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Navigating through College Life

College life: a whole lot different than high school, adjustments required. Sometimes those adjustments aren't easy or obvious.

Alison Graham

September 10, 2013

Navigating through College Life
College life: a whole lot different than high school, adjustments required. Sometimes those adjustments aren't easy or obvious. Here are a few major ones that can definitely help you figure it all out. Be outgoing and friendly. All the time.

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At home, you can cuddle up by yourself in your bed after school and watch Mad Men over and over again. In college, get some friends to watch Mad Men over and over with, but wait a bit to cuddle up. You just met, for heaven’s sake! Making friends and being outgoing is so important in college, especially in the first couple of weeks when everyone is desperately running around, giving introductions like, “Hi! My name is Alison and I’m from Indianapolis and I’m majoring in journalism. What about you?” (Those are the three questions you will be asked constantly. Get used to them!)

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If someone on your floor has their door open, go introduce yourself and talk to them for a while. When you have no one to eat dinner with, you can eat with that girl down the hall you met two hours ago. Get some good walking shoes. No matter what college you attend, you will be walking. Do not walk around all day in your brand new kicks and get horrible blisters that take two weeks to heal. Trust me, it’s not worth it. (Dang those super cute Oxfords I bought just before moving in!)

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Good walking shoes are a great investment and your feet will thank you for it. Not literally, because that would be crazy. Be organized If you are normal, you probably didn't own your own calendar before college. I was not normal and bought myself a calendar every year so I could write the three things I had going on every month down. In college, you will need one. During the first couple of weeks, there are so many call out meetings, floor meetings and events that you will not be able to keep track of. Purchase a calendar to keep track of all those pesky tasks and meetings. Also, keep your room and desk tidy. That will help with a lot of frustration when you are holding your books in one hand and a coffee in the other, trying to set them down on your desk, which is covered with junk. It’s just safer for everyone to keep your desk free for holding scalding liquids. Open your mind There are some weird events in college. During my welcome week, there was a party at the library. Sounds lame, right? It was one of the best events all week! They handed out free cotton candy, pizza, popcorn, and drinks and even had fun games and prizes. I also went to the Caving Club call out. What is a caving club you may ask? It’s a club that people join so they can go explore caves. I never would have guessed this would be for me, but I definitely plan to get involved! Get motivated When you have homework, do it. Usually when I sit down to do something, I first have to check all three of my email accounts, followed by Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Vine. It’s always hard for me to get going on things. (I know that may sound like a lot, but my social media accounts are quite unpopular so there’s really not much to check). Make sure to keep all your priorities straight. Get your homework done quickly, do all the readings for your class, attend all the call out meetings you are interested in and get involved with them! Don’t slack off because college is only four years. You have to enjoy it. There is so much to see and do and the first few weeks are just the beginning!

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