Your first year of college, you’re bound to make many mistakes. In fact, you’re going to make mistakes every year throughout your entire life, but here are some reminders to myself, and anyone else reading this, to make this upcoming year even better than your last. We’re learning lessons all the time: don’t park in a “no parking zone” even if it’s closer to your dorm, don’t flirt with that creepy guy at the bar, and don’t wait until 3 minutes before class starts to get out of bed, even if it is an 8:30. Here are some things that we all need to keep in mind to allow for a successful school year:
GO TO THE GYM
Freshman year, you neglected the gym way more than you should have. You gained the inevitable weight that all freshman students do, which is fine, but you need to stay healthy and fit this year. Eat better in the dining hall, don’t come home at 3 in the morning with pizza or calzones if you can help yourself, and hit the gym. You’ll be so much happier with yourself when spring break or summer rolls around and you have to be in a bathing suit.
But it’s okay if you gain some of that weight back
It’s nearly impossible to stay the same weight from high school through college, and it’s okay to gain weight. As long as you’re healthy and happy, there’s no shame in putting on a couple of pounds. Your weight shouldn’t define you or your happiness, so don’t be as hard on yourself as you were last year.
Nothing will ever be perfect, relax
As much as you want everything in your life to appear perfect and be perfect, that’s impossible. Take life as it comes. Change what you can and stop worrying about what you can’t. Nothing in your life will ever be as perfect as you would like but that doesn’t mean it’s not good enough. That doesn’t mean that you’re not good enough. Your bed doesn’t have to be made every day, you don’t have to get a 100 on that test that you studied for hours for, and you don’t need to put on makeup every single day. As long as things are going well, that’s all that matters. Now sit your anxious self down and have a glass of wine.
Eight shots is too much for a pregame, slow down
I know you think that you have to be, like, blackout before you even step into the bar, but you don’t. You will have fun either way, and you’re way more apt to have fun if you don’t get too crazy beforehand. No one wants to be, or be with, that person who is puking 10 minutes into the night. Have a few shots, take a few pictures, and sing and dance along horribly with your friends during your pregame. I promise you, you’ll have more than enough time to “feel good” once you get to the bar.
Call home to the family
Homework piles up, studying takes over all of your time, and life gets in the way of calling home as much as you would like. It only takes a few minutes to call home to let your family know that you’re okay and that you love them, so call home more. Unless you live in an Italian family, then it may be an hour long phone call. At the end of the day, your family is your greatest form of support and encouragement. They worry about you more than you realize so calling home every once and awhile will put their mind at ease and let them know that you’re doing just fine.
You don’t have to get a 4.0 to be proud of yourself
Each semester, I get this idea stuck in my head that I have to get a 4.0. Although I come unbearably close each time, I haven’t quite reached my goal yet, and that’s okay. You don’t have to get the perfect GPA to be super proud of yourself and all of your accomplishments. As long as you’re trying your hardest, doing your work, and studying, that’s all that matters at the end of the day. And believe me, one B won’t dictate which grad-school programs you get into.
You will hate tequila the next morning
TEQUILA IS A HORRIBLE IDEA. I don’t care if it “tastes good,” “goes down easy,” or is “the only thing you have left.” When you’re throwing up at 6am because you decided to drink tequila, you’re not going to care how “easy it went down” when it’s coming back up in the worst way. You’ve learned your lesson freshman year, STAY AWAY.
Finals are important, but don’t make yourself sick over them
There’s nothing worse than a panic attack induced by being overly stressed out from finals. As long as you study hard and pay attention in class, you’re probably going to be fine. Having a panic attack and making yourself physically ill over finals only prevents you from doing your best in the end. Breathe, drink coffee, drink vodka if you have to, and learn the information.
Friends will come and go, but the real friends are who stick around
As sad as it is, college is full of temporary people. Old co-workers, ex-lovers, and past friends. Those who stick around are the ones you know want to be in your life, and deserve to be there. It’s okay if you’re not friends with everyone you were friends with freshman year; you change dorm buildings, classes, and hangout spots. You soon realize that you don’t run into certain people as often as you used to and you drift apart. This is all normal. The people that you make an effort to keep hanging out with, and those who make an effort to hang out with you, are those who matter at the end of the day. Don’t take it too personally when an old friend decides that it’s just too difficult getting together as much as you used to because it’s going to happen whether we like it or not.