It's safe to say that this past year of college has been the best year of my life. It's absolutely insane how much can change over the course of twelve months–– this time last year, I was practically SPEEDING my way out of the Georgia College parking lot and I had no intentions of looking back. I am so, so glad I transferred to Rollins college. Here is my look back on the past two semesters at Rollins (this wisdom is also applicable towards upcoming college freshman).
Transferring isn't as hard as I thought it would be. I seriously thought it would be much more difficult, but it's actually a fun and interesting process when you're in Florida (paradise) and the people are super cool. If you aren't happy with your current college and you are heavily considering transferring, do it! In my opinion, you have nothing to lose by trying to make yourself happier and leaving your comfort zone. I've always loved the saying, "A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there." After this year, I am a firm believer of that quote.
Making friends wasn't a difficult process for me either. Even though I classify myself as an introverted person, everyone in my transfer group was so dang nice! I did hang out with a completely different group of friends first semester, but I have found my place within the past five months or so, and I could not be happier. If you're transferring and you're worried about making friends, don't be! You can join clubs, a sorority, and you'll meet tons of nice people that are in your classes, especially if you plan on going to a smaller school.
Your random roommate is not necessarily going to end up being your best friend, and that's 100% okay. You might stalk her on Facebook and think she's totally perfect, and this might turn out to be wrong. People can appear different online and be completely opposite in real life! I did not enjoy living with the roommate that I was originally assigned, so I ended up switching and living with one of my friends. Initially, I was somewhat hesitant of moving in with a friend (because I didn't want to ruin the friendship), but it was one of the best decisions I've made this year. We have actually gotten much, much closer.
School comes before partying, even if you're suffering from a serious case of #FOMO (fear of missing out). You'll want to go to every party and every bar/club event with your friends, but grades are much more important. If you have a big test the next day, stay in and study. You'll thank yourself when it comes closer to finals and your grades aren't slipping.
You shouldn't feel pressured to do anything. Don't feel like you have to hang out with a certain crowd to fit in. If you have to change yourself to impress people, you're hanging out with the wrong group of people. Always be yourself, no matter what. If they do not accept you for you, then they're not really your friends. Thankfully, I have found friends that love me and support my crazy blogging/House of Cards binge watching/M&M cookie loving self.
Dorm life isn't that bad at all. Freshman year, I had my own apartment so I never really got to experience the whole "communal bathrooms" thing. Since transfers were required to live on campus, I got placed in a dorm room. Honestly, it's not even close to what I expected. They are almost always clean, and it's better because you don't have to clean your own shower. The only real downside is having to walk down the hall every time you have to go to the bathroom.
I actually under packed for college this time. Freshman year, I brought way, way too much. Sophomore year, I overcompensated and under packed. My mom had to ship me clothing to wear because I left some of my favorite things at home! I planned on getting them when I went back home to visit, but I only went home three times this year! Make a list of the things you're really going to need, and pack accordingly.
It's okay to be undecided for a little while. Don't rush into a major, or else you might be stuck there. I'm currently stuck in Political Science when I'd rather be a Business major, and I cannot switch without having some serious catching up to do. If you don't know what you want to major in, knock out some Gen Eds first and worry about the rest at the end of sophomore year!
Take pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. Memories fade, but pictures do not. I started this school year with 3,000 photos on my phone camera roll and now I'm at 6,000. It's always so much fun to look back at videos and pictures from first semester with your new friends!
I called my mom every day. Well, almost every day... and I am glad I did. My friends thought it was crazy that I talked to my mom so often, but it's nice to see what's going on at home. Even though my mom and I fight on the phone sometimes, it's still nice to have someone else to chat/rant to about school. Also, your mom appreciates when you call her. I promise.