As the high school year ends, seniors everywhere will be switching their tassels from one side to another signifying they are officially high school grads. Just two years ago I was one of these seniors. Life was so good, and I felt like I was on top of the world. I had no idea that my life was going to change so much once I moved away to college, so here is a short, in no particular order, list of things I wish I would’ve known when I graduated high school.
Change is imminent, growth is optional
This is one of the biggest lessons in my life and something my dad has been saying since I was very young. When I graduated high school I had this gut feeling that life was changing, and I wasn’t sure how to feel about it. Little did I know that this change was actually going to be one of the best things ever.
The summer before college really is the “last hoorah”
Sad, but true, the summer before you set off for a new life is one of the last summer’s everyone is together. You feel like you’re on top of the world, but the following summers turn into working, losing college weight, and maybe even online classes. After high school ends, summers become a time where everyone is trying to catch up or get ahead for the next school year. It is important to do as much as you can with the people you love the summer before freshman year.
Your friends will change
This is something people always say, “your high school friends won’t stay that way forever.” Again, sad, but true. Enjoy the time you have with the friends who are at the same points in their life as you are.
Some friends are forever
Although this does contradict the last tip, I do believe some friends stay forever. The girls featured in the picture above are still my friends. It isn’t always easy, but sending a text or sharing a tweet every so often is a good way to check in with the people who truly are meant to be with you for the long haul.
It’s okay to not know what the hell is going on
This is also a big one for me. I got to college and felt like everyone knew what they were doing with their life, and I was so wrong. Everyone (for the most part) is just as confused in life at the start of college as you are. It’s not a bad thing. Run with the fact that you don’t know what’s going on, and try as many things as you possibly can.
You are going to meet some crazy people
I don’t know how to say this any other way, and crazy isn’t used in a negative connotation. Whether you go to a small school or a huge school, you are bound to meet people from all walks of life. It’s important to keep an open mind and remember that not everyone was brought up or as lucky as you.
Learn as much as you can
Learn in the classroom. Learn from your peers. Learn from the social setting. Learn from it all. Remember that you are extremely lucky to be attending a higher institute of education. Take school seriously in all aspects, and just learn as much as you can about life.
Stay true to yourself
My first year of college was crazy. There were new things and experiences everywhere. At the end of the day, if you don’t want to take a class or don’t want to succumb to a peer pressure don’t. I know that it’s easier said than done, and it is a good thing to change and grow. All I’m saying is that it’s also okay to stay true to your values because they are your values.
Get active and participate on campus
This is huge. Get to know your professors and peers. I was so nervous to join clubs and participate in anything on campus in fear of not knowing what I was doing. The best part is that other students or professors were once like you, and they will help you along the way. The more you participate in clubs or registered organizations on campus, or even in your classes, the more you can learn and put on a resume later on. You meet so many cool people that you’ll become friends with, and in my case, I feel so much more welcome on campus.
Call your parents
They were young once too. Call them often. Tell them you love them. If something bad happens they can help. Your success is all they want.
In the end, have fun. You are about to embark on a crazy, fun, confusing adventure. These are just some of the tips I can think of off the top of my head. There is a lot more you will probably think of once you make it too. College is a love-hate relationship; just remember that.
Krystal, With a “K”