Apart from learning, college allows you to mingle with people from diverse cultures and countries. It is often a rollercoaster of thrills and excitements as it acts as the final initiation into adulthood.
However, adjusting to the new routine is not a walk in the park. You need discipline and time management skills.
College gives you so many opportunities to learn and explore. Below are the 30 best things about college you should know.
All your life, you have been following rules and regulations. When you step your foot in college gates, you automatically earn yourself a ticket to freedom. However, it comes with a price. Become organized and orderly lest you spend your entire college life doing retakes, or end up not graduating.
Here you are independent; you don’t have your parents to give you curfews or order you around to do your chores. You have to do them or live in a pigsty. This freedom comes with responsibility and a huge adjustment. Make sure you use your freedom wisely; you might not get it anywhere else.
Varying Class Time
Unlike high school, where there is routine class time, in college, classes vary depending on the professors’ preference. Sometimes you will need to attend class early, other times you will have afternoon classes only.
Breaking from routine helps your mind to remain active throughout your stay in college; there’s no chance to get gloomy.
As a student, you are free to choose the classes to attend at your own time; you just need to have all your professors’ timetables and schedule your time appropriately
You Break Routine from the Same Four Walls
Unlike high school where you had to be in the same class for a whole year, college classes align with the faculty under which the subject falls. English classes are different from psychology, mathematics, sciences, and so on. It is exciting to study with different students in each course.
There are numerous practical classes, so it is not unusual to have your lectures outdoors.
Greek life is one of the most amazing things about college. Associating yourself with specific “communities” on campus is a whole new level of fun. Various communities exist to accommodate formals, party lovers, mixers, those who have a passion for community service. Even introverts find a group they can associate.
The most significant advantage of Greek life is the national, and sometimes international, network they create. By the time you graduate, you have known several professionals in your area of study.
Fraternities and sororities allow college students to participate in community services. You will get exposed to being in leadership and participating in campus politics.
These fraternities give a student some sense of belonging.
In case you are not attracted to Greek life, you have a chance of joining professional fraternities. They will provide you with the same networking advantage, but with minimal fun activities.
As a freshman, this idea is weird and scary. Your privacy is suddenly stripped off. You have to share a small space with a total stranger. But it doesn’t leave you empty; you get to find a buddy and probably a best friend for the rest of your campus years.
The idea of sharing a bathroom helps in breaking the ice. Narrow hallways allow students to collide, opening an opportunity to make new friends and allies.
You develop a new skill since the room is not enough for both of you. Arrange your stuff in your corner, or you both live in a mess.
Dorm life is exciting. There are parties every weekend near the dorm. If you are a party person, all your weekends will be lit.
There is no off-campus apartment that will be near the lecture halls as the dorm. You will need no transport budget throughout your stay in college.
There are plenty of activities organized by mates, including parties and study dates. You can also hand out with friends when not in a mood to go out.
Back in high school, different teams had their weird traditions like colorful face paintings. College is no different. You will encounter all sorts of mysterious, quirky cultures. Take part in them with pride. They are part of memory creation.
Campus traditions are responsible for making campus stay interesting; probably one of the reasons you chose that college.
As soon as you declare your interest to join a particular college, various schools within the college will send out free goodies in the form of t-shirts, umbrellas, bumper stickers, or water bottles.
Free things will not end at admission; various businesses operating within the college vicinity will occasionally run promotions where free giveaways will be in plenty — perfect business strategy to grab students’ attention. By the time you are graduating, your wardrobe looks like a billboard; full of advertisements.
Plenty of Theme Parties
Parties on campus must have a theme. They help to regulate the behavior of people in attendance. As a student, you will know what to wear and what to carry to the party.
It is unusual to have a formal party in college. Once in a while, they pop up to cater to the reserved and introverted students.
Before joining college, make sure you have various costumes such as bandanas, cowboy hats, bunny ears, face masks, an ugly sweater so that you may serve as many theme parties as you may wish.
You can Wear Your Sweatpants to Class
College is the only place where no one cares about your outfit. Practice this dressing freedom as it lasts. You can walk with your pajamas in the corridors without turning heads. Sweatpants and hoodies are also acceptable in the lecture halls. The dean of students won’t raise eyebrows when you walk into his office in sweatpants.
Be free to exercise various fashion stunts, for the moments to experiment will be limited once you get to the corporate world.
You will be nostalgic about the moments you shared with your high school buddies, but it will never be comparable to the experience and memories you create in college.
For the first time in your life, you are in a school of your choice. Hopefully, by the time you join, you have researched your school traditions, legends, colors, mascots, and students’ behavior.
Collegiate life is lively and exciting. As a collegiate, you are proud of your campus since you chose it yourself. There you meet other people who love college, hence, getting along become quite easy.
Participate in as many activities in your school and make your campus life a bomb! There’s no worry of looking dumb, and no chance of being gloomy, the whole school fraternity is doing precisely the same. Make merry, have fun, paint your face, go to parties, participate in tournaments, and many more.
Eating at Odd Hours
This behavior is unhealthy in the outside world. But college life allows you to eat at any time, as long as you are hungry.
Various eateries near campus are open 24/7. You will get some fast food at any time of the day, or night, to fight your hunger.
Itis common to find students at a cafeteria at 3 AM taking a snack. Make sure you enjoy such moments.
You Experience Working Under High Pressure
The corporate world requires someone who can perform well under high pressure. College life gives you the much-needed experience.
“Give us a scenario when you best-handled stress?” it is a typical and common interview question. Going through college and being involved in various organizations and fraternities, it should be easy to cite several examples of stressful situations that you overcame and brought out positive results.
The tough situations you face in college should give a highlight of real-life situations. Learn to solve everything with positivity; keep in mind not everything goes on well as planned.
You Get Exposed to Multicultural Activities
Students come from various parts of the country. When you enroll in a college far from home, it is common to experience culture shock as a freshman.
Most colleges organize cultural events. On such occasions, you will learn so much about various cultures, from their mode of dressing, food, songs and dances, and many more.
Exposure to diverse cultures prepares you for what life might throw at you. In case you are sent to areas with developing markets such as Brazil, India, China, or Africa, you will be familiar with their cultures, and you will only need minor adjustments to fit in.
You Meet New People and Make New Friends
Growing up in your hood, you had plenty of childhood friends. You grow up and school with them up to the high school level. Different interests push you away from them when joining college.
Your first roommate in college often becomes your close friend; however, you may eventually drop them and form new friendship you have common interests with.
Besides friends, college gives you a fantastic opportunity to meet your idols and mentors. Prominent and successful people have a soft spot for college students; therefore, they are more likely to reply to your cold emails when you are in college than after graduation.
Eating Cafeteria Food Regularly
Ask any college student the last time s/he had homemade food. Chances are they will not remember. Collegiettes involve themselves in various activities; they may lack time to prepare their meals.
Eating a pizza daily and a froyo for dessert is acceptable only in college. These help the students to save on money and time. Most of the time, you do not follow meal plans. You have to check in to a cafeteria for dinner regularly.
Indulging in Caffeine at Ungodly Hours
The last-minute rush is a college custom. No one wants a penalty for submitting an assignment late. Therefore staying up late is very common on campus. Long sleepless nights may drain you, and the only option left is to take large amounts of caffeine.
When exams are around the corner, party life subsides as sober academic life pops up. Libraries become full until late in the night.
Your professor may request a class at night after missing courses for two weeks while s/he was on vacation. You will need to carry a mug of coffee to the lecture hall to keep you alert.
If this whole experience does not make you a coffee addict, nothing else will.
You Try Out New Things
When you finally get your freedom, you can do whatever you want whenever you want. All your life choices entirely depend on you. You will get a few advisors here and there, but you are left to make decisions.
Collegiate living is very lenient; Your decision does not always result in harsh consequences. Try out new things, start a business, join a club, learn a new sport.
Try out anything you ever wished. It is the only time you have for experiments. There are free resources and equipment available for you. A successful business may be born of those free resources you get.
Start something that will stand as a legacy. Those fraternities and clubs you are enjoying were someone’s ideas. Get that satisfaction of leaving a mark.
There are several successful businesses worldwide that started as college experiments. Everything is worth trying.
You Control Your Timetable
You were used to following set schedules in high school. The college will give you a different experience. You choose the lecture times and tutorials you wish to attend. The only time you have to participate in a class is when the professor offers only one option, or you pursue a degree such as medicine.
Missing a few lectures is acceptable. All you need to do is get the notes for that particular lecture.
You Live Away From Home
You have likely lived with your parents your whole life. Going to college gives you experience away from home.
It is usual for parents to worry about you. Before they get used to it, you will be receiving countless calls from your mom; dads adjust quickly. In the first few weeks, your mom will be checking if you attended all classes, taken lunch, had a shower and other minor things.
By the end of the first semester, your mother should notice some positive changes in your character and responsibilities.
You Live With Your Best Friends
In the first semester of the first year in college, you live with a total stranger. All the other semesters, you are at liberty to choose a roommate.
Sometimes, your choice of roommate is not your closest friends, but your friends will be in the vicinity. Probably on the same floor.
When you need someone to talk to at 1 AM, your best friend will show up in 2 minutes. It is different from your childhood friends who probably live 15 minutes away.
You better be preparing enough dinner for your friends can give you impromptu dinner visits at any time.
Best Things About College? Learning is Fun
Choosing classes and designing your timetable prepares you psychologically. The sense of responsibility grows.
This preparation allows you to enjoy every bit of college life. Learn and have fun.
You Choose a Professor
Some of the best mentors are college professors. Spend the first year of your college life to learn who among them inspires you. Attend their classes, and, if possible, befriend them.
Talking with a professor face to face on your interests and aspirations gives you a chance to have a lifetime advisor. The professor will tip you whenever a job opportunity opens.
Most professors will not mind sparing their time to have a word with you. My professor helps me edit my business plan. Currently, my business is a success story just five years after graduation.
Scooters Become Your Primary Mode of Transportation
Scooters are not conventional in most parts of town. You might not be the only freshman who had not seen a scooter before.
I was awed the first day in college. I had not seen so many scooters in one place my whole life.
These scooters are so convenient. They allow you to move to different classes fast; probably take a nap before the other lecture commences.
You Take Classes of Your Choice
Back in elementary and high school, some subjects are compulsory to carry. You find yourself considering a course you are sure you will never use in life.
College makes it easier for you to enjoy learning. Except for the general curriculum semester, you align your class to your interests and dreams.
Unusually Short Naps are Normal
The life of a college student is hyper. You may be partying all night, and you have a lecture in the morning. Breaks between lectures may be as short as 15 minutes. You will occasionally find yourself squeezing short naps in between classes to remain alert for the next lecture.
Are you exhausted, and you have a class in a few, get creative, and have your much-needed nap.
You Develop People Skills
Interacting well with people is vital in human existence. You develop this skill is developed gradually.
Many people mistake this skill with being ‘well-liked.’ There is more to people skills than being liked.
Interactions with people of different characters and personalities help you develop interpersonal skills. How you react and respond to various situations makes you stand out from the crowd.
It is in college that you will learn to separate decisions from emotions. Various real-life problems need to be solved by critical thinking, with no feelings attached.
Your personality grows. It will determine what relationships to uphold and which to drop. It will enable you to create networks and long-lasting relationships.
You Learn Analytical Problem-Solving skills
In elementary and high schools, it is prevalent for students to memorize what they learn. It does not help much in the real world. College comes in to help you develop analytical skills. The first year may work well with brute memorization, but critical thinking will be required as the studies advance.
I would recommend you understand your curriculum at the beginning of a semester. It helps you grasp more information applicable in other semesters and your career.
You go on Various Adventures
In the corporate world, you rarely get summer or spring breaks. You only enjoy winter breaks for a few days.
During these breaks, go on a hike, road trip, participate in extreme sports or anything that will activate your adrenaline.
Take a semester abroad; break the monotony of the same campus.
Adventures offers a new level of relaxation. They also allow you to learn things you may never learn in class.
Not Knowing What You Want To Do is Not a Problem
Besides studies, most first-year students do not know what they want to do. Take your time to figure out what your interests are. The majority of newcomers have not figured out what they want to do. That is why you will find them changing courses after the first semester or first year.
85% of first-year students joining college are not very sure of their choice, giving room for changes.
You Get a Chance to Study Abroad
Various courses in college will require a student to take a semester or two abroad. This arrangement might be optional, but once an opportunity like that arises, grab it with both hands.
There is no experience comparable to studying abroad. You get to live in a foreign country within a non-tourist city. It exposes you to the realities of such people you will not get on any documentation.
If you are lucky enough to get a scholarship, get a college outside your country and live far from your normal life. The experience you get there cannot buy elsewhere. You will be able to visit various tourist sites at subsidized rates. You are likely to make lifetime friendships with people from other races.