There’s one week left until the first day of school, and I cannot wait! I know I’ve said that before, but the fact that I have all but two of my textbooks already, have all my classes in both my electronic calendar and my paper calendar, and I’m already being pretty productive I think only proves my point. This week instead of really talking about my past week (although it was really good and rejuvenating in a lot of ways), I want to share some of my wisdom with the newer students on campus.
To all you freshmen who will be moving onto campus in the next few days, or making your first of many commutes to campus this week for orientation, I want to share with you a few things I’ve learned over the years.
- Take advantage of mom and dad’s help moving you in or packing your lunches in the morning. Once you move in sophomore year and junior year, they usually aren’t as willing to help you move boxes or make your bed, or cut the crust off your sandwiches. So, enjoy it while it lasts.
- It is terrifying meeting new people. I know. I remember meeting my roommates for the first time, and being so paranoid about the whole thing. With that said, meet as many new friends as you can. Although you may already have friends from high school or upperclassmen you can cling to, don’t be afraid to meet new people. They’ll end up being your best friends too, I promise.
- Try new things! When your mod or group of friends decides to go to Winco at 11:30 at night to get ice cream, go with them. Chances are that pint of ice cream will be the best ice cream you’ve had.
- Try new foods too. Sometimes in the caf you won’t really have a choice, but sometimes they end up tasting the best. However, if the sketchy food doesn’t taste more appetizing than it looks, there’s this really awesome taco place down the street called Tacos Tijuana. I’ll take you sometime if you come find me and ask about it!
- Don’t stress out if all your books don’t come in by the first day of classes. I promise you won’t read from each of the five books for your Civ class by the end of that first week.
- Soak in as much as you can. Trust me, it can be extremely tempting to take your laptop to class and check out what everyone is doing on Facebook, or write a paper for that other class that’s due in two days, I’ve done it once or twice… (Sorry to my professors who are reading this!) But those lectures, as boring as they sometimes seem, usually end up making a lot of sense in more classes than you think.
- If you miss a class or two, it will be okay. Sometimes you set an alarm for 7:30 P.M. instead of 7:30 A.M., and you sleep right through the class. Unless you missed an exam or quiz, the sleep was probably much needed, and the memories you made the night before are way more exciting than learning about how a cell divides, or whatever the lecture was that you missed that day.
- Get to know your professors. Don’t be the student that shows up right on time and leaves as soon as class is done each day. When you need a letter of recommendation for a scholarship, or for grad school, your professors will be the ones to write it. I have had the privilege of getting to know quite a few of my professors and as a result I would see our relationship as more of a mentorship or friendship. But, trust me, there will be a few professors you just don’t “click” with, and that’s okay.
- Find where you fit in. It’s okay if you’re not the most athletic or most skilled, but if you have fun playing intramurals, then do it! I found that I fit in best in the forest where I can have short but meaningful conversations with people as they walk to their next class or back to their dorm.
- Be in the moment. Don’t be so consumed with taking pictures and documenting everyday of your first year of college on Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Twitter or wherever that you miss the butterfly that landed on your shoulder or the fact that a boy looked at you or that a tree was right in front of you.
Enjoy college, because believe me, it will go by much faster than you will ever think. I remember freshman move in day so clearly, and that was 3 years ago now. If you ever want to chat about your anxieties about starting college, or want to get to know a friend, come find me. If I’m not in class, I’m most likely either sitting at The Table 2.0, or in the forest, maybe in the coffee shop if it’s hot or raining (one can only pray!).