Thank goodness I finally opened my draft folder, because I have found some good half written posts! This lovely "college tips" post somehow got lost and I think it is time to be posted!
1. Go out on your own
At first I was worried about leaving everyone back home and moving to a different state. I felt like I would be missing out on things by leaving. It did take me a while to adjust, but after going home a few times I am so glad that I left. No one knew who I was in Winona. I could reinvent myself, meet all new friends, and just get away from the home town drama.
2. Having a good roommate is key
My first semester I had a terrible roommate. She didn't want to be friends and would never leave our room. I tried to avoid my room and her at all costs. I was miserable and never felt at home until she ended up leaving. My second semester I had a friend move in with me and that was the best decision ever! She became one of my best friends! We had a blast together. If you don't like your roommate, change! It may be awkward announcing you are leaving, but living with someone you don't like is even worse.
4. Don't judge a book by its cover
This applies to all sorts of things in college. I took a nutrition class this past semester and I thought I was going to hate it. The syllabus was intimidating and I had heard bad things about the class. I ended up learning so much in that class and I really enjoyed it! I'm glad I didn't let my initial fear stop me from taking it. This also applies to the people you meet. I have such a random assortment of friends that come from all different backgrounds. A lot of my friends I would not have become friends with if I had gone with my initial reaction when meeting them.
I never learned how to study until I got to college. That was a big mistake, because I had to learn very quickly. I know a lot of people that did not put any efforts into their academics their first semester and they either dropped out or are stuck repeating classes. College is expensive and you might as well get your moneys worth and learn something.
6. Have fun
I work my ass off in order to get good grades and to make room for fun. Take advantage of any free time you have! Even if that means you are going out with your friends on a Tuesday night. College leaves a lot of random times off and you just have to plan accordingly.
7. You can say no
There is so much to do in college and there is not enough time for it all. It can be really easy to pack your schedule full of stuff even if you don't really want to do all of it. You don't need to commit to everything thrown at you. Also, this applies to drugs, sex, or alcohol!
8. Try to stay in touch
I felt like I was in a totally different world in Winona. This may sound bad, but sometimes I forgot about my life back in Green Bay. It was hard balancing my friendships back home and keeping up with all the happenings of college life. I always loved re-connecting with my friends back home though. Call your friends while walking to class, write letters back and forth, make Facetime/Skype dates,etc. It is possible to have the best of both worlds!
9. Don't be afraid to change schools
Sometimes life doesn't exactly follow the path you had in mind. I thought I would stay in Winona for all four years of college, but I decided the debt wasn't worth it. My friend Sarah transferred after her first semester of college, because she didn't think her college was the right fit. Transferring credits is a pain in the ass and leaving friends is hard, but if you feel the need to transfer, do it.
10. Go at your own pace
I always thought everyone graduated college in four years. I could not be more wrong! People graduate college in all different time frames. It doesn't matter how long it takes you! Go at your own pace. If you cant handle a full class load, drop a few classes. If you need to take time off, take time off! Everyone is different and so is everyone's college time table.