You’re going to college! Congratulations! You’re probably really excited. You spent a majority of the summer getting drunk with your “high school friends” talking about how you guys will always be BFFs- no matter what happens in college, you’ll always have each other! Well, that’s not necessarily true, but I’ll get to that.
This is an exciting time and I’m here to tell you the good, the bad and the ugly. Here’s the truth- These next four (or five if you make really bad decisions) will be the BEST years of your life. Seriously. You will one day be a woman in her mid-thirties, married, with a kid- and stare out the window and pray to God to bring you back to those college years when you were free and young… (Or maybe that’s just me.) There’s important things you should know and I’m here to bring you the reality.
1. Don’t let your counselor convince you that any class before 10am is a good idea.
I can’t stress this enough. You’re not in high school anymore. There is absolutely no need for you to get up before Noon if you don’t want to. My first semester I didn’t make it to a single HTML class (which is why I had to drop the class a month into the school year) simply because it was scheduled to start at 8am. I blame that counselor for the fact that I’m not an Internet design wizard. If they just would have given me a night option, I could have been Bill Gates. Truth be told, by my Junior year, I didn’t have a class that started before 5:45…pm.
2. No matter how drunk you are, don’t pull the fire alarm.
There may or may not have been several occasions where certain people came home from the bar to find… a quiet campus. Ain’t nobody got time for that when there’s partying that needs to be had at 4am. It may seem like a good idea to pull the fire alarm to get everyone up and out of bed while you wander around in your robe with a martini in hand… but again, trust me, it’s not.
3. If a sorority or a fraternity says they don’t want you, it’s a gift.
It’s hard enough to get into a sorority/fraternity (and well worth it for most students who love Greek life) but if you meet a group that makes it clear you don’t fit it, think of it as a look into the future. Sure, they may seem like “the cool kids” but do you really want to spend your weekends discussing what DKE boy you’re going to hook up with? If you’re thinking “No, I’d rather be riding horses, or traveling to nearby cities, or taking photos of nature”- then trust your gut… and find a group that’s more like you. College is the place where everyone is very cool in their own way. That’s why it’s college and not high school.
4. Make best friends with the bar bouncers and bartenders.
One year of our best friends broke up with her bartender boyfriend and he banned her from the bar he worked at. It was a huge blow to my inner circle because that bar was the most popular and where everyone hung out. But how could we go out and leave her out? Oh, the dilemmas of college! Be friendly with the bouncers and bartenders. Tip them heavily. In the long run, you will be very thankful.
For a blog that’s pretty frivilous, you’re probably surprised that I’m writing about something like internships. There’s a good reason for that. You know all those awesome jobs that you’ll most likely never get? TV anchor? Radio DJ? Concert Promoter? Well, they’re always looking for people to work for free- Sure, you’ll have to be someone’s slave, but the perks are awesome and you’ll get to see and go to places you never would have had the ability before and score lots of free stuff. Plus, you get college credit (would you rather sit in another lecture hall?) and if you’re lucky, they might keep you around after graduation. Take advantage. I can’t stress that enough.
6. Stay away from hard drugs.
Will there be unlimited bong hits available? Most likely. That’s fine… and there will be multiple weekly opportunities to drink until you puke- But college isn’t the time to be killing off brain cells for the sake of looking cool in front of a bunch of strangers. If you’ve never been into coke, shrooms, acid, or E, a Friday night at the frat’s house isn’t the place to test it out. You’ll end up in the hospital and that call to your parents will be the worst, I can promise you that. This has been a PSA.
7. Your high school friends will dwindle and that’s okay.
You know how you and Tommy Football were best friends and you promised that you would be best friends for ever and ever? Well, the probability of that is slim. Do you keep some of your high school best friends? Well, yes, absolutely- but the truth is that the bond you build with the friends you meet in college will last much longer. This is a time of your life where you’re learning to live with each other and on your own. These are the people that will define the time of your life where you are truly finding yourself. Don’t make the mistake of “running home on the weekends” to see old friends. Force yourself to make the new ones. This is another one that you’re going to have to trust me on.
8. Just break up with the boyfriend/girlfriend from home.
“We’re going to make it!” Sure. (rolls her eyes) Temptation is everywhere and long distance relationships are hard enough for regular adults let alone students that are getting their first taste of a world by themselves. I made the mistake of keeping my home boyfriend and all it did was cause a lot of stress of “Why didn’t you call last night?”, “Why did you get home so late?”- Jealously will take over because one person is absent and you’ll resent each other. If it’s meant to be, you’ll figure it out down the line.
9. If you hate your roommate, hurry up and move.
Your roommate is a critical piece to your happiness. That’s the face you will have to see daily. I was blessed with roommates that remain best friends to this day- and they made the experience so much better. From knowing that they’ll hold my hair up after I drank too much to watching them blatantly lie to some guy and say I’m not home when I’m crouching in the closet- You gotta trust and love this person. Move on quickly if it’s a crappy fit. Just to prove this further- One year I lived in Town House 7 with a group of eight girls. That bond we built that year will last forever… and so will the tattoos we got of the number “7” so we’d never forget it.
Most of all, be ready to try new things. Buy lots of underwear because doing laundry sucks. Never let a stranger take you home unless they live on campus and you know them from class. Most importantly, treasure everyday- One day you’ll look back and miss every second of the adventure.