Just like every other college freshman, I have learned a lot.

All of us have been through a lot this past year, but I think I have been so enlightened by those around me that I should share anyway. Throughout this year, I have made mistakes, friends, memories, and great decisions. This is a time for me to tell yall how great my year has been and let you know that college ain't no thang but a chikin wang.


It's ganna be stressful, but, gosh, it's so fun. Its what you make it, honestly. Study hard. And in the midst of everything:

Find your niche. Spend time with friends. Spend time doing the things you love.

This year, I made a ton of friends that I love with all my heart. They are always there for me and hopefully, some of them will be life-long. I have met so many people who are completely different from me, but somehow we find something in common.

1. Your town is your home, get to know it.

You live in a bright and shiny place! There are new things on every corner. There are gardens and zoos and Mexican restaurants to explore! Just go out and drive around without any form of GPS. Go to nature trails or weird supermarkets and just walk around. Go to the farmers market. Go see natural landmarks. Learn about your community.

2. Spend time cleaning your room/apartment every once in a while.

You live in a tiny area with multiple people. From experience, sweeping your floor every now and then makes a HUGE difference in how your room feels. Sometimes I just take my rug out to the hallway and shake it out. Every little thing counts and makes your tiny space way more livable.

3. Learn patience with the people around you.

You can pick your nose, you can pick your friends, but you cant pick your friend's nose... or the people you see on a daily basis.

4. If you have a faith/religion/belief/ideology, let it grow stronger.

Look, the last thing you think you will want is to go to political meetings and worship, but going to learn more about the things that are already a part of your life just makes you feel better. Take it from me: It really just gives you a moment to sit and think, even if you're not thinking of anything in particular.

5. Get over the whole "judging" people by their style, appearance, and beliefs.

Only someone with no time on their hands decides to observe others attributes the way some high schoolers do. Guess what: you're in college. Not only do you not have time to judge people, you barely even have time to judge yourself. Trust me, the day you stop worrying about others is the day you're 100% happier and easier to be around. Find your XL t-shirts and sweatpants.

6. You can "go out" but don't make it your weekend plans for the next two semesters.

Your first year should be one you remember. Sure its fun to go out every once in a while, or maybe even every other week, but there are actually a lot of really cool stuff going on around you. If you're in a college town, there are probably some really great bands or food places out there to explore that are cheaper than having a $5 minimum at a bar where shots are $4.

7. Every sports game is worth going to.

HEAR ME OUT... Nothing is better than football, but that doesn't mean a baseball game with your closest friends isn't super fun. Go to everything: gymnastics meets, basketball games, lacrosse tournaments, anything. They usually give out tons of free stuff and have a ton of cute puppies and kids. Plus, you gotta show the other sports some school pride.

8. "Dating" isn't your goal.

I have seen so many people come to college and go wild. There are thousands of new boys/girls, but they are all the same as the high school kids. Your objective shouldn't be "dating", it should be relationships -- not even necessarily romantic ones. Make friends and enjoy people before diving into a commitment without really knowing them first. We get to college and get so excited to date, but I think we're all too caught up in the temporary excitement that we overlook the importance of having a relationship (aka solid friendship) with the person we are dating. I speak from experience (my boyfriend is my best friend -- hey, Daniel).

9. Sleep.

JK, sleep is for the weak.

10. Remember "you" time and hygiene.

Hey, you're still human. Sometimes you gotta take a nice long shower, shave, and do a face mask. Boys, I am talking to you too. You will feel so much better.

11. Go see live music as much as possible.

Take a break from a long week and go out to see some good bands. Get into some new types of music and expand your tastes. If anything, this is one of the best things I have done this year.

12. You can never "do too much."

Look, it might just be my obsessive control freak nature, but you cant be in too many clubs or have too many hobbies. Join whatever you want. Even if you have never even heard of something, you should try it out. This past year I did an internship through my University's sustainability office and it was life-changing. I got the opportunity to plan university events and travel to fun places. You should definitely be involved at your school!

13. Study hard.

This shouldn't be so far down the list, but it is. You are going to school to study, so obviously, that's what you're going to do.

Suprise, surprise... you don't actually know how to study until you study 15 hours for a test and still make below an 80. Its a bad awful terrible sickening crappy indescribable feeling. Learn your study habits because itll save you some time.

14. A test is a test is a test.

SUPRISE PART 2... its one test. It won't ruin your life or your career. I bet your employers will never look to see what your POLS 2010 grade was, ok?

15. Your friends in your dorm/apartment should be your besties.

Beyond your roommate, make a huge effort to meet the people in your dorm. You live with them and it is super convenient to know all 160 people in your living space when you're in need of a friendly face or helping hand. My dorm-mates are my favorite people at school. They're my go-to people when I want to chill, go grocery shopping, or rant to. S/O to my Lipscombers <3

16. You will learn to love your school.

It doesn't matter how much you do not care about the college before you go, you will learn school pride. As soon as you start taking out loans and paying dumb fees, school pride is imminent. As a kid from Indiana, I NEVER cared about Georgia's strange fascination with the "Dawgs" until I saw that fat housing deposit roll on out of my bank account. You will be so obsessed with your school (hopefully -- they have a lot of your money), that people will call you "a loud obnoxious Georgia fan", too.