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Posted under: Opinion Education

16 things I wish someone told me before my first year of college

Whether you're happy about it or dreading the day, school is about to be in session for many of us. And if you're gearing up for your first year, take some advice I wish someone would have told me:

No one is staring at you.

Source: Giphy When you're walking through the cafeteria or on the main lawn, you might feel self-conscious that everyone is staring at you. I promise, no one is staring at you.

You probably won't find a solid group of friends until your sophomore year.

Source: Giphy Finding a group of people you mesh well with is no easy feat. Some people might seem like they have a strong group of friends on their second day. They probably won't talk to each other after the third week.

You don't have to go to that party. It's okay to stay home and watch Netflix.

Source: Giphy If you hate being in a tight space with hundreds of smelly strangers, it's okay to go back to you dorm room and watch Netflix. Sometimes drinking tea and watching Game of Thrones is a much needed form of therapy after a long week of classes.

Be careful who you give your heart to.

Source: Giphy Be selective with the people you let into your inner circle. There are a lot of con-artists in college who will present themselves as lovers.

You do not have to be pre-med.

Source: Giphy We can't all be doctors. Take an art or history class. Don't tank your GPA because of a major you think you should live up to but don't care about.

The library is overrated.

Source: Giphy Coffee shops and dorm rooms can be some of the most productive places to work. It's important to try different places out to find your niche.

Maintain a good relationship with your parents.

Source: Giphy You aren't as grown as you think you are. If you're lucky enough to have sensible guidance, don't be afraid to lean on them for support.

Try things you always wanted to try but never had the chance.

Source: Giphy College offers so many opportunities to undergraduate students. If you end up hating something you try, don't do it anymore. But don't miss out on the chance to tackle things you've always wanted to.

You don't have to have a plan.

Source: Giphy Your plan is probably going to change anyway. College is a place to experience different subjects, personalities and events. You might fall in love with something (or someone) while you're there and it can alter everything. Be open to change.

If a professor says something racist, it's okay to respond.

Source: Giphy If you're sitting in class and your professor says something insulting to your identity, it's okay to respond. If you don't want to respond in that moment, send them an email. They need to respeck your identity.

Your grades are not the only thing that matters.

Source: Giphy Grades are important. But so is campus involvement. College is not just about learning in the classroom. Life lessons can occur in the cafeteria, parties and dorm rooms. Don't chain yourself to your desk. Get out and have some fun.

Don't let upperclassmen take advantage of you.

Source: Giphy If a senior cuts you in line at the bookstore, tell 'em, "Boy, bye." It's okay to clap back at people who think they can treat you like trash.

There is so much more to college than drinking and partying.

Source: Giphy Media portrayals of college are so wrong. College is not just about hooking up. You have access to extreme discounts, take advantage of them! Go to campus lectures, city art museums and new restaurants. Don't feel pressured to chug a beer at 3:00 p.m. on a Thursday.

Don't forget who you are.

Source: Giphy Be proud of who you are and where you come from. People will try to make you feel smaller than you really are. If you find yourself feeling this, it's time to change friends.

It's very normal to have a few falling outs with your friends.

first year of college
first year of college
Source: Giphy Some relationships just don't work out. It's not necessarily your fault. Making and breaking friendships is a part of life.

Find black organizations

Source: Giphy There might come a time when a fellow first-year will hits you with a bad joke involving a played out stereotype. That's when you leave and go to a collective of woke black people so you can go off. College will be a one-of-a-kind experience. Keep these tips in mind and make the most of it!

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