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Mental Health

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before College



It’s okay to be alone 

Most of all, as a freshman, you think you have to be with your friends all the time, because that’s how high school trained you. High school trained us to think that you have to sit with your friends at lunch and in class or you’re not up to par with the rest of the “cool” kids. So my first time eating alone in college felt like the end of the world. Not only are you eating alone, but you’re independent and alone way more than you might expect. This was a huge adjustment until I realized that it is not abnormal to be alone. It’s actually more normal to carry your own weight in college than to be surrounded by people 24/7. Before I started the journey that is public college, I wish I knew it was okay to be alone.

Make study habits

As a freshman, public college can seem like one small level up to high school. However, I realized it was a completely different world. The classes are not at all what I expected. It’s easy to assume the grades come as easily as they once did, but you miss the point that its much more professional and serious than high school. I realized you have to train your body and mind to study appropriately to get the grades that you want, instead of sliding by. I wish I knew good study habits.

Manage your time

As a freshman, time is of the utmost importance. It was so easy for me to get distracted, and spend my time on a million other activities forgetting why I was even at college in the first place. I had to remind myself I was there to learn, and to make something of myself to get ready for the real world. There are so many activities and events in college, getting lost in them every now and then is almost inevitable. You want to be involved in everything, because as average people we have a multitude of things that interest us, and things that we’re going to want to participate in. I wish I knew how to manage my time.

Know your limits

As a freshman, in a continuation of managing time, I remember having an intense and difficult time managing my limits as well as my time. Being involved with an intense amount of activities as well as managing work, family, and friends it quickly became complicated for me to find alone time to regroup. For me, alone time was so important. Getting overwhelmed with all that you have to do while in college is something that also seems inevitable. So it was necessary for me to realize I had to step back and allow myself time to relax, because becoming too overwhelmed all the time can cause damage mentally. I wish I knew how to manage my limits.

Seek help

As a freshman, in a new space, it’s easy to think  you can do it all on your own and you don’t need help. With your work, mental state, and other responsibilities, you may feel like you have it all under control. I know I did, but it turned out I may have ended more help than I let on. My grades started to slip, and  I realized I wasn’t taking advantage of all of the resources I had around me such as the various learning centers, mental centers, and one on one help directly from professors. Simply taking the extra time to visit these different places instead of assuming I was the only one that needed help I could have strengthened my experience as a whole. It’s easy to think that everyone is doing well, when in reality other people are stopping to seek help to better their experience at school just like you. I wish I knew seeking help was a normal thing.

Alexis Hinnant

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Alexis Hinnant
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Hello, I am a 19 year old writer from North Carolina. Currently attending The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I am a pop culture enthusiast and photography rookie.

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