Five Things I Wish I Knew About Leaving Home and Heading to College

Springfield College incoming students show excitement about starting their new adventure on campus

By PJ Andrews ‘16, G’17

Every year, a new group of high school students gets ready to start college. Having been through this stage myself only a short time ago, I know a lot of the things that are probably going through your mind. You want to get as far away from your parents as you can, you can’t wait to live by your own rules, and you can’t wait to be able start all over again at a new school. These thoughts were the same ones that went through my head only five short years ago.

To help you cope with your transition, here is a list of my top five things I wish I’d known before I left for college.

1. Nothing is better than a parent’s love and care when you get sick.

Being sick at home is one of those things that you never realize is a blessing until you don’t have it anymore. Homemade chicken soup and your family checking in on you to make sure you’re OK (for the 10th time today) are things that you don’t miss until you’re without it. Take advantage while you can! 

2. There’s nothing like a home-cooked meal. 

Dining halls are great, especially the one here. But nothing beats getting home after a long day and having your favorite home-cooked meal on the table.

3. Instead of hanging out with your friends all summer, try staying in one night with the family. 

Hanging out with your friends is awesome and something that is very important, especially the summer before entering college. Just don’t forget about those awesome people that you see at home every day.

4. Family Weekend will become your new favorite weekend.

Family Weekend may not sound exciting at first, especially when it’s only a month and a half into school. But, trust me, it will be your favorite weekend! Home-cooked meals delivered to the residence hall, introducing your new best friends to your family, and still laughing about that crazy thing you did when you were 12 just like it was yesterday.

5. Having freedom 24/7 isn’t as great as it sounds.

Unlimited freedom sounds like the greatest thing in the world, and it is for a while. But sometimes in the back of your head, you’ll miss the yelling from down the hall to tell you to get to bed, or that early morning wake-up from your family when they know you were up late doing homework the night before.

Freedom is great and college can provide some of the best years of your life, but it’s important not to forget about the people and lessons that got you to where you are today. If I had known these five things before entering college, I bet my experience would have been even better.

PJ Andrews ’16, G’17, is a recent graduate student in the MBA program at Springfield College. He interned with the Office of Communications during the spring 2017 semester.