Hey there! One of the most popular posts on my blog has been my advice for 8 things to let go of after high school, which you can find here. I decided today to write a sequel post, with 8 more things that you should let go of in order to have the best college experience!
High School Drama
When you’re in high school, and you know all of your classmates, it can be easy to get involved in (or even start) drama. Who’s dating who, who’s cheating, who got into what college, etc. Your friends all gossip and talk about each other and classmates. It’s so important to let go of this when you leave high school. When you’re trying to make new friends, nobody loves a drama queen. Gossiping about your new friends or hallmates will only lead to trouble. It’s especially important not to start drama with your roommate or people in your dorm. In high school, you never had to live with the people you were causing drama about. In college, if you cause drama with your roomie, you might ruin your own living situation!
This is especially important if you go to college with people you know from your hometown. You know stuff about them that they probably don’t want shared. Let the people you grew up with reinvent themselves in college, and hope that they do the same for you. Rather than drama being a fun way to pass the time in college, it is seen as mean and basic. I’m not saying you have to be nice all the time, but try not to start, or get involved in, any unnecessary drama.
Fear of the Unfamiliar
College is all about trying new things, and exploring who you are. Don’t let fear, or self-consciousness, get in the way. This is something I have struggled with throughout college. I hate going to events by myself, but sometimes, you just need to go. I joined the club that I have been passionate about throughout college, where I met most of my friends, because I packed up my fear and went to the call out meeting by myself. If I had let fear stop me from going, my college experience would have been totally different.
This applies to trying new things with your friends. Be willing to go out of your comfort zone. Try going to karaoke with them, or rock wall climbing. Maybe you will find something new to love! Once you leave high school, you have a chance to try so many things you were never exposed to. Don’t let fear of looking silly hold you back from making some amazing memories. Now, don’t go over the top and put yourself in danger either. Know when your fear is holding you back, and when it is keeping you safe.
Stop being friends with people just because it’s convenient. This applies to friends from home, significant others, as well as your new college friends. Don’t hold on to people because you are afraid of being lonely. If you have someone in your life constantly causing drama, you don’t need to stay friends with them. One of the best things I did in college was go through my facebook, and unfriend all the toxic people in my life. I deleted people who never had anything positive to say, or posted nasty things about others, or were sharing racist/homophobic content. I also deleted so many people from my hometown that I knew I would never speak to again. Suddenly, I actually saw posts from the people I cared about.
It can be a bit harder to let go of new college friends, because you might live very close to one another. My roommate was a toxic person, which I failed to realize for a long time. Once I did, however, I started to distance myself. We had polite interactions, but I no longer let her wrap me up in her issues. Once we were no longer roomies, our contact stopped entirely. Don’t feel you have to ostracize anyone, but don’t feel bound to be friends with people who make you unhappy either.
High School Clothing
This one is a more material thing to let go of. All of those shirts you collect during high school, from clubs, events, dances, etc. need to move out of your wardrobe. Within the first few weeks of class, you will likely own 10 new t-shirts, so you really don’t need to bring all of them from high school. You can keep a few for night shirts, but don’t waste precious closet space on shirts that scream “I’m a freshman”. Unless you live in t-shirts, just leave them behind.
Another note on clothing, I would highly recommend not wearing sweats and pajamas to class. College is a place where you are preparing for your future, and your professors are people who will write you recommendation letters in the future. Making a good impression, and wearing at least somewhat decent clothes, will be a positive benefit for your future.
Bad Money Habits
In high school, it was easy to handle your money. For me, all I had to pay for was gas and going out. I worked a full-time summer job, and had a lot of savings going into college. Then, everything changed. I had to pay for books, school supplies, any food I wanted outside the dining hall, as well as gas, and the remaining balance of my tuition after scholarships. I’m super lucky, because my mom still paid for my car insurance and phone. Still, I had way more financial responsibility than ever before. By the end of sophomore year, my savings were gone. I had been able to go the first two years of college without needing a job.
That changed when I moved off campus into an apartment with my boyfriend. Suddenly I had electric, internet, rent, insurance, and other bills to pay. I got a job at Olive Garden, and have been working there for over a year now.
So, why did I tell you all this? I want you to realize that you need to handle your money well. If you are still in high school, save as much as you can before college – it is really nice not to have to work while going to school. You may think you have a lot of money, but it will be gone faster than you can ever imagine. Be careful with your spending, utilize your dining plan, and don’t get Starbucks every day.
It can be easy to spend without thinking when you’re in high school, but that has to change when you’re in college. It’s time to start thinking about savings, and budgeting, and bills. Let go of your frivolous attitudes towards money if you want to be a well adjusted adult in college!
Thinking College is Just Job Training
This is something that so many people never let go of after high school. They only see college as something that trains them to get a job. They complain about having to take any class that doesn’t directly relate to their future profession. This makes me incredibly sad, especially for people who attend liberal arts schools. These schools are so much more than job training – they are meant to shape you, teach you how to think for yourself, and turn you into the person you will be for the rest of your life. The classes unrelated to my major are the ones in which I learned the most about myself. If you view college as job training, you will never truly be experiencing college to the fullest degree. College is a chance to really explore who you want to be – not just teach you how to do your chosen profession.
When you’re in high school, it can be really easy to get set in your ways and judgments. Your family and friends likely agree with your views and ideas, so you’re not really challenged in your perceptions. Going to college changes that. Even going to small private school, you are (hopefully), still exposed to people who have different beliefs than you, and live different types of lives. Let go of your judgments, and work to accept that people are different, and that’s okay. Being judgmental of people who do (or don’t) have sex, people who drink, people who worship something different than you, etc. will only make you seem like a mean person.
You don’t have to change the way you are, but you should be open to accepting others as they are, without judgment. I’m not saying you shouldn’t stand up for what you believe in, but you should not try to force your beliefs and opinions on others. College is all about acceptance, so it’s time to let go of your judgmental thoughts.
Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
One of the first things you need to learn in college is that it is 100% fine to stay in all weekend. Even if your friends are out doing things. In high school, you non-stop hear about how much fun everyone else had last weekend, and it’s easy to feel left out. You want to be doing something every weekend to show you’re cool too. In college, sometimes you will have to let fun things pass you by. Whether it’s a money thing, or you have a big test coming up, you’re going to miss out on some things.
If you have crazy FOMO, you might end up spending money that you needed for something else, or failing a test because you didn’t have time to study. It’s also important to just relax sometimes in college. It can be go go go for so long, that it’s important to take a weekend every so often just to relax.
This can also apply to your family once you move away to college. I have had some major FOMO the past few years while at an out of state school. All three of my older sisters have had children while I have been in college. When I left, I had only one niece, and now I have three nieces and two nephews. It can be really hard to be away from family when stuff like that happens, but it’s important to remember that college isn’t forever, your family still loves you, and it’s okay not to be home with them all the time. Don’t let your fear of missing out with your family ruin your college experience!
I hope that this list of eight more things to let go of after high school can help you! It’s so important to have the right mindset in college, and way too easy to hold on to negative emotions! It’s important to realize that even as a senior in college, I have yet to let all of these things go. I am still learning, and growing. I’m still working to become the best me I can be. Again, you can find the first 8 things here. What is something you wish you had let go of after high school? Let me know in the comments below!