Graduating high school is one of the most exciting times of your life; but it can also be a little daunting. You're about to be introduced to more freedom than ever before.
I'm sure you've already been told many times to "meet new people," and "leave your comfort zone." Those are obvious tips for college. So here are some others that you might not have heard:
1. Keep Working Out
The Freshman 15 is real, you guys! For me, it was closer to the Freshman 25. And trust me, it took much longer to take it off than it did to put it on. High school metabolism doesn't last forever, and with the combination of buffet-style dining halls and busy schedules, exercise can become an afterthought; but try your best to get involved on some sort of intramural team or find a few friends to be your workout buddies. It'll go a long way to staying healthy in college!
2. Be careful with Credit Cards
"Would you like to save 20% today by signing up for our Rewards Card?!" It sounds harmless enough, but I worked in retail for three years in college, and I felt legitimately bad for all the students who opened credit cards without fully understanding what they were doing. It's not necessarily a bad thing to open a credit card (PARENTS: THIS IS NOT ME TELLING YOUR CHILD TO OPEN A CREDIT CARD), but if you choose to do so, make sure you know all the facts beforehand, and for goodness sake, don't spend more than you can pay off.
3. Get to Know Your Professors
This may be a bit more challenging during your first year, when you're most likely taking intro classes with hundreds of kids, but the more professors you get to know on a personal level, the better. When companies come looking for job candidates, professors are way more likely to recommend a B student whom they know than an A student whom they don't.
4. Call Your Parents
Don't roll your eyes! It can be tough towards the end of high school, when you're sick of living at home and want more than anything to be out on your own; but having a son or daughter move out can be equally hard for your parents. Try to take a few minutes every week or so and give them a call -- it'll mean a lot to them!
5. Don't Freak Out
At some point during college, 95% of us realize we have zero idea what we want to do in life. That's perfectly normal. You're not supposed to know exactly what you want to do at 18, 19, 20 years old. Many people graduate college still not knowing what they really want to do. The truth is, if you're dead set on what your future will look like at a young age, you might be preventing yourself from finding something that suits you even better than what you had in mind. Try different things; see what you like and what you don't, and don't be afraid to change your plan.