so you’re about to start college: it’s  exciting, terrifying, surreal, and you feel a little unprepared for what lies ahead… have no fear, here are 3 things I wish I had known before I started my first year in college.

#1 -you won’t need as much stuff as you think you do.

This may be just me, but I have a tendency to overpack when I don’t really know what to expect.

As college life is mostly unknown to you at this point, you too might be inclined to bring way more than you really need… ie. you should leave those 23 books you planned on bringing at home – most likely you won’t have time to read them! It’s probably safe to say that you will only need about half of the stuff you initially think you need.

Try to remember that less is more, and if all else fails you can either buy something you forget or ask your parents to send it to you.

#2 – step out of your comfort zone and meet new people.

Most colleges and universities have some form of a Welcome Week for Freshmen to make you comfortable and acquainted with the school and campus. I strongly encourage you to do as much as you can, and participate in as many activities as possible.

Because once you’re ‘welcomed’ then you’re just there and living it, so take the welcoming while you can. Meet as many people as you can, and try to put yourself out there as much as you might not want to.

Most of the people you meet during Welcome Week won’t become your life-long friends, but some of them just might.

#3 – home is just a phone call away.

If you’ve never been away from home for any extended period of time, leaving to go to school can be nerve-wracking at best. As happy as we might be to (finally) move out of the house, there’s a certain comfort in knowing what to expect, and its scary to everyone to leave all of that security behind.

As close or far as your parents might live from you, home is just a phone call away. Trust me, your mom probably knows what those funny little symbols on your clothing tags mean, and what to eat when you’re stomach is feeling particularly nauseous in the morning… Don’t be afraid to call and ask for help.

And if you’re just feeling a little homesick, odds are your family misses you as much as you miss them and would love to hear from you. You’re not weak or less of a grown up for picking up the phone and giving them a ring.

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