What College Kids Wished They Knew in High School

By: Sidney Wallin
As many of you seniors prepare for college, and many of you juniors start your college search, you may have quite a few questions about what college is REALLY like. Is college really how it is in the movies? Will finals week really make you cry? What about those nightmare roommates? Well, I’ve got some good news for you. I’ve assembled a team of experts… okay, random college kids, from a yik yak post (lesson one: college yik yak is essential). Through their advice and my own, we’ve compiled this list of things we wish we would’ve known about college.

  1. “I wouldn’t be able to slack off like I did in high school. I built up bad habits, and they’ve really ruined this school year for me.” College school work is definitely not like high school work. You’ve really got to put your best effort into it. Not all classes will keep you up until 2 am studying for tests and working on homework. Just remember, when you do have an easy class, don’t brush it off. I’ve known so many people who didn’t try as much as they should’ve because they knew the class was easier, and ended up with a B or C when they easily could’ve had an A. Pro tip: always do the reading.
  2. “There’s a big difference between friends and acquaintances.” In college, you’re going to meet a lot of people. You’ll meet those people that you’ll say hi to on the way to class and then you’ll meet those people who will comfort you on your first test failure and go get some McDonald’s at 1 am. Learn the difference. I think this is also the time where I should throw in that you won’t actually meet a lot of people if you only go to class and sit in your dorm room — so get out there and join some clubs and stuff.
  3. “You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate.” I’m going to be honest with you, I had a random roommate first semester and it was the worst thing that’s ever happened. She and her boyfriend were both lacking on the hygiene side of things and were ALWAYS in our room. Febreeze and an open window became my best friend. Moral of the story, don’t expect your freshman roommate to turn out to be your college best friend for life. You might get a bad roommate, just do what you can and eventually probably move out like me.
  4. “College is really, honestly what you make of it.” If you want your college experience to be one straight out of the movies, then you probably can achieve that. Your grades probably won’t be the greatest if you’re out hitting up Greek row every night, and I really wouldn’t suggest it, but you do you. Honestly, the lives of most college students aren’t like movies. We spend a lot of time studying and a lot of time watching Netflix. I’m personally involved in a few campus activities and those are really great. You meet awesome people, and get to be involved in lots of things around campus.
  5. “You’ll learn to hate the dining hall.” College food is so great and magical at first, but by mid-semester you’ll get tired of eating the same over-cooked noodles every week. It’s highly suggested that you become a professional microwave chef. Over this past year, I can personally say I’ve learned to make some pretty great meals in the comfort of my dorm room.

To wrap up this list, for all those still making a decision on your school, I just want to give out one final piece of advice on what I wish I would’ve known. When I first decided on a school, I immediately chose the one that was most impressive to be accepted to. I thought since it had the hardest acceptance rate, it obviously was the best school and therefore the best decision. I didn’t take into factor things like how many people I would want in my average class size, how far away from home I would want to be, student to faculty ratio, and so many other important things. I ultimately made a later decision to go somewhere more fit for my personality and learning style, and I couldn’t be happier I did. So as you’re making these important decisions, make sure you’re making the best decision for yourself. Good luck class of 2016 and we can’t wait to welcome you to the college life soon!


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