College can be a tumultuous time for young people.
If you finish high school at 18 and leave your hometown to go to an out-of-state university, you’ll be away from your family, home, and friends for the first time.
Ideally, you will be able to make some new buddies and adjust without too much trouble, but some individuals struggle, especially during the first few months on their own.
Here are a few college survival tips that we’ve compiled for those young people who have left their home state to attend college. If you follow our guide, you should make it through just fine.
1. Take Care When You Attend Parties
You might naturally have the desire to attend some parties when you get to your new school. However, you’ll quickly find that college parties often differ from college ones.
At high school parties, you know that if you indulge in some alcoholic beverages, you’ll probably have to conceal that from your parents when you get home later that night.
At college, there’s no one waiting for you in your dorm or off-campus apartment except maybe a roommate. In other words, you’re on your own.
The idea of having that much freedom might seem exciting. You have an independence level unlike anything you’ve enjoyed before.
You have to remember, though, that you are still underage, and until you turn 21, you can face serious consequences if the cops decide to bust the party.
On top of that, you must watch out for college sexual abuse and assault risks. There are more than likely going to be some unscrupulous individuals who may want to take advantage of you if you imbibe too much.
If you’re going to indulge, know your limit, and don’t push yourself past it.
2. Call Home When You Need To
You should also call home whenever you feel lonely or homesick. If you have to call every day or every other day during the first weeks and months, then that’s fine.
Your siblings and parents should understand that this is a big adjustment for you, and you’re doing the best you can with it.
Some teenagers can’t wait to get out of the house or entirely out of the state, as far away from their parents as possible. More often, though, you’ll have young people who are close with their parents and siblings, and it will be hard for them to live apart for the first time.
Luckily, you can call as often as you like, and you can also text, use your phone’s FaceTime feature, or some combination of those things.
3. Look into the College’s Clubs and Activities
You also might not make friends so easily. If you’re finding that to be the case, you may decide to look into what clubs and activities your university has.
You might have various interests, and if you go to a decent-sized university, you will probably find some corresponding clubs.
You might find a Dungeons and Dragons or a chess club or maybe you’re interested in joining a politically inclined organization or one that goes on nature walks.
No matter what you’re into, regardless of how obscure it is, you can probably find an activity or club to match your interest.
Also, if you don’t locate one that fits what you’re looking for, you can always take the initiative and start one.
5. Find the Best Food and Drink Deals Close By
In college, you probably don’t have a ton of extra cash. You might have to take a part-time job so you can have some pocket money.
You might have a meal plan and use it at the university’s cafeteria. If you live off-campus, though, that might not be the most practical choice for you.
If you live off-campus and don’t have a school meal plan, you should check out any local restaurants to see if they have happy hours or college specials of which you can take advantage.
Many college towns or restaurants right by universities cater to students. They’ll have cheap food at a particular time of the day or night, or else they might give you a discount if you present your college ID.
If you’ve turned 21 and want to have some adult beverages at local restaurants or bars, try to find deals on those too. Local bars and places that serve food will probably have alcoholic drink specials as well, and if you go during designated times, you can save some money.