5 Things You’ll Want to Know Before Starting College

globeHeading off to college is very exciting. You’ll be entering a whole new world, as our magic-carpet-riding genie-conjuring friend would tell you.  And, as with what happens when becoming part of any new world, it’s nearly impossible to know all the in’s and out’s from the get-go–a certain red-headed mermaid-gone-human could tell you that.

Incoming freshman, you’ll be surprised at how different college might be from your initial expectations.  But, to help ease the transition from high school to college, here are 5 things you’ll want to know before you start:

1.  Major change
Yes, college will be a totally, crazy, incredible, major change.  But, more importantly, chances are you’ll actually majorly change your major. One semester you’ll be all about horticulture and saving the environment, and the next you’ll want to transfer to the business school to get an internship at some huge oil conglomerate. The point is, just expect the unexpected. 

2. Always be on your dream job search
Whatever dream job you’re working for at the moment, always keep it on mind. You never know when an opportunity might just be passing by. It’s never too early to network, talk to professors or local businesses. They could have the perfect internship for you during the school year or job waiting for you after you graduate. 

3. How to microwave popcorn in a dorm room
Pro: Your college dorm probably has very high quality, sensitive smoke detectors. Con: Burning a bag of microwave popcorn can lead to 250 students in their pajamas (and there’s always one in a towel) waiting outside in the cold at midnight.  Don’t be the culprit.  Watch your popcorn pop carefully–don’t leave the room while it’s going.

4. You’re paying a lot of money, get the most out of it
If you’re not sure that you’re getting the most out of your education, think about the number of nights this month you spent partying, and then look at the number of zeros on your tuition. This simple exercise will most likely lead you to the conclusion that you definitely need to use the resources more that you’re paying such a steep price for. This includes the libraries–the books, study areas and computer labs–professors and research opportunities.

5. Independence –the double-edged sword
By the time you leave for college, you’re probably dying to get away from home and live on your own. Just remember these things still need to happen: grocery shopping, laundry, household chores, and overall taking care of yourself.  Without a 24/7 caretaker (aka mom and dad), you might be surprised just how tedious these little thing can be.

So, before you head to college, we just want you to be prepared–a certain murderous lion would definitely want you to know that.

Do you have any other tips? Comment and let us know!

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  1. Amber says:

    The smoke detector thing made me chuckle. I lived in the dorms at Humboldt State University and one night around 1am the fire alarm went off.

    My biggest tip is: learn to live with your roommate. Most schools assign you a roommate (whom you’ve never met before, now you have to share a room for a year!) One thing that my roomie and I came up with was a schedule that we posted on our wall. We each wrote our class dates and times. And if we each had study groups, band practice, whatever. then we knew what times we had the room alone for studying or napping. And try to find something in common with your roomate. If its a movie, a band, or even a favorite food, find something you can enjoy together. There is nothing worse then making an enemy of your roommate!

  2. Ryan says:

    I definitely agree with ‘expecting the unexpected’. I’ve changed my major 6 times before I found what I wanted to do…and it involved me transferring. Talk about a crazy 2 years at one school! Don’t be afraid to look into areas that you wouldn’t have dreamed of looking into at the start of college. You may find a new passion or interest. Keep an open mind for sure.

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