5 tips for new college students

Briana Parker is a Southern California native from the tiny city of Downey, California where nothing ever happens. She moved to Flagstaff, Arizona in 2010 to attend Northern Arizona University as a double major in Public Relations and English and is currently counting the days until graduation in May. She is a member of Phi Alpha Delta, NAU College Republicans, and PRSSA. She hopes to one day become a Sports Lawyer, and dreams of working with the San Diego Chargers.

I can remember moving into my freshman dorm at Northern Arizona University in 2010. It seems like a million years ago, and it seems like it happened to a different person. I always thought the whole, “College changes you” thing was just a cliché. I didn’t think it would change me at all. I vowed that I would still be the same person I always was, that I would stay in touch with all of my friends, that my boyfriend and I would never drift apart. But all of that was so unrealistic.
I’m sure it’s a feeling that every college freshman has; the feeling that their friends are the most important people, and that they’ll always stay in touch. I know that’s what almost everyone from my graduating class in high school said. For a while it works. Maybe you talk all the time for the first couple weeks, or months, but sooner or later, life gets in the way. Classes get in the way. Clubs. New friends. And there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just the way life works.
It’s no one’s fault. College changes people, it makes people into the people they are meant to be. I started college very much a Democrat. I was a vegetarian. I didn’t support the military. I was very liberal. And since then, all of that has changed. I’m more Republican than most people I know. I don’t think I could survive without In N Out every single time I go home. I respect and support our military 100%. I’m very conservative. A lot of those changes put up a wall between me and the people I knew in high school. They still saw me as the girl I used to be and I wasn’t that girl anymore. But my new friends saw the new me and it made those friendships blossom.
College friends can understand what you’re going through more than old friends can. They know why you’re constantly stressed out. They know that that English capstone class is driving you insane. They know that you are constantly buried under a mountain of papers that you have to write. And even if your old friends are in college as well, no one is going to understand what you’re going through more than the people that are going through it right with you on your campus.
I thought that my friends from high school could never be replaced, that they were the best friends I would ever have. Some of them really were. My best friend in the world has been my best friend since we were 14, high school freshmen. Some of my other really good friends are also friends I’ve had since high school. But I was wrong. The friends I’ve made in my years at NAU are some of the best people I could ever imagine having in my life.
What I’m trying to say is don’t take your friendships in college for granted, don’t think they don’t mean anything, don’t think that nothing can ever compare to your high school friends. College friends change your life. They give you some of your best memories. They’re the ones you’ll end up reminiscing with years after graduation about the crazy things you did, how much you’ve grown, and how college was the best thing that could have happened to you.

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