What to Expect During the Summer Before Your First Year of College (& more)
Ahhh yes. The summer before college starts…it’s going to be the most interesting summer of your life.
It’s a transition phase for sure.
Your friends you saw every day, you will suddenly see less and less.
You may even get a summer job. For me, this was my first time ever working.
It makes you want to go back. So badly.
But trust me, it gets better.
Like way better.
I LOVED high school.
I didn’t think it would, or even could¸ get better than high school. But oh man, it does.
The craziest part? I was a bit uneasy during the whole summer leading up to college.
Just know every other student is feeling the same way, some are just better at hiding it.
Orientation is going to be weird. (you think) You arrive at your future home, with your future classmates, all equally confused but trying to act cool. You learn about your school, classes, social activities, sports, clubs, etc. Can’t forget about all the ice breakers the orientation leaders make you do. Then you go back to the dorms, and for me, this was the first time ever sleeping in a room with someone I didn’t know. Your mind is going to tell you “oh man, this is going to be super awkward”, but really it isn’t. We all have more in common than we don’t have in common. Find those similarities.
As weird as I thought orientation would be, it was 100% the opposite. I found my roommate during this time, (or should I say, he found me) and we are still best of friends to this day. It’s funny, I thought making friends would be one of the tougher parts of being a little fish in a big sea. Unlike high school, there are clubs for basically anything and everything, and chances are, you can find future friends in one of the hundreds of clubs your school will offer. It takes time though but find your people.
What can you expect during your first semester? It’s going to start out extremely stressful because move in day, is BY FAR, the worst day of the school year. No doubt. But your first semester is going to offer tons of distractions. An unhealthy amount of distractions. For most, this will be the first time you are able to do what you want, when you want, with no parents’ permission. Freedom at last! This alone will either make or break a lot of students. You don’t have to go to class. You don’t have to study. You can legitimately play video games all day long. I don’t recommend any of those things, but there are kids who do that.
You can also expect to find out more about yourself. Who I was at the end of high school is a very different person than who I was at the end of college. So, if you feel that something is changing about you, accept it, don’t deny changes. For me, I found out these changes through “gen-ed” (general education) classes. I really enjoyed learning about cultures and the environment. I never knew I liked those things, nonetheless, reading books and learning about the topics. Thanks to Intro to Anthropology and Environmental Biology for sparking those interests. In high school I was all about sports and lifting weights. I still do love sports and lifting weights, but I never would have thought I’d be running my own business and writing blogs. I’m accepting that change and loving it. Get ready to find a newer, and hopefully, better version of yourself.
Parties. A somewhat glorified college activity. It can be a real good time; it can also feel like a waste of time (and money). You’ll know people who go out three times a week, you’ll also know some that go out three times their whole college career. Both is fine. Whatever type of partier you are, just don’t fall for peer pressure. It’s silly, it’s stupid. If you feel the need that you must do something to fit in, chances are those people telling you do something, are NOT your people.
*side note* I never once drank while at a social gathering, nobody notices, nobody cares, if anything they find it very respectable and awesome that you still go out sober and have a good time.
Let mom and dad take all the pictures they want and give you all the hugs and kisses they want. As exciting this new journey is for you, is how bittersweet it is for them.
To the parents reading this: breathe. Seriously, stop reading and take a breath. It will be fine. You’re going through just as much change as your son or daughter. Move in day won’t be as stressful as it will be bittersweet.
Take a second and cherish those moments. Accept the change that will happen in your life, your life is going to change just as much, if not more. Especially, if this is the first time your child is getting out of the house for an extended period. I will have one of my parents write about how it was for them in a future blog.
But to the future college students, be open to the changes, take chances, thank your parents, and please! please! please! don’t get hung up on the little things because these four years feel more like four seconds. Trust me.
& Remember to be kind.
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