You finally finished up senior year of high school, spent your whole summer hanging out with friends and have just packed all your bags. Every guide to college has given you the same cookie cutter tips for starting freshman year, but there too many surprises waiting for you (trust me, fresh meat). While you can’t prepare for everything, here are seven brutally honest expectations to help you through your first few days at college.
1. Nobody Likes a Freshman Herd
When you move into your first college dorm you typically form a bond with others on your floor. While it may seem fun to have a large group of peers, walking in a group of 20 is obnoxious and makes a freshman sighting obvious. Expect limited access to parties, unless three-quarters of your group is girls.
2. Expect a Few Rough Mornings
After a rowdy “Welcome Week,” you may not be ready to settle into school mode. Whether you choose to have a few drinks with your dorm mates or troll for the few remaining parties on campus, you’re likely to have a few hangovers in class. Lucky for you, it’s syllabus week and you don’t need to be on you’re A-game quite yet. Just try to limit yourself on weekdays from syllabus week on.
3. There’s Free Food EVERYWHERE
Many organizations, clubs and locations offer free food to students passing by as shameless bribes. This is a chance to explore campus and all it has to offer, while getting a free lunch (and dinner?). This works out great because–be honest–you don’t have your mom to cook for you anymore and you haven’t figured it out for yourself yet.
4. Your Dorm Isn’t Cute, It’s Crowded
Moving into your dorm, you may expect a cute, little living space where you’ll keep all your knick knacks and miniature apartment accessories you scored on sale at Kohl’s. This is not the case. Between you and your roommate, you each get half of an already microscopic space. Keep all unnecessary things at your parents’ house and have plenty of storage space to fit the necessities. If your parents live fairly close by, switch out your seasonal clothes throughout the year in order to save space. Your mom will love any excuse to pick you up and bring you home.
5. You Will Hate and Be Hated By Your Roommate
While television often promotes the idea of best buds sharing a dorm together, that’s often not the case. Being crammed shoulder to shoulder with someone can make a new relationship stressful, even if you both get along originally. Their 7 a.m. alarms that you insist are fine will begin to get on your nerves in week two and your constant need to have the heat turned to 80 degrees will get on theirs. Try to give and get some space, and compromise as much as possible.
6. Expect to Fear for Your Safety
Whether you’re walking alone at night, have had a few too many drinks or are being shouted at on the street, there will be times you fear for your safety. Always be cautious and aware of your surroundings. Stick with friends on a night out, watch your alcohol limit and avoid groups of strangers on the street. Make a pact with your friends to watch each other’s backs so everyone can have a fun, safe evening. You’ll be like the sisterhood of the traveling safe… pants.
7. Expect to Be Lonely
Since this is a fresh start at a new school, it’s unlikely you’ll know very many, if any, people. Having nobody to hang with may cause you to dread leaving your dorm room to explore opportunities on campus. On the upside, everybody around you feels the same way so why not hit up the girl across the hall for breakfast? By introducing yourself to the people around you in your dorm, dining hall and classes, you could make some good friends, study buddies or at least someone willing to share a few packets of ramen if you find yourself out of food in the middle of the night. Connections are key.