Many people say that undergrad is the best four years of your life 鈥 and things like an awesome college friend group and amazing extracurricular activities can make it so. But before it gets great, the transition to collegiate life can be pretty hard; being away from your high school besties and family isn鈥檛 easy! Ali Wenzke, founder of The Art of Happy Moving, has some dos and don鈥檛s for dealing with this gigantic change.

A group of friends shares a bench

1. DO: Bring things from home that make you happy. Even though a dorm room is temporary, it鈥檚 worth decorating so you have a place all your own. In addition to the adorable decor, Wenzke says to pack things that evoke a sense of home. Smells are especially tied to memories, so a great way to curb homesickness is to bring objects that smell like home.

2. DO: Try to make new friends before you arrive. Social media gives us access to people in a completely new way 鈥 which means you don鈥檛 have to deal with the anxiety of meeting your roomie on move-in day. Use Facebook or other social channels to connect before the big move; that way, you鈥檒l have some common ground to go off of and feel more comfortable in your new space. Social media is also a great tool for checking out potential organizations to join before you get to campus.

3. DO: Make your health a top priority. 鈥淭he good news is there won鈥檛 be anyone telling you that it鈥檚 time to go to bed,鈥 Wenzke says. 鈥淭he bad news is there won鈥檛 be anyone telling you that it鈥檚 time to go to bed.鈥 Without your parents to enforce healthy habits, it鈥檚 up to you to sleep, exercise, and eat healthy. Since your schedule will be a little out of whack and you鈥檒l be shouldering some extra stress, your health is more important than ever.

A woman looks up from a textbook and smiles

4. DON鈥橳: Assume that everyone is dealing with the change better than you are. Social media is a great way to stay connected with your friends back home and at different schools, but it鈥檚 a double-edged sword, because you鈥檙e only exposed to the curated part of others鈥 lives. Someone whose Instagram profile makes it seem like they鈥檙e having the time of their life could simultaneously be struggling to stay on top of things. 鈥淓veryone else is new too,鈥 reminds Wenzke. 鈥淓veryone feels concerned being away from home or taking college-level classes. Some students may hide their worries better than others, but remember that all freshmen go through this transition period.鈥

5. DON鈥橳: Be too hard on yourself. 鈥淎ll of your hard work in high school got you to where you are now,鈥 Wenzke encourages. 鈥淵ou should be incredibly proud.鈥 And you should! It鈥檚 okay to feel overwhelmed and proud and sad and excited all at the same time. Those emotions are all part of this huge transition.

What鈥檚 your best college transition tip? Let us know @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)