Time to leave everything you’ve known and head off to college, away from everything familiar to you; leaving family, friends, high school, the whole works. Never in life will you really have to endure such change – being forced to live in small quarters with another person you don’t know, leaving everything that you are accustomed to. It is no small thing and it is okay to be afraid and sad and maybe a little nervous but also excited. It is a new experience that you will get to go through and there are things that you will need to know. So you will need to know some of the nitty gritty things that maybe your counselors are not so keen to tell you. Here are a couple things that you didn’t learn at orientation.
1. Talk To All Your Professors
For some reason, this point is not emphasized enough. If you are going to survive your classes, you need to go to office hours and really talk to your professors. At Baylor, our professors make a lot of effort to make sure they set up plenty of time for students to come in and ask questions and talk with them. They understand that you have classes and a whole schedule of your own and so here at Baylor, our professors really try and accommodate so that you have plenty of opportunities to get what you need. Your professors are smart and they know what is challenging and what may need more help than others. Having a one-on-one conversation with them is really helpful and definitely shows that you care about the material and how well you do in the class.
2. You Will Gain Weight
You may have heard a couple rumors about the famous “Freshman Fifteen.” Well, we are sadly here to tell you that those rumors are more often true than false. It is a big adjustment to get used to and sometimes food helps without you realizing it. You are nesting and getting accustomed to a new life and the food at Baylor is yummy and southern and good. The thing is, just because you can have a couple pieces of pizza, a burger and chicken fried steak from Penland does not mean you should. I know that the grilled cheese and quesadillas at East Village are to die for as well as their soft serve ice cream machine but know that sometimes you should go for the watermelon or zucchini. It is okay to gain a little weight so don’t get too freaked. Just make sure to cut back a little on the carbs and head to the SLC for a nice workout every once and a while.
3. You Get Sick
Maybe it is the change or the stress of a new place and hard classes or maybe it is something else completely, but you do get sick a couple times your first year of college. That is why it is important that you go to the Student Life Center (SLC) and see the health center! They are so nice over there and are definitely around to help, with the flu, common cold, a sinus infection, whatever you seem to get. Baylor has an amazing nursing staff as well as healthcare and since you are paying the big bucks to go here you need to take advantage of the things you are given like the health center. Stress can cause you to get a little blue, and so it is important to hydrate and get plenty of rest and even skip some classes to make sure you are back to complete health. Remember, there is also a counseling center there as well that you can visit at any time, they are always open to helping you out. It happens and orientation will not tell you this, so make sure you are prepared and use the Baylor resources given to you!
4. Buy Used Textbooks
The Baylor Bookstore is a place where your money goes down the drain. Textbooks are expensive, even more, expensive if your professor wrote the book. So do yourself a favor and do not buy any textbooks there unless you absolutely need to. There are going to be other Baylor students who have taken that class and want to get rid of the textbook they no longer need. And if you do end up needing to buy the book from the bookstore, don’t feel too bad. Sometimes Amazon or other people just don’t have it for you to secondhand use and that is okay. That just means that next semester you try and sell that book for as much as you can! Baylor is an expensive place and there is no need to spend more money than you have to. There are plenty of group chats and Facebook groups with frantic students trying to find cheaper books and you can help them out with selling yours. Just remember, find your best option!
5. You and Your Roommate will Fight
You might be a little nervous to meet your new roomie for the next year and that is totally normal! Roommate stories tend to scare new college students but you should know that more often than not, it is a great experience. Baylor does a great job of finding and matching people to roommates that they will be compatible with and so you should not worry too much. But if you have grown up with siblings, you know that sometimes living so close and with someone all the time, it can cause some conflicts. Don’t be discouraged, these are just sibling riffs and can be resolved easily if you communicate with one another and just talk it out. Baylor dorms can be a little cramped, depending on where you are, you just have to make sure that you create a system. Whether you are in the suites that share a bathroom with a couple people or in the communal dorms that share, even more, you will need to learn to work nicely with others if you are going to survive your first year at Baylor. If you ignore the problems that you have, your living space will not be a happy one and no one wants that in college. So make sure that you understand that little things like this will happen and you must try and fix it together in order to live in harmony.
Hopefully, you are not discouraged by this list, college does have some things that you have to get used to. You need to be prepared for what happens instead of being blindsided by it all and sometimes being informed about a couple conflicts will help you better prepare yourself for the future. There is a lot of information coming at you when you start this new chapter of your life and so make sure you are well informed about it all. Hope it all works out!