It’s a transition that lives somewhat in infamy – the move from high school to university, from being a reliant and impressionable child to the epitome of adulthood, maturity, and stability (or, something like that)…

There are a lot of first impressions and anecdotes that get thrown around about making the move from high school to college; some of them are true; some of them are others attempting to inflate their own experiences. The one consistency throughout almost every transition is feeling a bit uncomfortable, embracing that feeling, and then having the time of your life. So let’s get started on the how to do college thing.

  1. Realize that the day you show up to class/USC, no one will really know what’s going on. There will be people who know where the bathroom is, where their room is, and where the dining hall will be the whole year, but don’t feel like you need to know everything from the get go. You’ll have a year to figure it out. *Relax*
  2. Realize that it’s ok to walk up to just about anyone and introduce yourself, and start talking. you’re going to meet literally hundreds of people, so don’t worry or stress about remembering names; enjoy being able to say hi to everyone without it being weird. At all. It feels odd at first, but then you realize that everyone’s doing it.
  3. Take part in some of the welcome week events. You don’t have to go to every scheduled event, but they’re a great way to meet others in you major and get oriented with your particular school.
  4. Don’t try to do everything! This goes without saying, but there is simply too much for you to do in the day. Accept that you can’t do it all (like you might have been able to do in high school) and it will take a huge load off of your shoulders, and help you identify the things you really do enjoy, not just involvements for the sake of being more involved.
  5. Make mistakes, and embrace being a freshman. As an intern at Boeing, I embraced having the blue “N” on my badge that means I’m new. No, it’s not a license to purposefully mess up, but you’re new for a reason! Don’t act like you know everything, be humble, and jump at the opportunity to meet some of the most impressive, interesting, and outstanding people that you’ll have met in your whole life.

Don’t forget the experiences you have your first two weeks of college. It’ll fly by, and they’ll be some of your fondest memories. Cherish them. I know I did mine.

Fight On, and see you on campus soon!


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Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2018, Learn more on his profile here!