5 things to know before college – words Al Woods

So you’re off to college, huh?

Welcome to the best four years of your life! Freedom, parties…oh and studying of course. Lots of studying.

Navigating the college culture can be an entire crash course in itself (and you don’t have any time on that busy freshman schedule).

So, read below for the 5 top things you should know before you settle into your new home!

#1 – You can do whatever you want!

You’re finally moving away from home, with total freedom from the parents. You can wear your boxers all day. Or eat Taco Bell for breakfast. Or sleep until midday.

But here’s the thing: don’t.

Of course, you should enjoy the freedom. But don’t go wild with spending money or eating fast food. It’ll soon catch up to you.

Also, remember to budget your money carefully. You’ll want to have some cash left to buy Christmas gifts when the winter vacation rolls around.

#2 – You will miss home.

Yeah, I know. You’re scoffing as you read this. The truth is, around 70% of students experience homesickness in their first year of college. And it’s totally normal.

You’re in a new, unfamiliar place, and you don’t have mom’s famous chili for dinner. Accepting that you’ll probably be homesick will help you cope with it when you get all teary-eyed.

Don’t forget that your parents will most likely be missing you too. So make sure you call them up every now and again! And not just to ask for more money.

#3 – Mental health is as important as grades! Don’t overlook it.

Yes, the whole point of college is to get that diploma in your hand at the end of it. But don’t lose yourself in the process!

You won’t be able to write that term paper while you’re battling your own problems. Most universities offer a counselling service on campus that is generally free to all students.

Image source: Pixabay

A 2014 survey found that 33% of college students reported having depression. While we hope you don’t face anything similar, be mindful of how you’re feeling. And make sure you seek out help when you need it.

#4 – There’s a drinking culture, but you don’t have to be part of it.

You’ve probably heard a lot about the college drinking experience. And there’s nothing wrong with sharing a beer or two!

But like everything else, excessive consumption can lead to some serious health issues.

Dorm parties and holidays like Spring Break can turn messy pretty quickly if you round up enough wild students and add some booze into the mix.

If you do plan on drinking, do so in moderation! Alcohol withdrawal after a booze-filled college break takes a huge toll on your body. Your exam paper will look even worse after you’ve spent the weekend binge-drinking.

#5 – Don’t be peer-pressured into anything!

Yeah okay, we aren’t your parents, and you’ve heard this lecture a million times. But it’s one of the most important things you need to know about college. Temptation will be all around you. We can’t stop you doing some pretty stupid stuff that you’ll regret in a few years.

But we can advise you not to give into anything you aren’t comfortable with.

You don’t need to attend every party, or take drugs, or have sex if you don’t want to. College is supposed to be a fun, learning experience. But only you can make sure that happens.

Meddling with things like drugs can have a serious impact on your studies. Not to mention it can land you in trouble with the law. So think carefully before you get involved with anything!

And most importantly…breathe!

College can be stressful at times, but remember why you are there; to get an education and have fun in the process!

Image source: Pixabay

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