You walk down the hallway of someplace new. You no longer know everyone who goes to your school or lives in your town, it's all up to you to meet new people. It's so different, nothing at all seems familar and it scares you. Where are you? You are at college.
For some people the college life comes easy, for others it can be the opposite. If you thought that peer pressure was hard in high school, wait until you get into college. "It's all anybody ever talks about: drinking, drugs, drinking, and more drugs," Leah*, a freshman says of her college experience. No parents are around to scold you for drinking, so everyone drinks at their own free will. All you have to worry about is buying the alcohol. So it shouldn't surprise you that the pressure to drink to fit in is much greater than it was in high school. 'Thirsty Thursday' is a common celebration at a lot of Universities. "Thursday nights are the worst. My roommate will come in the room drunk and beg me to come drink with her. It makes it very hard to study and keep up will class work," Leah explained. Alcohol isn't the only thing that is being pushed upon fellow students though, sex is also highly pressured. It's a totally new scene once you reach college, so start preparing yourself now.
Remember that when you go away to college Mom and Dad aren't there to tell you what is good and what is bad. For instance, you've all heard of the 'Freshman 15' where students gain 15 pounds in the first few months of college. This is when you wish you had your parents their nagging on you telling you what is good to eat and what is not. "Sometimes food is your only safety zone so you just keep eating. It's not like healthy foods either, it's things like candy, pop, and lots of pizza," Shellie* another college freshman also commented. You also start to miss the parents a lot when it comes to doing your laundry. Not only does it take money to do your laundry now, it also takes up a lot of your time. "I often get to lazy and overloaded with work that I skip doing my laundry for two weeks. That's when I wish my mom was here at college with me the most," Shellie added, "I never thought I needed my parents that much until they weren't their by my side".
With a new surrounding comes new germs. So it also shouldn't surprise you that students get sick a lot in college. You often times are so closely contacted with people that once one person gets sick, the rest of the floor, or even house, will get sick too. It doesn't just leave you with contagious sickness either though, a lot of college students feel so stressed out and pressured that they often become very depressed or anxious. It takes awhile to get used to it all, you just have to learn how to hang on.
Lastly, remember how easy it is in high school to earn those A's and B's? Well that could have something to do with the fact that the teachers care about you, they want you to pass. In college it is a totally different story where they don't really care at all. You have to study extra, extra hard and just learn to memorize things in order to pass your tests. No sucking up to the professor, it just won't work anymore.
The college life is different than the high school life that I am living right now. I will take what I have learned and put it to my future college life. There is still a lot to learn about what the college experience will be like, so keep you mind open to new ideas.