Dear College Freshmen:
Welcome to college life. If you didn’t already learn all of these things in high school (you should have, but if you were terribly sheltered, I’m here for you.), I’ve compiled a list of guidelines you might find helpful.
1. You will never be this young and beautiful again. Be sure to take full advantage of that and don’t let the Mean Voice in your head tell you any different.
2. Be careful of the munchies, late night pizza ordering, and all you can eat cafeteria food. There is a reason they call it the “Freshman 15″, and it is much harder to lose than it is to gain.
3. Never walk alone around campus at night. If you need someone to walk with you somewhere, call a friend or campus security.
4. If you are attached to your computer/gadgets/notebooks/textbooks/fake ID/articles of clothing/jewelry/et al, do not lend them to others. There is a high probability you will not see them again.
5. Study abroad for at least a semester. It will change your life. In a good way. In the best way. Don’t worry about the parties/games/events/friends/boys/girls you will miss while you are gone. They are no match for Study Abroad parties/events/friends/boys/girls/becoming a more interesting and better citizen/traveling/living in another country for super cheap experiences (Hello, student rate.). Your friends who tell you otherwise are losers.
6. As difficult as it may become, be as nice as possible to your “thought they were cool at first, but now are an annoying ass roommate(s).” There is nothing worse than living with someone in cramped quarters when you hate them and/or they hate you.
7. Be aware that if you apply for a credit card in order to get some craptacular free t-shirt, they will send you a credit card with a stupid high interest rate. Also be aware that if you use said credit card, you have to pay the bill, and they will track you down to get their freaking $500 plus interest back.
8. Long distance relationships suck the life out of your college experience. If at all possible, do not participate in them.
9. Keep up with your reading for classes from day one. Study a little bit every day. It is much easier to start out with a high grade in a class than it is to pull up a low one late in the semester.
10. Always use a condom. The person who says he/she doesn’t have any will find one at an amazing rate of speed if you refuse to do it without one.
11. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t text and drive. Don’t let anyone who is driving you do either of those things, either.
12. Do not allow any pictures of you to be taken in any state of undress. They will end up on the internet, specifically when you graduate and are looking for a job, or when you are running for office.
13. Participate in as many extra-curricular activities as you can handle. Your resume will be well padded, and you will meet different types of people that way. Your sorority/fraternity/suite mates are great, but there is room for all types in your friend circle.
14. Drink a glass of water in between each alcoholic drink. Your liver and your head will thank you the next day. It also assists in keeping the “WTF was I thinking” moments the next morning/day/week to a minimum. (It’s odd how they come filtering through even days later, for a whole ‘nother round of self-loathing.) Don’t worry, you can still enjoy a nice buzz when you practice this technique, and you and all of your friends will appreciate your refraining from becoming knee-walking drunk on a regular basis. You will also tend to make less dubious decisions about sex that way.
15. Do not register for any early classes. This is likely the last time in your life you will have an option to sleep past 7 a.m. without repercussions. Enjoy that.
With love from your not that much older, but much wiser pal, Tricia
What would you tell your freshman year self if you could? Let it roll in the comments.