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Starting College (General College Advice)

By a Student, Anastasia Kolovani
College is a huge milestone in your life. You've seen the castle like buildings in movies and now you're going there as well. Getting that acceptance letter with your name and congratulations right afterwards is exciting and that excitement lasts until you get closer to the day orientation begins. Now it's real and you're no longer fantasizing about it.

Being afraid and nervous for your first day is totally fine. When I was going to my college on the first day of orientation, I almost threw up on the way there. And the weeks before were filled with horror for me. I couldn't even sleep. I had no idea what it was going to be like. I didn't know anyone and starting anew is hard and it can make you feel uncomfortable. But don't let that fear not make you go to orientation. I was forced to go to orientation because it was mandatory, but if it isn't in your school, still go. The entire freshman class is going to be there and a few upperclassmen.

I know I was really worried about making friends, and you might be as well, but in reality, we've all made friends before. We started high school not knowing anyone and we ended up crying with each other the day before graduation because we were never going to see each other again. The first thing to remember is to be you. If you try to pretend to be someone else, your true self will come out and no one will like that. College is different. People aren't running around gossiping every day (not that it doesn't happen). People are mostly worried about their studies and the ones that aren't studying, they don't end up doing so well and trust me, I've seen them fall. There were a few guys in one of my classes and they would act as though they were so cool and partied all the time and when first semester ended, one got kicked out for failing way too many courses and the others ended up doing poorly. Remember, this is real. You're life is only four short years ahead.

Make sure to get involved in many things on campus. Don't be the person that does every club the school offers because that will take over your life and you won't know where you are anymore. But pick one or two that you're really interested in because there, you'll meet people who are interested in the same things you are. Also, when you arrive to class, the seat you pick during the first week of classes becomes your seat. It's like an unwritten rule. So, talk to the person next to you. I met one of my friends in my Anthropology and Archeology class who happened to be sitting next to me and another one in my French class.

Meet your professors. If your college offers a meet your professors? day like mine did during orientation, go to it. The experience is invaluable. Not only do you get to learn more about the program, but also they might help you get into the class you really wanted but couldn't because it was filled up. And it's always great to see a friendly face on the first day where you don't know anyone.

College is a journey and in this journey, it's best to relax and know everything is going to be okay. There's always going to be someone who is willing to be your friend, maybe even your roommate, and college isn't as scary as it might seem in movies. I know my professors act very causally with everyone is class and they treat you as a friend. They're not as scary as you may think they are, either. Remember, the next four years might be filled with adventures that you don't know yet, but they are adventures that are worth going through.

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