What to Expect When you Get to College By Joseph Merante In college, you don’t just go to school, it’s your life. You eat, sleep, and shower there. You take classes there. You hang out there. It’s like a student Survivor — but with homework. Be prepared, so you don’t get voted off the island. 1. Embrace the Challenge: More Time, More Work In college, the workload increases significantly. As the saying goes, “mo money, mo problems,” and the same can be said about time in college. With more freedom and flexibility in your schedule, professors will assign you more work. But fear not, with proper organization, self-discipline, and a multitude of sticky notes, you’ll be able to handle the load and excel academically. 2. Take Control: You’re the Master of Your Schedule Unlike high school, in college, you are the boss of your own time. This newfound autonomy allows you to seize the opportunity to excel in your academics and make your parents proud. However, it’s crucial to resist the temptation of procrastination. While binge-watching your favorite TV series may be enticing, remember that college comes at a cost, so it’s wise to prioritize your education and make the most of your investment. 3. Embrace New Connections: Expand Your Circle of Friends Entering college often means leaving behind familiar faces and venturing into the unknown. Although it can be intimidating initially, remember that most of your peers are also seeking new friendships. By being patient, approachable, and kind, you’ll quickly find your place and form lasting connections. Embrace the opportunity to diversify your social circle and create a supportive squad that will accompany you throughout your college journey. 4. Discover Your True Identity: Reinvent Yourself College offers a fresh start, a chance to shape your identity without the preconceptions of your past. While you don’t need to go to extremes like growing a mustache or adopting a fake accent, embrace the freedom to be the best version of yourself. Reflect on who you aspire to be, set goals, and use this transformative period to grow personally and academically. College provides an environment where you can explore new passions, expand your horizons, and redefine your individuality. 5. Exercise Freedom and Responsibility: Choose Your Diet Wisely Bid farewell to the days of your mother regulating your meals. In college, you have the liberty to make your own dietary choices. However, with this freedom comes the responsibility to exercise self-control and make informed decisions. Remember that moderation is key, and embracing a diverse range of nutritious options is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, be mindful of portion sizes, as college dining halls often provide smaller plates to encourage balanced eating habits. 6. Embrace Healthy Competition: Push Your Limits College introduces a more competitive environment compared to high school. Embrace this challenge as an opportunity for personal growth and self-improvement. While you may not always come out on top, remember that success is not solely determined by winning every battle but by consistently giving your best effort. Embrace the valuable lessons learned from both victories and defeats, and use them as fuel to continue pushing your boundaries and achieving your goals. 7. Nostalgia and Homesickness: Cherish the Present While college is an exhilarating experience, it’s natural to miss the comfort of your old friends and family. As you embark on this new chapter, make the most of the time you have left before leaving for college. Spend quality moments with your loved ones, express gratitude, and engage in activities you’ve always wanted to pursue. Keep in mind that breaks will provide ample opportunity to return home and reconnect, allowing you to appreciate the independence and growth you’ll experience at college. At Unigo.com, we understand that college is both amazing and expensive. To ease the financial burden, make sure to utilize our Scholarship Match tool. This valuable resource enables you to search and apply for scholarships throughout your college journey, helping you secure additional financial support and make the most of your educational investment. About the author Joseph is our 2016 Make Me Laugh Scholarship winner. He attends Allegheny College, is majoring in English, and loves ultimate Frisbee, Ryan Reynolds, and memes.