Once freshmen year of college starts, everything changes.

After spending four long years in high school, working your way up — and spending senior year at the top of the mountain— what you did in high school no longer matters. Who you were and whether or not you were in the popular crowd is irrelevant. Starting college is essentially starting the first part of your new, adult life.

While new can, and should, be great, it can often be scary as well. Although the demographic from college-to-college changes students often face a significantly larger campus and more diverse student body than in high school.

Before academics start, simply arriving at school requires major adjustment. One could be forgiven for feeling as if this adjustment is done alone. The high school safety net is gone, parents are likely far away and aren’t around for their first time. According to the Higher Research Institute at UCLA, in 2013 only 38 percent of all students attend college within 50 miles of their home. Proper introductions and class attendance is vital during the first few weeks; if not professors may not even know your name. In college you quickly find out whether or not you show up to class, pass your exams or get involved is all up to you.

The first week comes at you hard: Every organization swears you would be the perfect fit— should you join? Where is your dorm? Who are your roommates? Are they crazy? Is there anything due tomorrow? Some teachers will wait at least a week to give out assignments; others will assign work on day one. Books must be bought — good luck with the mile long bookstore line. If you plan on working, and don’t already have a job, good luck with the hunt. And by the way, don’t forget to buy groceries and toiletries.

Guys will need a new barber and girls may need a new salon. The socially active students will need to know the hot hangout spots.

First week of freshman year can be compared to being pushed into the deep end of the pool. Keep your head above water in any way possible. Some students are great swimmers while others tread slowly before getting the hang of it. And then their are the few, that for whatever reason, don’t make it at all.

The first week of freshman year is difficult, and the truth is from there it will only get more difficult. But if you take it all in slowly, stay positive and think of the great possibilities ahead, you’ll enjoy the first week and the many more to come.

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