1. It is really easy to make friends. The major difference between Azusa Pacific and other schools I looked into before applying to colleges is the people. If you try and sit alone at lunch, someone WILL come up to you and ask to sit with you. You have to really make a conscious effort to be lonely and bored. People are always surrounding you and they are the friendliest group of college students you’ll probably ever come across. Stressing out before getting to APU about friendships is unnecessary. All the freshmen are in the same boat, you will make friends faster then you can snap your fingers! Spend some alone time before coming to college… cause it might be a while before you get that again.
2. College is not like High School. The school work is challenging and time-consuming. Busy work is less common and tests and essays are more common. Don’t expect to be able to get off the hook easily and don’t expect for A’s to be easy to come by. Good grades DO take effort in college.
3. Roommates are one of the Best Parts about College. I spent endless hours worrying about what roommate I was going to be randomly assigned to and come to find out she’s the best roommate I could have ever asked for. 99% of my friends are completely happy with their roommate, whether they are now best friends or they just get along well living together. I wouldn’t have spent so much time worrying if I knew the reality of what I was worrying about. Choosing to get a randomly assigned roommate may be out of your comfort zone, but its worth it. Meeting someone new who you live with for a year out of your life is a priceless experience.
4. Facebook will Destroy your Life. Yes, you heard me. When it comes to homework and Facebook, Facebook always wins.
5. School Pride is Necessary. It is perfectly acceptable to know your school is better then every other school on the planet. It is perfectly acceptable to wear face paint and deck yourself out in the school colors to football games. It is not only perfectly acceptable, it is expected. College is not like high school. In high school there are few school-spirited people, in college- you are PAYING for this education, be proud of your school.
6. There is Nothing like Mom’s Homecooking. I promise you that no matter what college you end up going to, you will miss homecooked meals. Enjoy them while you can, for as long as you can. Eat the entire plate and lick it while you’re at it. Cafeteria food and fast food restaurants will never, ever compare.
7. Community Bathrooms are Part of the Experience. I remember having horrible visions of having to share bathrooms with 40 other girls. Being here, the bathroom situation is not a big deal at all. There are always open showers and stalls and faucets. It is a good way to see all my hallmates throughout the day and catch up with people while getting ready for class or getting ready to go to bed.
8. Bring Summer, Winter AND Crazy Clothing. Just a couple days ago it was 90 degrees, now its raining. I wasn’t aware this was Florida… but whatever the case make sure you pack a little bit of everything. Even if you live close it is best to just bring everything you might need for Summer and Winter weather.
Also, make sure to pack some random, crazy clothing. Every week each hall has a night that they go to the Cafeteria to eat a family dinner. Every week is a different theme, and there is often other events going on with different themes as well. You want to make sure you have a good variety of crazy outfits in the likely change that you will need it. Its not always easy to run out and buy an outfit for these events. They happen often and you probably won’t want to spent the money on an outfit you’ll only wear once in your life. From cowboys to animals to tie dye, college thrives on making average things UNaverage.
9. Sleep is a Privilege. An average night of sleep is about 5-7 hours for me. Depending on how much homework and studying I have to do, how much I have procrastinated, and how many activities are going on that night. It is hard to really prepare yourself to have less sleep then you are used to in high school, but if it is possible to prepare yourself, do it. In the end though, I like to think that a good college experience and having fun is worth missing sleep over. You aren’t paying for college to sleep a lot right? You’re paying to learn, get a diploma, and have fun.
10. Organization is Key. In order to make sure that you have time for everything and you have your priorities straight, it is absolutely necessary to get a planner or calender of some kind. My planner saves my life. Write everything down that you want to do or need to do and then make sure your priorities are straight on what is necessary for that day. Homework often gets forgotten about and then it is not done until 3AM, you don’t want to be that person falling asleep in class the next day. You are going to want to make sure your homework is done well, you have time for yourself and having fun, and time for God.