attention to the realities discussed in this article so you can prepare and equip yourself for your new journey into adulthood.
College Reality No. 1: You will not have everything figured out on day 1
College is a large, complicated place with a lot of things to learn about and a lot of responsibilities. You will have to make adjustments and figure out how you fit into this new environment. As you find your place at school, you will also come to terms with the fact that you will not have everything figured out on day one.
College Reality No. 2: You are planting a seed for your future
You are about to embark on the next step in your life, which will likely be filled with many new experiences, both good and bad. However, one of the things you can take away from your time at college and stick with for the rest of your life is your confidence and strength. You are planting a seed that one day you will be an even stronger person in the future.
College Reality No. 3: There will be times when you will be flat broke
If you are an incoming freshman, you will probably find yourself in a few situations where you will be flat broke. Yes, this is a reality of college life, and there is nothing wrong with it. It may not happen all of the time, but it is something that you need to be prepared for. If you find yourself with little money, don’t stress about it. There are ways to get by. You may have to eat out of the cafeteria more often than you’d like to, you may have to get a job, you may have to find cheaper alternatives when going out with your friends, But don’t stress too much about it. It will pass, and when it does, you can breathe a sigh of relief and know that you were prepared for it.
College Reality No. 4: You Will Make New Friends, But it Won’t Be Easy
When you first arrive on campus, you will likely want to make new friends and get to know the people around you. However, this may not be an easy task if you are a first-year student. You have a lot of adjusting to do. You have to learn to navigate new social situations, meet new people, make new friends and figure out a way to fit into a new environment. This can be difficult, especially if you are shy around new people. It is essential to remember that not everyone will be friendly. However, there will also be people who will be open-minded and willing to make friends with you. Just remember that kindness is a powerful force.
College Reality No. 5: You are an adult and have to think and behave responsibly
This should be obvious, but it is worth restating. College is an amazing opportunity for you to be independent, but it also presents situations for you to make mistakes and push your boundaries. It’s important to remember that you are an adult now, not just physically but also in your mind and emotions. This means you can make good and bad decisions and express yourself in ways that are more open than when you are a teenager. There are some dangers and real responsibilities that come with being an adult. Therefore, it’s important to remember that college is an opportunity to be as responsible as possible. It’s important to understand that while mistakes and consequences are going to happen, you have to have a set of morals and values that guide your decisions, attitudes, and behaviors.
College Reality No. 6: You probably aren’t sure what you want to do in life.
This might be the point in your life where you are the most confused. While exploring your options and learning more about what you would like to do in life, it’s also important to remember that you don’t have to make a decision right away. Taking a break from decisions and trying to figure out your future can be helpful. In college, especially in year one, it is normal not to have it all figured out regarding your future. Reach out to your school’s career counselor to help guide your next steps.
College Reality No. 7: You will be surrounded by sex, drugs, and alcohol
Yes, you will be in a place where you want to explore and experiment with sex, drugs, and alcohol. However, you don’t have to do any of these things. Yes, these things will be available and popular, but they also might not be for you. Of course, it’s essential to understand that even if you try to keep them out of your life, they will still be around and accessible. Again, live by a set of standards, morals, and values that are non-negotiable.
There is a lot of pressure on you as a first-year student. You are expected to make friends quickly, fit into a new environment, learn new things, and keep up in school. It is important to remember that no matter what, you will be okay. You will sometimes feel stressed and anxious, but it is important to remember that these feelings are short-lived. In the long run, they will be worth it since you will be able to accomplish amazing things.