Coming to college was one of the biggest adventures of my life. I’d never been away from home for more than two weeks at a time, I’d never really known a life outside of my bubble of Kansas City, and no one would have ever used the phrase “risk-taker” to describe me. I was worried about the changes of high school to college, both academically and socially. I mean would people even like me? Did I peak in High School? Was moving three hours away a good idea? There were so many things that had been miscommunicated to me about college life and moving away from my family, so of course I was stressed about anything and everything related to college.
I wish someone would’ve told me that college life was not as scary as I’d thought.
- Professors Want You to Succeed
In all of the movies I’d seen, college professors were depicted as these cruel, strict, and dull beings who wanted to see their students fail. I’d heard plenty of stories from my high school teachers saying, “College professors won’t care if you’re sick, and they don’t want to get to know you”. So naturally, when I sat down in my first class, I was ready for someone to walk in and assign 100 pages of reading and then walk out laughing manically, but what happened couldn’t have been farther from the stories I’d been told. My professors became some of my biggest supporters, role models, and guidance counselors during my four years at Missouri State. Also, if you really want to get on a professor’s good side, get to know them outside of the classroom, find something you have in common with them!
- Using Your Free Time Wisely
When you’re in High School you take back-to-back classes for seven hours, but when you’re in college you take four or five classes in a week. It’s quite the change and most people have no clue how to adjust their time accordingly. It was even hard for me, who’s a person who is used to religiously scheduling their time in a color-coded planner. It’s important for students to understand the skill of time-management, especially if you’re planning on getting involved in organizations, or getting a job while in college. I definitely suggest students find the right “time-management savior” for them, whether it’s a planner or google calendar! I wanted to make sure I had enough time to get my school work done, hangout with friends, and go to organization meetings.
- You Don’t Need to Buy Everything for Your Residence Hall Room Before Move In
I was the type of student who had a Pinterest Board with a very specific idea of how I wanted my room to look, and I was anxious that I wasn’t going to have every single thing I would ever need when I moved in. I specifically remember buying a mini ironing board because obviously why not? And when I moved in, I realized that my room was right next to the laundry room which had an ironing board in there already. Obviously, freshman year Lauren did not do her research, but we all live, and we learn. When moving to college, make the right decisions for you when it comes to your purchasing decisions based off of your lifestyle, but I do have some suggestions. Bring: a sewing kit (you might want to learn how to sew up a hole first), professional clothes for any interviews/presentations you’ll have, and command strips to hang up your decorations without ruining the walls! My pro tip for moving in would be to bring down the essentials, and then go to TJ Maxx or Walmart for anything extra you realize you need. It saves you time and sometimes money!
I loved coming to college and having to figure out how my life worked, but I also wish that someone would’ve told me these truths before I came to college. It probably would have saved me, my mom, and our wallets some trouble. Everyone’s college experience is different, so whatever you see on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, etc. remember that you’re going to have a great college experience as long as you put in the effort and hard work needed.
(Lauren VanNess is a senior, majoring in Public Relations. She is a member of the Honors College, University Ambassadors (current president), 2019 Orientation Assistant for SOAR and a member of the Greek Week Committee.)