I have just survived my first week of college—the week I’ve been somehow dreading all summer. After a couple of days adjusting to a schedule that is way different from high school, meeting new people, and stumbling upon wrong buildings, I have narrowed down the five things I have learned. I will truly keep these things in mind as I go through my first year in college. I hope that these will help you as you take on another chapter of your life.
1.You are not alone in this. Everyone is just as scared.
It took a while for this to sink in personally. I was so anxious about college. Sure I had an idea of what to expect, but it’s still a totally new environment. There were so many people to meet, new things to learn, and things to prepare for. It was overwhelming at first until I realized that we were all on the same boat. Everyone feels just as worried and scared. A few days ago, my classmate said that she feels painfully average compared to us. What she said has made us all feel less alone as we then began to share our sentiments of how we also felt that way. It’s reassuring to know that we are all starting at the same point. No one is ahead; no one is behind.
2. Make it a point to say “Hi!” first.
As an ambivert, I have mixed feelings about being the first one to interact with someone I haven’t met yet. Sometimes I just go for it and introduce myself, while other times I just simply sit and wait for them to approach me. I’ve figured that the latter doesn’t actually get you anywhere. Although it is scary to make the first move, both of you will be thankful you approached them first. Who knows, they might be your next best friend!
3. Always come prepared.
Before the first day, we were fortunate enough to have upperclassmen give us advice on what to bring through social media. After a couple of days at school, I have narrowed down my essentials.
Always bring all the syllabi for your classes. Most professors require you to print it so make sure to not only bring a digital one, but also a hard copy! The syllabus contains the rules for the class. This will guide you on what to bring on your first day, like whether or not you’re allowed to use your laptops in class. Another essential that has never left my bag since then is my umbrella. The campus is huge and you’ll have to walk from building to building unlike high school. With the unpredictable Philippine weather, you’ll never know when it’ll start pouring. Earphones are also important especially if you have long breaks and you will be staying at the library or at a coffee shop nearby. Playing some music will help block off the distractions around you! Lastly, always bring a water bottle. Save some cash and some plastic by bringing your own water bottle and just simply refilling it at school!
4. Take advantage of the free stuff!
Our university email comes with a free Microsoft Office account. Make sure to ask for the list of student discounts you can avail when you enroll. Some universities have partnered with bookstores and clothing stores for you to save money while you shop for school! Take advantage of the vouchers and coupons given during orientation. You’ll never know when you’ll be short on cash and need some discount!
5. Ask help if you need it.
This is the most important lesson that I have come to learn as I finished my first week of college. I’m starting to become less timid when it comes to approaching people for help. If you’re confused about an assignment, or you’re not sure where the building for your next class is located, don’t be afraid to ask! Upperclassmen are especially helpful since they have been in your shoes before. Everyone is so willing to help, you just have to ask.
Although I’ve had mixed feelings about college at the beginning, I am now thrilled to embark on this new journey. I’m excited to meet new faces, learn more things, and step out of my comfort zone once in a while. I believe that it is truly up to me to decide what I want to get out of college. I’m not wasting this opportunity for me to grow as a student and as a person.