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College graduates; what do you wish you had known about college life when you were a freshman?

I've been getting set up to go college this spring (choosing dorms, FAFSA, etc.), but I still retain some concerns about life on campus. Specifically, I'm interested in what the consensus is regarding the ability of someone like myself, who has always had problems being social, to make friends to hang out with, while balancing that with academics.
However, the above question about my own circumstances is less important than the one in the header. Any and all advice about unexpected aspects of college life are appreciated! :) #college #friends #academia

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Kian’s Answer

In terms of social life, I wish I had known the true impact of drinking and drugs on the college experience. LOTS of college students have trouble being social and making friends... and, in many cases, a lot of those students end up seeing alcohol (and possibly other stuff) as something they have to depend on to socialize. I engaged in a lot of self-destructive behavior in college and it went a little too far, to the point where it negatively impacted my career and relationships for many years after I graduated. I believe that if you have the willpower to focus on your studies and, yes, definitely socialize, but be very selective about who you hang out with and cultivate friendships that are not primarily based on drinking or getting high, you will be in a healthier, happier place. But of course, sometimes we just need to have that experience - if you do, I simply suggest not letting it get too out of hand, and making sure you have supportive, real relationships in your life - not just party friends.

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Amy’s Answer

Hello, i wish you luck with beginning college. As a student who will soon graduate I have been reflecting on my time at college. As an introvert myself I found that even though I was nervous everyone else was in the same boat and this helped me to make some really good friends. If I could go back in time I think I would worry less and enjoy myself more, things always work out. And I would also spend more time doing activities such as volunteering and work-shadowing. Try to get as much as you can out of the experience. Good luck!

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Margaret’s Answer

As someone that is also an introvert, I can assure you that you will have no trouble making friends.


There are clubs and groups to join for any interest you may have and it's always easiest to bond those with similar interests.


Many school organizations have GPA requirements so academics should and will always come first. For instance, I was in a sorority and they were very strict about our grades. If you even slipped .01 below the allowable GPA you were immediately put on academic probation.


Getting involved is SO important. I cannot stress that enough. I wish I would have been more active in college than I already was.

Thank you comment icon Thank you so much Ms. Piltz. Like Landon, I am a bit more introverted than I would like, but I'm glad to know that I will be okay when I get to college. I appreciate your advice. Deana
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