2) Talk to your roommate. Thankfully my roommate and I have been best friends since we were in junior high, so I didn't have to go through stress and anxiety of getting a random roommate and hoping they weren't crazy. However, it is still essential to communicate with your roommate on a daily basis. When living with another person it is a simple courtesy to let them know things such as if you'd like to have people over, when you'll be home, or times you're planning to study and will be needing quiet.
3) Don't be afraid to tell your obnoxiously loud neighbors to quiet down. If you're studying and someone across the hall or in the room beside you is being so loud they are distracting you, get off your butt, walk over there and (politely) ask them to quiet down! Your grades are more important than their social time, and generally people will completely understand. Also, most dorms have rules about quiet hours, so if they're being loud during these hours you also have the option of calling your floors Resident Assistant and having them handle it as well.
4) Remember that there will always be another function/event to attend. At the beginning of the semester I found myself constantly trying to make it to all of my sororities and campus' events, but as time went on I realized making an appearance at every little thing while trying to balance school was an unneeded stress because there will always be another function to be at, but you (generally speaking) only get one shot at a test or quiz, and isn't a degree what we came to college for?
5) Textbooks are annoyingly expensive and usually useless. So rent them! Most courses come with required text books, but I've come to realize that professors generally only test on the information they lecture in class, which is unfortunately sometimes not even in those crazy over priced books. I learned this lesson after my first test, where I read the entire chapter that was to be tested over (several times), sticky noted and highlighted like a maniac, and made a mountain of flashcards and wound up with a whopping 66%. When I asked my professor how to study for the next test he simply replied "my lecture slides," so I did, and made a 92%. I never touched that text book again and wound up with a 91% in that class.
6) You'll miss your family more than you think. As my senior year of high school was ending I was the poster child for one of those kids who couldn't wait to get out of my parents house and be on my own - I was 18 and ready to take the world by storm! Or so I thought, the only problem was that I actually had no idea what "the world" would be like, or how much I'd miss having my parents there when I was sick or in fights with friends. So don't worry about feeling "lame" if you call your mom crying at 2 am for whatever reason (stress, boys, school, etc.) or call your dad about a parking ticket you don't think you deserved.
7) Don't let your school take more of your money than they already are. My school does a pretty great job of getting extra money from students through parking tickets, and however your school may go about prying more than the thousands they already take from you yearly, don't be afraid to go make a little stink about it if you don't think its fair. I ended my first semester with 4 parking tickets and wound up only having to pay two, because I was willing to make appeals.
8) Nothings as good as mommas cooking. Maybe its because my mom is a phenomenal cook (at least in my opinion), but I think its got more to do with the fact that her food is always made with love and tends to unveil happy childhood memories of family time and family meals. Whatever the reason is, not even the nicest restaurants on or around campus compare to a meal at home, and campus cafeteria meals aren't even on the scale.
9) Take some time for yourself. It's really easy to get caught up in the busyness of college and allow yourself to become stressed out about grades or social activities, so whether it's reading a book, watching a TV program, or even taking a nap, don't let yourself forget that everyone needs some time to themselves to simply relax. It's perfectly normal!
10) Get plugged in. They say college is the place you'll make your lifelong friends, your future bridesmaids, and even your future spouse, but that can't and won't happen if you don't get plugged to something you love. College campuses have tons of activities for kids to get involved in, such as Greek life, student government, clubs based on majors, and religious organizations. Try finding one that you feel totally welcomed into and join it!
11) Set a list of personal standards before going into college. College is a major transitioning point for people in life, for better and for worse. Before school started, I wrote out a list of personal standards, goals, and beliefs to keep myself accountable to the things I stood for during the midst of any storm. And lets face it, college is one giant storm of peoples theories and ideas on life and how one should live, so it is crucial to keep your values written out where you can see them each day in order to remind yourself of who you want to be and what you stand for.