I’m not going to lie to you. Right now, as I am typing this, I am also watching Gossip Girl on Netflix. There, I said it. The truth is out.
Hey. After the month that I’ve had, I deserve a time to detox and relax. I am finished with my first semester of college. Finals have come and gone and I have survived (though barely). Now I get to have a month free of any stress or worry. Related to school, that is.
So, here I am going to share my many lessons that I have learned during my first semester of college.
Leave your dorm. I can not stress this enough. During your first week at college you are going to feel like staying in your room and watching movies while eating microwave macaroni. This is called hiding and it is one of the worst things you can do.
At the same time, it’s perfectly acceptable to stay in on the weekends instead of going out. The first week I was at OSU my roommate and I binge watched 3 seasons of How I Met Your Mother. Eventually we did venture out and make friends but from time to time we still stay in and have movie night or Netflix marathons.
Talk to everyone. You will never have the opportunity in your life to talk to and meet so many different people from so man different backgrounds. Within my first week, I probably met over 200 different people. Now did I develop close friendships with all of them? Of course not. I didn’t even talk to a majority of those people after the first week but some of them did become very good friends. You never know who you are going to run into so go ahead and start a conversation! Anything can happen!
Which brings me to my next lesson. Anything can happen if you take every opportunity that is presented to you. Your friends what to go play a pick up game of Ultimate Frisbee? Go. Even if you don’t play (which you should) at least go and cheer them on or watch. There’s a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show on Halloween night? Go. No matter how crazy or boring or just plain out weird it sounds, at least consider going. One time there was a Coke machine in the Union that gave you a free Coke if you hugged it, and I missed out on it. Still regret it.
Here’s a big one. Don’t get stuck in high school. Did I say don’t have friends that are still in high school? No. Did I say don’t go to some of your old high school events (ex. Homecoming)? No. But there is a big difference between occasionally showing up at your old high school and saying hi to some teachers or friends, and remaining glued to the high school drama and gossip and overall lifestyle. Let it go and move on.
Homework is important. But so is your health. Sleep often and don’t push yourself beyond what you can handle. I say this from personal experience, it is not okay to cross the line between healthy stress and unhealthy stress. It is not okay to not sleep. It is not okay to not eat. Your mental and physical health is so much more important than that homework assignment.
Make memories. But don’t forget to keep those memories. One of my favorite things to do is to take lots of pictures of moments that make me happy. I print them off and hang the up all around my dorm room. It makes life feel less lonely and homesick. And those moments that cant be caught by a camera, I write them down put them in a jar. This is my Happy Little Thought Jar and on New Year’s I will open it up and read about all the memories I had forgotten about. No matter what your method is, just make memories and hold onto them.
Keep organized. I swear if I had a dollar for every assignment that I forgot about until after it was already due…well I would have two dollars. But if I had a dollar for every assignment I lost track of until something or someone reminded me of its due date, I would have a lot more money. The point is, write everything down. Get a planner. plan every day down by the hour if you have to. Get a calendar for your wall. Put it someone you will see it every day. Keep track of everything, due dates, meetings, class schedules. Everything. Whatever works for you, find it and do it. You will thank yourself later.
I think that covers the big, general, and basic ones. Off course I have a couple of my own that I have set up specifically for myself. Like don’t piss off the roommate. Text my parents everyday and call at least once a week. Don’t overdue it on the Netflix. Save money whenever possible. If something has to be cut from my schedule it will always be leisure time aka Netflix. Do my best not to procrastinate, we all know that one is difficult. Take lots of naps, but not so long that I can’t sleep at night. Don’t wear workout clothes in public unless I am actually going to work out. Dress up as often as possible and always try to put effort into my outfit. Make good impressions on my professors. Don’t go home so often that I miss out on my college experience. And finally, be happy. Easy to say but less simple to do.
And finally. I would like to that the opportunity right now to say thank you. Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this stressful transition. Thank you to my parents for always being there for me. Thank you to my friends for listening to my problems big and small. Thank you to my roommate for putting up with me and making m feel less homesick. Thank you to my Chi Alpha family for taking me in and making OSU feel more like home. Thank you to my home church for reminding me that no matter where I go I can always find a home with you guys. Thank you to everyone who is reading this blog, everyone who has thought of me and prayed for me, everyone who has sent me well wishes, and everyone who has taken the time to read the ramblings of a college freshman. Whether you know me personally or not, thank you.