19 Things You Can Expect Your First Semester Of College

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Oh college. The pretty much compulsory life stage that inspires excitement and a little fear. What will your first ever semester of college be like? Will you make friends? Will you be okay? Weird, yes, and yes. Here’s what else to expect:

1. You’ll feel a little dumb. It doesn’t matter if you were the smartest person in your grade, when you reach college you start to feel like you’re falling behind while everyone’s sailing along. Don’t stress. It’ll pass.

2. Prepare for your budget to be blown. Regardless of how responsible you are, your first experience of financial freedom is going to be a little tough. You’ll spend money on nightly pizza despite your paid for meal plan, you’ll marvel at the price of textbooks, and you’ll realize that you seriously underbudgeted for your alcohol consumption.

3. You may not gain the dreaded freshman 15, but expect your health to decline. You’ll eat too much of the crappy food on offer, not get enough sleep, and – despite having access to a gym – you won’t be particularly interested in working out. Prepare to feel a little worse for wear.

4. You’ll realise how many people in the world are dicks. Prepare for your tolerance of people, in general, to go down. You’ve never been exposed to so many ignorant/boring/obnoxious people before, and you’ll quickly think to yourself ‘wow, people suck’.

5. But, you’ll eventually find people who decidedly do NOT suck. You’ll find people you just click with, and it’s awesome.

6. Expect to lose some of those not-sucky people. Sure, you’ll click in the first few weeks, but then you’ll discover they’re not very good people, or they’re just not the right fit for you. Don’t freak out, because in second semester you’ll find your REAL BFFs. Plus, some of the acquaintances from your first semester will stick around. YAY.

7. You’ll feel lonely sometimes. Sorry.

8. You’ll occasionally worrying if you’re doing college “right”. Where are all the parties? Why don’t I feel like I’m learning anything? WHY IS THIS NOT THE BEST TIME OF MY LIFE? Just relax into it.

9. Get ready for your standards to DROP, in every respect. Studying? Eh, leave it to the last minute. Dating? UGH can’t be bothered, just stick to hook-ups with boring but hot guys. Looking cute? Sweatpants everyday.

10. You’ll want to give up and go home once or twice. The work will be too hard, the people will be mean, and it will all build up. Book your bus ticket if you need to, but I promise it’ll be better when you come back.

11. You’ll suddenly have to deal with organising your own time, and may discover how lazy you truly are. Never before have you decided your wake-up time. Embrace the gloriousness of this moment, lie in for the first semester, hibernate through winter, then get into the habit of skipping the snooze button. You’ll thank yourself later.

12. Perhaps you think of yourself as someone who can handle their alcohol. In your first semester of college, you will realize you are wrong.

13. You’ll suddenly hate everything you study. It’s BORING. WHY am I studying this pointless stuff. UGH.

14. But then you’ll fall in love with learning, deeply and irrevocably. Hopefully, anyway.

15. Your narrow worldview will explode into a wealth of experience. You’ll be surrounded by people who are entirely different to you, and will probably have to interact with them. View this as a learning opportunity.

16. You’ll realize that you actually have to work hard. Prepare for your first few grades to be a borderline devastating blow.

17. You’ll grow more as a person in the next few months than you have in the last year. Your likes and dislikes will change, as will your mannerisms, style, and beliefs. Maybe it’s a phase, maybe you’re just becoming who you truly are. Time will tell.

18. It’ll feel like a whirlwind, and you’ll slightly look forward to winter break just so you can slow down for a moment.

19. But the moment the semester is over, you can’t wait to get back to college life. You’re hooked.

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