Every fall, millions of high school graduates pack up their things and head off to college to increase their knowledge and decrease their bank accounts. It’s an exciting time but a scary one too. There are so many unanswered questions college newbies have, but most of them are too scared to ask.
Most schools require some form of orientation for the new students, although those are about as useless as the salad bar in the cafeteria. I know when I went to college I didn’t know who to turn to for answers.
Unfortunately, I had to learn many of these things the hard way. But in an effort to save other college students from making the same mistakes I did, I’m offering tips for what they didn’t teach you in college orientation, but should have.
- Never ask “What’s that smell?” You don’t want to know the answer. Ever.
- Beer bottles will clink together when you’re trying to sneak beer into the dorm in your backpack. Get cans instead.
- You will never fit all of your clothes in the dorm room’s closet. Buy some storage bins.
- Someone will steal your shampoo at least once. It will happen.
- You will learn to drink bottom-shelf liquor, but you will still hate it. You will also learn that it’s kept on the bottom shelf so it’s easier to grab when you’re laying on the floor “resting your eyes.”
- You actually have to read the assigned reading. It’s totally a bummer.
- There’s a difference between cheap and expensive toilet paper and it isn’t just price.
- Your professor can still see you sleeping even though you’re in the back row.
- There are some really weird people in the world. One of them will probably be your roommate.
- Foot fungus. It’s a thing. Wear sandals.
- That sound you hear through the wall? That’s snoring. You’ll hear that for the next four years.
- Don’t be a hero and schedule an 8:00 a.m. class. Anything before 10:00 is going to be skipped regularly.
- The washing machine costs more than just a quarter to run. You might have to get a job just to be able to wash your delicates.
- The food in the dorms is all-you-can eat. That’s not a challenge. Leave while you’re ahead, and while your pants still fit.
- Make sure you have an internet connection before you move in. Being disconnected is not an option.
- Spend a little extra time with your parents before saying goodbye. There’s probably an extra $20 in it for you.
- You can buy nearly anything at the school bookstore, and it only shows up as “bookstore charge” on your school account. Skittles for everybody!
- You can sell your books back at the end of the semester and get cash back. You can also neglect to tell your parents this important fact.
- Your dorm room will always be either too hot or too cold, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
- Your friends won’t go out to the bars until most people are in bed. Take a nap and set your alarm for 9:00 p.m.
- Some organization somewhere on campus is giving out pizza at any given time.
- Your rain boots might be cute but they don’t do crap to keep your feet dry.
- If you find a parking spot close to your dorm, take it. And then never leave again.
- It’s perfectly acceptable to raid your roommate’s care package from home before he gets back from class. Those homemade cookies will go to waste otherwise.
- Opening five different credit cards just to get the free gifts is never a good idea.
- No matter which dorm you get, you’ll wish you were in a different one.
- No one understands economics. Just remember that supply and demand are related and you should be fine.
- Night classes go on exponentially longer than regular classes.
Hopefully these tips are useful to college freshmen everywhere. And hey, if any of you are still reading this, can you grab me some Skittles from the bookstore?