Before indulging in the college experience of new friendships, parties and spring break, you should mentally prepare yourself. Sure, you might think you know everything about roommates and balancing your schedule but that was when you lived in the high school bubble. As you transition into a more independent lifestyle consider these reasons to alter your mindset as you step into your first semester of college:
1. You’re not in High School
This seems like an obvious one but apparently it’s not. While you may think what’s worked for you in the past will work for you in the future, college is different. In college you’ll be living away from the comfort of home and parents, and you’ll need to start making mature decisions on your own.
2. It’s Crunch Time
There’s no time for debauchery, let alone sleep in college, but in high school it was a different story. As Jules Nguyen, a senior at UCLA puts it, “A lot of high schoolers have no heightened sense of urgency. They act like they have all the time in the world, when in actuality, they don't.”
3. “Cool” doesn’t exist.
In high school, we tried so hard to fit in but in college there is no social hierarchy. Yes there are fraternities and sororities but they only account for roughly 10 percent of the student population and pledging doesn’t make you cool. There is a “cool” place for everyone in college because you’ve all signed up for the same experience: find a passion, earn a degree and panic about your future career.
4. Let’s face it. You lived in a bubble.
As a sophomore at UC Irvine, Yalda Ghader has discovered that close-mindedness was common in high school but needs to be thrown away immediately. “High school is like a sheltered bubble and if someone keeps a high school mentality, they will get knocked down by the stress, diversity and challenges that college will throw at them.”
5. A New Chapter.
This is a chance for you to drop the labels you had in high school and become the person you aspire to be. You won’t live by what people labeled you as in high school so drop the idea that you’ll always be the nerd, jock, or goth but rather, you’ll just be yourself. Marc Muñoz, a junior from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, says, “It was my chance to prove people wrong about what they saw me as in high school.”