To Class of '22 As You Get Closer To College, From The Class Of '21

To Class of '22 As You Get Closer To College, From The Class Of '21

Because I know I could have used these tips!
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This is dedicated to you, Class of 2022! From a college freshman—almost sophomore— to you, rising freshies, here's some advice for the start of your college experience.

1. It’s okay to not feel ready

I spent a lot of time worried about being on my own for the first time. How am I supposed to make adult decisions without my mom? I luckily stayed close to home, so I can go home whenever I need, but I found I don’t really need to. It was a very eye-opening and freeing feeling the first few weeks as I quickly became used to the concept that I can do anything on my own. I can rely on myself.

2. It’s okay to not know anyone, you will make friends

I was quite a shy person before college! Sometimes I still am! Being in a new place and knowing hardly anyone scared me. But, of course, I picked up some new friends and some social skills immediately. Turns out all you have to do is say “Hey!” Most people will do the rest for you.

3. Make a journal AND an agenda

This was a life changer for me. In high school, I never kept track of my work as far as planners go. Even with fewer classes, deadlines come as fast as they go. It’s absolutely necessary to keep working to-do list every week, this way you don’t leave anything out and you give yourself enough time to have everything done *on time*. Journals are also incredible for your well-being. Simply writing down what happened over the course of the day can be helpful. Of course, it's also a place to document your feelings which is super therapeutic.

4. Become involved

This is where I should take my own advice. I’ve noticed from people around me how important it is to be a part of something larger. It’s also a great way to make friends and connections. In the coming years, this is definitely something I’m going to do.

5. Talk to your neighbors

And most importantly, be friends with them. You want to be able to have that mutual respect for each other so there’s no 3 a.m. dance party happening next door with because they have some regard for your 8 a.m. the next morning. Plus, you will probably need something occasionally throughout your dorm living, so make a connection in case you spilled your Cheerios all over the floor and need a broom or something.

6. Dedicate your time to your work

This goes along with the agenda, not to mention good old responsibility. In high school, it was easy to procrastinate and still make a decent grade. Hell, I still manage to do that in college. However, with fewer classes comes a lot more free time. You have to be able to make the decision to declare certain times Study Time. That makes it easier for you in the long run and leaves you more time to do what you really want to do without having to think about that 7-page paper you left until the last minute.

7. You don’t have to go to parties

Parties are fun! I guess! If you’re into that kind of thing! By all means, I am not telling you not to go to parties. But, in such a party-centric culture, it can feel like you’re missing out on something if you don’t go out every weekend. That is totally not the case. As long as you’re doing what makes you happy, you aren’t truly missing out on anything. On the other hand, it is possible to party too much! I can't count how many freshmen I know who had to leave after their flunking their first semester due to partying. You just have to be mindful and find a balance.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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I Wonder If You'd Be Proud of Me

Or if you even think of me at all.

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I wonder if you'd be proud of me.

My first thought when I wake up in the morning is whether or not you still think of me. I think about if I am wearing the right outfit if I were to see you that day. I think about if I am saying the right thing for you to want to want me again.

Throughout my day, I think about whether or not you're happy. I wonder if the feeling in my heart of missing who I thought you were is making its way to you. Sometimes I think about what I did to make you hate me as much as you do.

Sometimes when things get really hard, I think about picking up the phone to call you. Time keeps passing from the last time I saw you and during that time I've painted a picture of you that would probably only disappoint me in the end. Your phone number still sits in my phone and I go to your contact, wanting to call, but knowing that at the other end is not the person I used to know.

I wonder if you watch me. I wonder if the posts I make, pictures I post, and articles I write are viewed by you and whether or not you care to even search my name. I wonder if you ask people about me or if you care to know the person I am today.

Without you, I have changed. It has been two years and though time will only continue moving on without you, I wonder what would have happened if I didn't make the choices I made to make you react in the way you have.

When the sun shines bright on the flowers blooming around campus, I think of your jokes and sarcastic wit. When the rain pours from the sky and keeps me imprisoned within the walls of a building, I think of ways I felt imprisoned by you. When clouds form shapes in the sky that I can make stories out of, I think of the way life could've been.

Sometimes I write to you. They are the letters I can never send because I have to remind myself that though we knew each other once, you do not know me anymore. The picture in my mind of who you are now is someone who'd love me with open arms, but I know that there's no truth in that. It's only my wishful thinking out to break my heart once more.

I wonder if you hear me when I try talking to you. I wonder if the words I tell God are making their way to you as you go on living the life we always talked about when times get tough. I wonder if you're talking to God about me.

As I watch the sunset, I think about the last moment I was with you. As that chapter ended, I was only wishfully thinking that walking away would save me from further pain. In the end, I don't know about how life would've been different had it not happened.

When my picture of you gets too bright and I share it with others, I am reminded of reality. The screaming, crying, pushing, shoving, and hitting touches my skin once more in the form of flashbacks that push me further down into the depths of a depression. I am reminded of the hundreds of suicidal thoughts and letters that I've written once before.

No matter what, my heart still yearns for a hug. A hug where I can bury myself into your body and feel safe. A hug where I forget every worry in my mind and focus solely on the love.

I wonder if you'd still love me if I changed myself to be the person you've always wanted me to be. I wonder if you'd forgive me for walking away, even if it was for me to change to be a better person. I wonder if you'll ever even read this.

Days like today, I want to go back in time. I sit on the benches around campus and look up at the sky, down at the cars passing by, and listen to life move on all around me as I remain stuck. I hear people talking, see them laughing, and wonder if there's any way I could one day feel as alive as they do.

The truth is that I was never enough for you. No matter how much I changed, kept notes of what you liked so I could be like that, or just kept my head down and moved silently, nothing was ever enough.

No matter what, though, I still yearn to be loved in the way that I picture you should've loved me. Closure does not exist. You were the ones who were supposed to hold me down. But now I am nothing to you...I was always nothing to you.

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