15 Things You Should Know Before You Start College

The day you open the acceptance letter from your dream college is perfect. You make a checklist of all the things you’ll need while you’re at college, thinking you’ve got it all figured out. But the truth is, none of us really have anything figured out about college when we start, and we just learn as we go. As a result, we learn a lot of important things about college only after it is over. So for all you young hopefuls who are going to start college soon, we’ve compiled a list of guidelines which you should know before you begin your crazy journey.

15. Be Open To New Friendships


You may be starting college with a bunch of your high school friends, but do not stick to one group. A major part of college is socializing with others. Just smiling at people will help you make many new friends. Of course, we aren’t talking about a creepy Joker smile. Keep it pleasant, be a cheerful person, and that will attract many people to you. Who knows, you might even meet the potential love of your life on your first day!

14. Improve Yourself, But Don’t Copy

improve yourself

You will meet many different types of people in college, and you will be very tempted to just be quote ‘One of the cool kids’. But really, morphing into the most popular kid at school by changing your style to match theirs isn’t going to garner you any fans. While you don’t have to be the same person you were, stick to the person that you know you are. Improve yourself in tiny different ways and that will help you love yourself and become more confident.

13. Your Friends Won’t Last A Lifetime


Your first year of college will be like a dream. Meeting tons of new people, making new BFFs, living your life like it’s a soap opera. However, the second year of college is when everything goes to the dogs, and you might lose a lot of ‘friends’ that you thought are going to last your lifetime. All those world trips that you planned with them will be moot. Always know who your friends are, and who aren’t.

12. Join Clubs


Like we said earlier, college is all about socialising. The best way to meet new people is to join a club. Not only do you meet more freshers, you also meet your seniors. And knowing your seniors is one of the best ways to navigate through college life. When you’re really into your club, the people in it will become your family. You also get to pursue what you love while you’re at college, be it dance, drama, singing, or math. College has something to offer to everyone.

11. Your Priorities Might Change..


..and that’s alright. You might have started college with a particular major, but you don’t always love it. Always do a lot of research on your major before you begin college, and if you really want to change it, you can always opt for a different job once college is over. College is a time you realise a lot of stuff, and some realise that the profession that they always wanted is not what they want anymore.

10. Learn How To Do Your Laundry!

Man with a basket in a laundromat

Laundry is one of the biggest challenges of college life. Know how to do laundry before you begin college. Those amazing dresses which your mother used to handwash become your most hatred articles of clothing. Opt for simple, easily washable stuff. Go thrift shopping and you’ll even save a few bucks!

9. Always Finish Your Assignments on Time


Well, at least know what your assignments are. College assignments are a big deal in order to graduate, and it’s always important to submit these on time. Gather a few tips and tricks that your seniors used in order to complete assignments. Your assignments will give you those extra-crucial credit points and if you don’t submit them on time, you end up with a much bigger workload.

8. Coffee Will Become Your New Best Friend

Young woman resting after reading and drinking coffee

Pulling all-nighters was impossible in school, but in college, it becomes a regular habit. Whether you’re out with your friends or studying for a paper at the last minute, staying awake requires coffee. You suddenly won’t be able to imagine your life without coffee.

7. Don’t Forget To Exercise


You’ll make a schedule for your life when you start college for completing all of your tasks, but you always end up going off-track. But one thing you do need to make time for is exercise. Even 30 minutes of exercise in your day will keep you healthy and happier. One boon-yet-curse of college is all the ready-to-eat food which is usually high in sodium. You will need exercise to burn off all that extra fat.

6. Knowing Your Professors Doesn’t Make You A Dork


Knowing your professors in college is an absolute advantage. You can catch up on studies before an exam with their help, or they might help you get away with some stuff. Most college professors tend to be recent college graduates themselves, and know all the aspects of college life. They understand if you come late to class sometimes. And they definitely know when you’re completely hungover in class and may give you a break because of it.

5. Your ‘Relationship’ May Not Last

college relationship

Your college sweetheart and you may be THE couple on campus, but not all relationships which begin in college last. Many relationships begin too soon and go too fast. They end up crashing and burning towards the end. There a few lucky couples who find people on the same level as them and choose to build a life together even after college. But do not get so involved in a relationship that you forget who your friends are. If the relationship ends, you need a few homies by your side to cry on their shoulder and move on.

4. Skipping A Few Lectures Is Okay

bunking lectures

Skipping a few lectures because you aren’t in the mood is okay. Not everyone has a perfect attendance record, and you don’t need to. Don’t make a habit out of it though. Bunking too many lectures will get you into trouble. So indulge in some free time every now and then, but make sure you keep up with your studies.

3. You’ll Need A Lot Of Outfits


In college, you always end up short of clothes. The whole ‘I just wore this last week’ mentality is the reason you need to go on a massive shopping spree before you start college. Fashion is instant language while making first impressions in college. Try to look fashionable but do not spend hundreds of dollars on branded stuff.

2. Call Your Parents Often


For many, college is the time they move away from their parents, and often in the whirlwind of college, we forget that our parents are back home, worrying about us. Call them from time to time, tell them some of the hilarious things that happened, and keep them at ease. College isn’t a cheap affair, your parents probably saved up for years to send you there. Keep that in mind.

1. You Don’t Need To Sacrifice Fun For Good Grades


Good grades are necessary in college, but it isn’t always necessary to sacrifice good times for good grades. If your favourite band is playing the night before an important exam, make sure you’re caught up on all studies and then go to the concert. Additionally, pay attention in classes so that you spend lesser time the night before the exam, trying to cram everything into your head. Your college times don’t come back, so you need to have fun when you can, before the responsibilities kick in after college.


Going to college can seem like a scary prospect, and you may end up feeling lost easily. The thing to remember amidst all the craziness is that these years of your life are the ones where you mature into a different person, someone better equipped to handle the pressures of life. Your college life could either suck or be awesome, but either way, you’re going to miss the place terribly once you’re out in the real world.

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Aishwarya Rao