Last March, I finished my frosh year in college. All I can say is... It's a tough world out there. A lot of things are different. In college, getting caught with your pants down is a thousand times more embarrassing than when you were in high school.
So, for college freshmen out there, here are a few tips based on my own experience:
- High school had nothing on the workload that college gives. If you had a hard time in high school, you will die in college. Welcome to the world of late-nighters, endless papers, caffeine, and nosebleed-inducing exams.
- Be prepared to get shot down by your professors. In high school, when you screw up, you can cry and beg your teacher to give you a chance, and it'll usually work. However, in college, you will not be given that luxury. Take it from me: I've sacrificed my pride and begged several of my professors for a higher grade. Not a single one of them caved.
- Study, study, study! Having a 5 (or 1, in some colleges) on your transcript will not do you any good, especially in the future when applying for a job. (What right do I even have to say this—I got an Incomplete grade last semester.)
- Do not discriminate schools, or courses, for that matter. I am not so hypocritical as not to admit that I, too, am sometimes guilty of this. But let me tell you something: arguing over which school is the best will not accomplish anything except to infuriate you and every student of the school you're bashing.
- Join orgs! Do as much as you can to enrich your college experience. Find one that fits your passion—writing, acting, singing... There's an org for everybody.
- Be prepared to meet different kinds of people. High school was one world, college is entirely another. You might get culture shock if you enter college without an open mind. People you might meet: the "wild" girls who get drunk at parties, the "jerks" who brag about sexual conquests, people with dark stories you thought existed only in movies...
- Make time for your high school friends. They'll be your break from the stress of college life—you'll need them.
Other things I learned in my first year of college:
- In high school, you were probably labeled. You can change all that in college.
- No matter what your course is, you cannot escape having a Math subject.
- Commuting might make you feel independent at first, but as the semester goes on, you will curse rush hour.
- Ped Xing is not a street named after a Chinese man.