To all you first years,
First off, congratulations! I don’t have to tell you how amazing it is that you were accepted to an establishment, or how proud your family and friends are of you, because I know everyone you see has been telling you this since you got that beautiful letter in the mail. But this article isn’t about celebrating you and your accomplishment (sorry not sorry).
A year ago I was in your position, and although I had packed plenty of Ramen and my brother told me the importance of shower shoes, I wish I had known a couple more things before stepping off my familiar front porch. So, in honor of wanting this to be the best year of your college career, here are a couple tips that’ll make some future opportunities become awesome memories.
1. Say no to the Kit Kat.
Your parents are away and no one is going to baby you. This is your time to grow up and treat yourself right. I don’t mean buying gold watches or taking a spa day (but that does sound nice), you need to adult-up and remember that Ben and Jerry are not going to help you get through sixteen weeks on your own. You’re a young adult, I get it, but your parents aren’t there to watch you, you need to make certain you’re being right to your body (print off a food group graph if you have to—no shame). If you focus on foods with bunches of vitamins and nutrients you’ll have more energy to go out and have the time of your life!
2. Stop watching Netflix.
I’m going to say this, and say it once: get out of your room and live! You’re in a new environment and the only way to become familiar with your new home is to go out and explore. Pause "Law and Order", grab a floormate, roomie, teammate, coworker, or roll solo. There’ll be tons of parties and events held by clubs, your RAs or fellow students—when you hear about them don’t think it’ll be lame or make up a stupid excuse—go out and make memories. Granted, if you think there’ll be a persistent solo cup being pushed down your throat, or you have an exam the next day, weigh your options. All I’m saying is to get bold and think. Look at the possible outcomes and determine whether or not you’ll regret it in the end. That episode of "Supernatural" isn’t going anywhere, but every opportunity has an expiration date.
3. No sweatpants or ballgowns on day one.
The first day of classes are exciting and terrifying all at the same time. But if I can tell you one thing, and don’t worry it’s not about using pencils or charging your laptop overnight (but you should really remember to do that); you only get one chance to make a great first impression. Your professors may be your future references and you’ll be around your classmates for years. Your appearance is the first thing that people will notice about you, make sure to dress the way you want to be remembered. That means drop the stained hoodie and leave the cocktail dress in the closet. Feel free to pull them out after you’ve established important relationships. Be yourself, and dress the way you want, but also take into consideration the impact your articles contribute.
4. A shoebox is a shoebox. Period.
Your. Room. Is. Small. No matter how many storage boxes or filing bins you bring (although those are helpful) there is no going around it. Leave your twenty pairs of Jordans at home, ditch the Lazy boy, and please, please don’t think you can bring a full size fridge. If you go onto websites you can find plenty of tips and tricks to getting the perfect space for you, while having everything you need. Just remember you can go home on winter/fall break anyways, you’ll be okay without wool sweaters until that time. You never realize how good something is until it’s gone... and in this case I mean floor space.
5. Leave the drama for your mama.
Your establishment is not a high school. Don’t ‘clique up’ and put on a plastic smile. You’re an adult, so act like it. Befriend people who are completely different than you, and branch out of your comfort zone. Don’t spread or believe into rumors, after all with finals and papers no one has time to care. Bring on the positive vibes and laugh a little, drop the time-consuming front and let your home-grown beauty shine!
To sum this whole spiel up, your first year is going to be awesome, you’re going to learn way more about life and yourself than high school could ever teach. Be confident, positive, and smart. Trust your gut and don’t forget your parents (you can afford a phone call every once in awhile) are worried about you. A whole new part of your life is about to begin, make it worth your while.