For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Jul 06 2017
by Madison Atkinson

10 Questions All Incoming Freshmen Have Before Starting College

By Madison Atkinson - Jul 06 2017

I’ve been ready for college since high school began. Well, I wouldn’t say ready, but perhaps excited. It wasn’t until lately, about 50 days until I make the five and half hour trek, that I’ve started obsessing over the logistics. I was elated to schedule my classes, but am eager to figure out the lay of the land at the University of Arkansas, and looking at a schedule with no idea what it will actually be like is quite frustrating. I figure I am in the same boat as my peers, so maybe they, too, have the same thoughts I am having this summer. So, if any upcoming college student is out there, tell me I’m not crazy for having these thoughts plague my mind.

1. Will I have enough “stuff” for my dorm?

Trivial, I know. I made a Pinterest board for all the knick knacks and what not I wanted for my dorm, but we all know that Pinterest is more of a wish list than a to-do list, depending on your ambition. But I guess buying mattress toppers and storage containers is more fun anyway.

2. Will classes be as stimulating as promised?

I always thought of college with an aura of scholarship, where professors teach with unmatched passion and students eat up every word of it. No one has to tell me I am dead wrong, because I knew it the second my imagination cooked it up. But I do assume that at least some of my classes will be practical for real-world use and will actually make the time go by swiftly. I don’t know.

3. Will health be abandoned?

I consider myself a generally healthy person, eating salads pretty regularly and doing my best to work out. So I figure I won't let myself go, but all hopes of certainty at this crossroads of summer and home to college and independency has me questioning everything I have ever thought. This one I am not too worried about, but it’s food for thought — pun intended.

4. Will free time even be free?

I figure not much in college is free, but perhaps I can snag an hour or two without charge. But what will I do during this free time? Feel bad about not studying? Sleep? This is just another one of those things you know you won’t find an answer to until you get there, but can’t help dwelling on it.

5. Will I have a nervous breakdown moving all my stuff in?

I have this notion that move in day will be one of the most high-stress situations of my life. I’ve contemplated bringing less than I had originally planned for the mere purpose of not having to trudge up four flights of stairs with it. I figure that even if this day is tumultuous and emotional, at least the sun will still set. Sometimes, a nervous breakdown is good to cleanse the soul. Or maybe I just say that as justification.

6. How often will I run into people I know?

A familiar face is a comforting thing, especially in a time of change. While I used to despise the idea of going to a college where I’d know several people, I now am glad to have about 20 people I know living on the same campus as me. But the question is, will I ever see them? This must depend on whether or not classes and majors coincide, but it’s just a thought of mine.

7. How will the first day of school away from home be?

Everyone has a trademark first day of school photo every year. It also comes with that feeling of excitement and new beginnings, finding out which of your best friends will be in your classes and what not. I feel as though the first day of college may seem a bit lonely, but I suppose we will adapt. And maybe snap a first day of school photo in front of our dorm and send it home. I’m sure our families would appreciate that.

8. How long will it take to get the lay of the land?

I’m not the best with direction, but I’m also not the worst. I tend to over stress about punctuality, so a 10 minute cushion will definitely be implemented. I suppose the best route is to simply act like you know where you’re going. Plus, there's no such thing as a stupid question (so they say).

9. Will I get homesick?

I’m rather close with my family, but I do well being away from them. It will surely be an odd feeling not walking in the front door of my house every day to the high pitched barks of my beloved dogs. But I figure eventually, you adjust, and walking into the residence hall begins to feel like home.

10. How often will I go home?

Depending on what college you attend, this question can be undebatable. But for me, I’ll be five and a half hours away, which definitely is not a 30 minute shot down the interstate as it is for some. I rather enjoy road trips and driving in general, so I guess this will depend on if I’m willing to make the drive, only to turn around and make it again shortly after.

College is certainly the biggest cloud looming above several incoming freshmen, including myself. It is easy to fear the future, because you can't yet control what will happen. Surely routines and regularity will settle, and being away from home will become commonplace. But the worst thing about uncertainty is you can’t help but worry, and worrying is like a rocking chair — it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.

Lead Image Credit: Pixabay

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Madison Atkinson - University of Arkansas

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