Go to sleep
It’s 3am and you still have 45 more pages of sociology theory or educational pedagogy to read: PUT IT DOWN. Put your face in your pillow and go to bed. There is no faster track to sickness, deliriousness, and actually losing information from reading that choosing not to sleep. We glorify it with our Rockstars and Keurigs and all nighter snapchats, but on a thursday night, just give yourself a break. Not reading every word will not fail you.
Call your family. Just do it.
Parents know what’s up. Always. Whether it’s about trying to finish classwork and balance work, working on making friends, getting frustrated about new relationships, or trying to figure out WTF a W-4, parents know. They were here once, tiny little terrified freshman dumplings just like you, and they can help. They know that college is a party, they know that it’s filled with false adulthood and inflated egos. And trust me, your mom would rather know what you’re doing instead of imaging the worst.
Perfectionism is an unattainable myth. So let it go.
Perfectionism is evil, and it’s going to do nothing for you. At the end of the day, nobody is expecting for you to be perfect, so stop disappointing yourself when you don’t perform everything perfectly. You are a person, treat yourself as such.
Love with your whole heart but know it will be broken
It’s freshman year kiddo. These are the moments that will mean everything and nothing to you. These are the people who mean the most and the least to you. Lead with your arms open because so many of the people you meet this year are going to be permanently a part of you. However, some of them won't. I don’t want to say be careful because it’s the pain that makes us grow, but know that not everyone is meant to be friends. Realizing this will hurt.
Don’t make yourself smaller for anyone
You are who you are, and people will either love you or hate you for it. Find the ones who love the person you really are.
It’s okay to scream, but not to lash out
Be loud. Make noise. Laugh until your RA tells you to shut up. Tell your stories with enthusiasm. Yell your frustrations so that people feel the frustration the way you do. Your voice is powerful, so don’t use it to hurt people. It will be so easy to tip the scale and go too far. While your voice may be loud, your ears must also be attentive.
It’s going to hurt. Bad.
There’s nothing easy about this transition. Finding your way, finding your school family, finding your life path, finding yourself. You are going to trip, tumble, fall, and roll down mountain faces. You are going to bleed and cry. And you will be all the stronger for it.
Make good choices. For you.
Have fun. Be smart. Know that some of these memories you will look back on and smile at, and others you will cringe. You are molding yourself. Don’t do anything irrevocably damaging.
Relationships aren’t everything.
Seriously. They are fun, but they aren't the end all be all, and they aren't worth the effort or emotional time. It's okay.
Enjoy the ride.
One day, you’re going to look back and wonder where the time went. You’re going to be falling asleep at 9pm and having conversations about where you’re living after you graduate. You’re going to miss the innocence, the brilliance of being a college student for the first time; missing the floor you lived on, the 100 level classes, experiencing everything for the first time. Cherish it.