Dear Little Sis,
There are a hundred things I want to tell you before you leave for school. Literally thousands of tips and tricks I've accumulated over my two years away from home that I wish I could embed in your brain before you fly away on your own... but I can't. I can't because you have to learn these things on your own. You have to make your college experience yours. You have to learn on your own that those Starbucks drinks will drain your meal plan. That leaving your laundry in the washing machine for even a minute over the allotted time will result in total embarrassment, as they will be spread all over the laundry room floor. Little things like that I wish you knew.
But, if I had to give you a list of things I think you need to know, it would be these.
1. Find a good group of people.
It may be the people on your floor. It may be someone in your class. Heck, it might even take a few tries, but find your tribe. Don't take the first group you find just because you don't want to be alone. Take the time to really smoke them out and make sure you guys jive. Find the people that you feel most comfortable with; they will become your family. You will share meals, memories, and mistakes, but you will all be in it together. Find your people and love them hard.
2. Don't skip class without a really good reason.
I know this seems like common sense, but when its the middle of December or February-- all dreary and gray-- getting motivated to go to class will feel like a major feat. But, the minute you think it's okay to skip one class, it becomes infinitely easier to skip two and three. Get your butt up, and go. Unless you're super sick and have a high chance of infecting the entire campus with some funky disease, Go. To. Class.
3. Leggings and Sweatpants are okay, once in a while.
I know it's going to seem easier to just throw a t-shirt and leggings on, and run to class in the knick of time, but trust me-- take the time to get up in the morning and make yourself look good. Do your makeup, wear that cute outfit. Studies show that those who take care of themselves have higher self-esteem and better grades. And, if you wear clothes that fit you going in more often, you'll notice if you gain a few pounds!
4. Go out! Have Fun! Just be smart.
I know I sound like mom, but this is something I can't stress enough. Of course, "Work hard, Play hard" is always a good reason to go out and have a good time, but be smart about it. I'm not telling you to limit yourself and solely focus on school, I'm just saying that if you feel you have a good grasp on life at the moment-- taking a couple hours to go bowling or out with friends won't hurt. Just make sure you are going with people you know and trust. Make sure you are comfortable 100% of the time. The minute something feels funky, get out. Always be smart.
5. Call Mom, everyday. And me, once in a while.
I know it seems lame to call your mommy everyday, but trust me. She's going to miss you a hell of a lot more than you'll ever know, and a simple phone call to update her on your day will make all the difference. It will also keep your homesickness in check. FaceTime is even better! Just, keep her in mind, okay? Me too. I'm going to miss you too, loser.
Of all the things I've learned, these are the most important. Please, remember these. Best of luck. I love you