100 Things to Know Before College


1. You are about to embark on a journey that will be terrifying, exciting, and downright unpredictable.

2. Make mistakes and learn from them.

3. Never go a day without dessert, life is too short.

4. Social media is a cultivated and edited depiction of life. Don’t take it to heart if your life isn’t as “picture perfect” as everyone else’s.

5. You will get homesick.

6. Every once and awhile, spend a Saturday night in. Watch bad Netflix movies and eat pizza with your roommate.

7. Your professors are real people with super cool accomplishments. Take the time to learn about them.

8. Sit in the front of your lecture halls.

9. You’re wasting your own money if you don’t go to class.

10. A test could kill your grade and there is minimal amounts of extra credit.

11. You won’t have to worry about #10 if you go to class and ask for help when you need it.

12. Talk to your RA, they’ve been doing this longer than you!

13. It’s sort of frowned upon to steal a whole bag of bagels from the dining hall.

14. But not the silverware…

15. All of the people you meet the first two weeks probably won’t be your best friends, but two or three of them could be!

16. Get familiar with the idea of brunch.

17. You won’t be able to use the same tricks from high school to finish an assignment the night before and still get a decent grade.

18. And for goodness sake, DO NOT USE YOUR OLD HS PAPERS.

19. It’s okay to switch your major and/or career aspirations.

20. You don’t have to double major in biomedical engineering and astrophysics with minors in Greek and Human Anthropology to sound interesting.

21. Choose your majors/minors based on what you’re passionate about and people will love talking to you about it.

23. Don’t feel pressured to have 7 bazillion majors/minors.

24. Work out.

25. Think of your roommate as a temporary sibling: you’ll probably want to stab them at some point while planning their demise; but find some love in your heart and accept them.

26. Forget every movie you’ve ever seen about college. That ain’t real.

27. You will get A LOT of “free” stuff: t-shirts, food, water bottles, etc.

28. Join clubs. If you’re not sure about which ones to join, go to a bunch of interest meetings to see what they’re all about.

29. Make upperclassmen friends that are on an academic path similar to where you want to be in a couple of years.

30. Make some upperclassmen friends whose company you just really enjoy.

31. Get out of the dorm and explore campus.

32. Sit in the quad and people watch; you’ll be amazed at the little community that exists around you.

33. Let go of the past and be the best version of yourself.

34. Study, Read, Study.

35. You thought you didn’t like coffee? I guarantee you’ll find yourself drinking some during finals week.

36. Yes, finals really are that awful.

37. Water, water, water.

38. The Freshman 15 is not a joke. Don’t stress about it, but stay healthy.

39. Find some workout buddies and push each other to reach some goals.

40. You might be sick every week of January and February. You might not suffer from your annual allergies in the spring time. I don’t know, the whole thing is weird to me.

41. Your school colors are now your favorite colors.

42. If you don’t have a school decal on your car, do you really go there? I think not.

43. Go to athletic events. Gymnastics, volleyball, and lacrosse are super fun to watch!

44. You might lose touch with people you were close to in high school and that’s okay.

45. Don’t sacrifice your ideals to be cool or to keep friends.

46. Be smart.

47. You made it into your college which means you can succeed. Don’t ever give up.

48. At some point mid-semester, you won’t go anywhere without a coupon.

49. You’re responsible for your actions now; with more freedom comes more responsibility.

50. Your syllabus is the bible of each course. It can help you or it can kill you.

51. Remember when teachers reminded you about every assignment 3-5 times, not anymore. It’s very possible to show up on test day without knowing there is a test. Don’t be that kid.

52. Go ahead and invest in 3 pairs of headphones {cheaper ones}: one for the dorm and one for your book bag. The other is for when you inevitably lose one of the other two.

53. Greek life may or may not be for you. Don’t judge it without learning about who they are and what they stand for.

54. Even if you get money from your parents, budget it and don’t mindlessly spend.

55. When winter passes, get a pedicure before you wear all your cute spring sandals again.

56. Pick a go-to “I’m very late” outfit. You’ll save time on those mornings when you have 10 minutes to get to class and a 20 minute commute.

57. Get involved with the community around your campus: schools and churches are always looking for volunteers!

58. Prepare your Halloweekend costumes in August.

59. Be aware of your surroundings and know emergency contact information for the Dept. of Safety.

60. Apply for internships and study abroad opportunities in the fall/early winter and write down the deadlines and requirements.

61. Give some love to the local restaurants and shops around town.

62. Have a Plan B, C, and D ready all the time. Stay flexible.

63. Try your hardest not to be flaky especially when you commit to something.

64. When you do commit, write it down somewhere.

65. I honestly don’t know how you’ll survive without an agenda, so get one.

66. You need to find a balance between your school work and your social life to have the best college experience.

67. You really don’t need to pull all nighters.

68. Sleep, but not through your morning classes.

69. Download the self guided tour from the admissions website to learn random fun facts about campus.

70. You need to unplug at least once a month.

71. Netflix is completely worth the 7.99 a month.

72. So is Spotify.

73. Learn your school cheers and participate.

74. Handwritten notes are more effective. You won’t have to worry about a dead laptop battery or being distracted by Facebook messenger.

75. Learn how to bake/cook in the dorm kitchen.

78. Amazon Student is a god send.

79. Believe it or not you can still get a good deal on textbooks in the student stores if you buy the bundle. Keep that in mind when consulting Slugbooks.

80. Did I already mention how important the syllabus is?

81. Zumba and Kickboxing group exercise classes take the guesswork out of a full body workout. Try it!

82. MyFitnessPal and Mint are two apps you need to have.

83. Grab some friends and take a weekend trip to a nearby city.

84. You can always find uber codes around the Internet. Try popular social media accounts first.

85. SAT AND ACT SCORES DON’T MATTER. Don’t bring it up.

86. Be respectful to those with differing opinions than yours. Have enriching discussion rather than forceful argumentation.

87. Take advantage of the bounty of seminars, talks, and programs that take place on your campus daily.

88. Flex Points/Dining Dollars/”mascot” Bucks >>>>>> meal swipes

89. “Class is canceled.” emails will take your day from 0 to 100 real quick.

90. Have enough underwear to last two weeks, you won’t do laundry weekly; I promise you that. Separate your colors, too. Darks, lights, whites. Cold water for no shrinkage and saving the environment.

91. WiFi is not trustworthy on Sundays at 9pm. Neither is Sakai/Blackboard.

92. Your college has a bucket list. Take a swing at it.

93. No one expects you to have your life figured out now. Some don’t even have it figured out at graduation 4 years later.

94. You might have forgotten the art of making friends. So did everyone else.

95. You are not entitled to make ups or extra credit or anything. You have to work for what you want.

96. College is hard, but also the best time of your life.

97. Stay positive and stay organized.

98. Maybe, you didn’t pick the right place for you. That’s 100% okay. Transfer somewhere that will make YOU happy.

99. Remember that your admissions department chose to accept you and deny hundreds or thousands of others. If you’re EVER feeling like you don’t belong academically, You are meant to be wherever you are.

100. School traditions are really important. Cherish the fact that you are now a part of a legacy that is bigger than you. Learn and have fun! Your life is about to start.

Want to share with some incoming freshman (or even returning college students)? Share this article on Facebook and twitter! What other tips/advice do you have for any college student? Sound off in the comments!


  • loved reading this post! I thought it would take forever to read all 100 but it didn’t and it was fun to read!

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  • Love this! Thank you for sharing 🙂

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  • Kay

    I love 94.

    That always seems to be the biggest issue in most major life changes.

    Changes are hard but they’re not quite so hard when you know you have friends to lean on.

    There are plenty of people in college that would love to be just about anyone’s friend because they’re feeling just as nervous as everyone else.


    I’m heading back to my old high school tomorrow to talk to a few classes about college and I will definitely bring some of these up!
    I especially love 92; it really gets to me when people scoff at the school’s traditions/bucket list.

    Also, yay for the UNC system. I go to NC State 😉

    • That’s awesome!! I love spreading all my wisdom to the youngens 🙂 I love love love the bucket list for UNC and yay for NC! Thanks for reading!!

      xo, G

  • Kaelee Franklin

    I’m going to UNCG as an incoming freshman in the fall so i feel like this is really helpful, thanks for coming across my Pinterest feed!