I see from my dashboard that several of you are heading off to college for the first time


Well, as a junior I’m here to give you generalized advice that may or may not be accurate.

Things to expect

  • “The Freshman Fifteen”- Unless you’re already a good cook and plan on cooking for yourself and do so regularly already, expect to live off of Ramen and dining commons food. Also, expect to gain weight as you stuff your face with more calories than you’ve ever consumed in your life to this point.
  • Hot guys, hot guys everywhere- You may be overwhelmed by the plethora of man flesh suddenly thrust into your vision (and if you go to frat parties I mean quite literally). Please try not to contract herpes.
  • “Wait, wait a minute. I have homework every night? I have to pay hundreds of dollars for books? I have to do every bit of homework or I will end up living in a cardboard box on the main avenue?”
  • On a serious note, do be careful when it comes to partying. Explore. Have fun but don’t end up on someone’s facebook wall with your cootchie hanging out. And do drink responsibly. Rape does occur far too often on college campuses and take it upon yourself to protect yourself in anyway that you can.
  • Homesickness. Even the most steadfast of hearts will want to go home the first few weeks. Everyone’s going through so take consolation in that.
  • A feeling of being lost. It can be very overwhelming to go to school, especially if you’re going somewhere far from home. That feeling will pass. Just hang in there.
  • Confusion. What will my major be? Where is this building? What clubs do I want to do? The best thing to do is make friends with people who have similar interests who are older. They’ll help you figure out where everything is. Join clubs that seem even remotely interesting. You never know what you’ll stumble onto. Take chances. Step far out of your comfort zone. You don’t really know what your capable of yet. That’s what college is for in the first place.
  • Take it one step at a time and welcome to the strangest years of your life!

I want to add:

  • Hold on to any and all syllabi that the teachers hand out.  These have policies, including attendance and grading, that you may need to know about at a later date.
  • If you have trouble with anything, don’t be afraid to look for help.  Usually student centers have some place for you to seek help at, whether the help is psychological, physical, educational, etc.
  • If you’re good at taking notes, you can actually make money off of this.  Some students aren’t good at taking notes, so they will often pay you to give them a copy of yours or to type yours up and give them.  If they do, keep in mind how much it costs to either copy them or how much it will cost you (in time spent) to type them up.  Then, of course, add in a little mark-up.  Some people will pay $1 per page.  This might not be the best price, since it is a little steep.  Maybe $0.50 per page.  Or you can do a flat-rate, which isn’t really recommended.
  • If you’re bad at taking notes, ask a classmate for a copy of theirs.  Be prepared to pay for them.  If they don’t tell you that you have to pay, then offer to at least reimburse them.  Keep in mind that they are providing a service.
  • Never let anyone borrow your notebook.  It may seem paranoid for me to suggest this, but some people in college are notoriously absent-minded and might lose your notebook or “misplace” it (aka take it from you).  If someone is borrowing your notebook, make sure that you are sitting with them and it and keep your eyes on it at all times.  
  • Know your medical history.  On the off chance that you get sick, you will need to know your history.  It is important that you remember your allergies, surgeries, illnesses you may have, etc.  You have to be responsible, and your health is something you do not want to fuck up.

About Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.