Eighteen is such an awkward age. For most of us, we have just spent the last 18 years being told what to do every second of the day. Raise your hand if you have a question, ask permission to use the restroom, walk on the right side of the hall. Our whole lives are micromanaged and completely directed by adults, then one day you wake up and you’re suddenly supposed to be one.
This hit me like a train.
I can honestly say I learned more in such a short period of time this first semester than I ever thought possible, but most of it was outside of the classroom. (Sorry, mom).
1. I learned that the saying, “You will find your best friends in college” is more than 100 times true. The girls I live with are without a doubt some of the best people I have ever met. They are loyal, and supportive, and my new home would not be the same without any of them.
2. I also learned that my best friends from high school are still, and always will be my best friends, no matter how far apart we might be. (I got really lucky in the friend department.)
3. I learned that 18 means you are now responsible for your own actions. Calling mommy and daddy really doesn’t work anymore.
4. I learned that groceries are way more expensive than I thought, and that toilet paper is somehow always on the list even if it was just bought.
5. I learned that “going home” slowly goes from meaning leaving college to visit your parents, to leaving a visit with your parents to go back to college.
6. I learned that I am responsible for my own education here. Teachers don’t care if you turn in your work or not, that’s one less 1,000-word essay they have to grade.
7. I learned that it is ok to not make straight-A's and that the world does not end if you don’t.
8. I learned that sometimes no matter what you do you will have an 8 a.m class.
9. I learned that parking tickets add up fast, but are so worth it to keep from parking a mile away.
10. I learned that the freshman 15, in some cases, is very very real.
11. I learned that unhealthy food is much cheaper than healthy food.
12. I learned that I have to leave my room exactly 12 minutes early to get from my dorm to my lab on time.
13. I learned that sleep is a casualty for these next 4 years.
14. I learned that sometimes, even if you really want to, you just don’t need to go out tonight.
15. I learned that for this experience to go well, you have to prioritize.
16 I learned that it really is against the rules to have a pet in the dorm and that the RAs do not want you to find our personally.
17. I learned that studying is a necessity and that high school did not prepare me for that.
18. I learned that relationships aren’t just something fun anymore and now you actually have to take into account what peoples plans are for the rest of their lives.
19. I learned that social media is dangerous.
20. I learned more about myself in these last 3 months than in the last 18 years.
21. I also learned about stages of brain development, sickle cell anemia, and expanding logarithms with square roots. (That one is for you, mom).