6 Things You’ll Realize in Your First Semester of College
1. You are in charge of your decisions.
Your parents and professors are not going to make you do anything. Newsflash - most professors don’t even care if you go to class, and they won’t track you down to make up work. It’s on you. But you already paid so much for all your classes, so you might as well get your money’s worth and make an effort.
2. You will learn how to navigate around campus without getting lost.
You will know the building names and where they are, and most importantly, where to get food! Sure, the first week you might need to look at a map, but after a few weeks you’ll basically know the place inside and out.
3. You will learn how your meal plan works.
Some schools just have one buffet-style dining hall where you can get your meals, and some have multiple dining halls and cafes where you can use your meal plan. When it’s a buffet-style meal, you use a simple meal swipe (at least at my school). I had a few other food places that I could use a meal swipe for and I had to choose a main food item, a side, and a drink. It might seem confusing, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time.
4. You don’t use most of your textbooks.
And if you pay attention in class, you probably don’t need to read them much, either. My older sister told me to rent textbooks or buy used ones instead of buying brand new expensive books, and boy am I glad I did. Unless you absolutely need to buy a brand new required textbook (and you can check with your professor before you do to make sure), always shop around for the lowest price.
5. You have A LOT of free time. Do something worthwhile with it.
You are not locked up in a high school building for eight hours a day any more. You’ll only be in class for a few hours a day. Now you have the chance to work, join some clubs and organizations, pick up a new hobby – whatever you want, really. Make the most of it!
6. People always have one of these reactions their first semester in college:
“It’s so difficult, I can barely pass my classes!”
I think the majority of students think this, and my sister was one of them. She got good grades in high school and didn’t even have to study! When she got to college, she thought it was going to be a breeze, just like high school, but it definitely wasn’t! She really struggled her first semester or two, and for the first time she had to get used to studying and learning difficult things.
“It’s so much easier than I thought it would be!”
This was my reaction to college, especially after hearing how hard it was from my older sister. It’s true that students who take honors and Advanced Placement classes in high school are better prepared. If you think college is easy after your first semester of college, great - just keep in mind, it will get more challenging, so don’t slack off now.