My first semester of college is over and I have learned a lot…about myself, people in general, and life. I can go on for days about my experiences, but I don’t think anyone wants to read about that. Here is a list of only fifteen of the things I learned from being in college for a semester.  

1. It is okay to not like your living situation. Whether you dislike your roommate or the location of your dorm on campus, remember that you most likely have the ability to change this once the school year starts.

2. You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate.  It’s better to go in with low expectations about what your “friendship” might become than to think that you will end up becoming extremely good friends with your roommate.

3. With that said, make sure you fill out your roommate agreement truthfully. It’s not helpful if you write something down just to make your roommate happy.

4. People are still very immature and will do things to try to make themselves seem like they’re “cool” or that they were “cool” in high school. Newsflash: No one cares if you were cool in high school. That was the past, this is the present.

5. Some majors require a lot more work than other majors. Don’t freak out if the people around you are doing five hours of homework a night while all you have assigned are thirty pages worth of readings to do.

6. Professors curve grades. A lot. This can either be a blessing or a curse depending on what part of the curve you’re on. Some professors bump grades up. Others prefer to have a perfect bell shaped curve.

7. One way to make sure you’re on the right end of said curve is to go to your professor’s office hours. Get to know your professors. Get whatever insight you can from them.

8. Join a club. There are many kids in my dorm who are only friends with the people around them. Many of them have voiced their concerns about not having any friends outside of the dorm. Being friends with people in your dorm is great, but unless you all plan on living in the same place next year together, go out and meet more people!

9. While living in a dorm that is one of the farthest away from the campus isn’t exactly ideal, walking to class rather than taking the bus is a nice way to get some cardio in. (This is also a good way to avoid gaining weight.)

10. It’s also a really good idea to learn how to use the bus system or whatever form of public transportation your school offers to you, if they offer any at all.

11. Be realistic about what you can and cannot handle when it comes to extracurricular activities. I tried balancing three jobs on top of two other clubs I was in with my sorority and six classes. It was difficult and I figured out how to manage my time better, but I was so burnt out by the end of the semester. Don’t do this to yourself. Start off slow and then take on more work as the year progresses if you think you can handle it.

12. Find your study spot. Not everyone can focus in the library.

13. The people you are friends with in the beginning of the semester will most likely not be your friends by the end of it, or, you will not be very close with them. In the beginning of the semester things are fresh and new and everyone is excited to meet new people. By the end of it you have probably already started to find people that you click with.

14. If you have more than one dining hall on campus chances are at least one of them serves decent food.

15. Go out of your comfort zone. It’s so clichéd, but this is what college is about. Put yourself out there and do things that you wouldn’t typically do-within reason.  You won’t know what doors will open for you unless you take chances.

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the author

Sarah Wiszniak is a student at the University of Connecticut. She is a college writer and video blogger for The Prospect, a national video blogger for, and has her own college admissions blog. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys pondering political theory, crafting, and taking meaningless Buzzfeed quizzes. Her favorite flowers are daisies and she plans on ruling Washington, D.C. one day.

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