Monday, May 5, 2014

Taking Freshman Year in University by Storm

  1. Invest in good (portable) speakers so you can play your music too loudly and get the people goin'.
  2. Say hey to people in your dorm. You're going to know them all eventually anyway so you may as well start off on the right foot!
  3. Have a 10 minute pity party to cry about missing your friends from home, but only one. Then, be thankful for having them back home but be grateful for all the opportunities you now have to expand your friend group.
  4. Party on the first night with your new friends in your building. It's called bonding.
  5. Do not, I repeat, do not get white girl wasted on your first night. You want to put your best foot forward first..the rest is unveiled to those who've earned to see it later on!
  6. Not everyone is going to want to be your friend. And you know what, that's perfectly fine. Invest in those who show as much interest in you as you do them and time nor energy will be wasted.
  7. Be a suck up and introduce yourself to your professors on the first day. It doesn't matter if you sit in the back left corner in the dark for the whole semester; it's the fact that you respect and value them at least a little bit that will earn you brownie points you might need to cash in in the future.
  8. Pick out the smartest kid in class, swap numbers and stay in touch. He/she will help you one'll see.
  9. Try your best to be the smartest kid in class but by no means beat yourself up over it - especially if it's in a class you have no interest in/talent for/care about. Grades only matter when you can tack on "Dean's List" on your resume.
  10. That being said, now is the time to have FUN! Don't let grades be your everything....let them be your 65%. the rest should be comprised of sleep, social life, and the gym*
  11. *Work. Out. University is stressful and, believe it or not, a hate-sprint on the treadmill after a hard day is what will lift the weight off your shoulders.**
  12. **Don't shove things under the rug. Address them. Otherwise they'll be back to bite you in the bum.
  13. Eat the dining hall food. It may be the worst thing you'll ever eat or the best but either way it'll teach you how to appreciate a ready-made meal.
  14. Eat with different people. Branch out. Don't stick to the same people 100% of the time. Learn to network and form connections. You never know, one day you just might someone techsavvy to hook up your computer and unruly printer or a photographer to help you with a project.
  15. Did I mention networking? lots of that. It'll help you get to the places you want to go.
  16. Try new things. As long as they're not radically outside your belief system and set of values, there's no harm in pushing yourself to new comfort levels. This is how you learn and discover more about yourself after all!
  17. Only care about how you see yourself. Everyone else is secondary because at the end of the day, you're the only one who wants the best for you*
  18. *Except your parents....they'll be there for you as much as they humanly can. Realize that and thank them for it by dropping a line every now and then! They might even throw you a bone by adding some more dollahs in your bank account (great time and patience sacrifice).
  19. But on the other hand, don't talk to your parents 5 times a day. You've moved away from home to start your independent life for a reason.
  20. Budget. Your. Money. Plan for miscellaneous expenses because there are always spontaneous expenditures you're gonna have to make, like going to an Avicii concert or a train ticket to NYC for a weekend adventure with your friends.
  21. Load up your weekends with exciting new things
  22. Pick up an intramural sport. Broomball is highly recommended.
  23. Take as many pictures as your phone can store. Nothing better than reflecting back on even the smallest occasions!
  24. P.S. take photos when you go out but A) don't look at them till the next morning and B) don't be that person who goes out and only takes pictures. Take them sporadically and sneakily. As awesome as pictures are, life is most enjoyed through seeing it with your own eyes rather than through a screen/camera lens.
  25. Get involved with your school's sports teams, even if you have zero interest it's always a great social scene.
  26. Get involved with anything that sparks your interest. Skeet shooting? Load up and give it your best shot. Ice skating? Glide on out there! Photography club? Snap your heart out. Clubs and events around your city are great ways to make connections with people that you may not normally meet. Plus it gets you out of the dorm and into your college town.
  27. On that note, explore where you live. It's your new home so become a local and shed your tourist skin as soon as possible. Tourists are tacky and unwanted for good reasons.
  28. Be brave. Get out there and get crazy because after all, this is the only year when pretty much anything is acceptable. Real life can be boring (from what I hear) so stay in this fantasy land as long as possible and don't waste a bloody second of it! Because if not now, it's never.
  29. Furthermore, don't wish time to pass by. Enjoy every second, even if it's during a rough patch. I can't pinch myself hard enough to realize that my freshman year is over and I wish I could have slowed time down. It was the most incredible year so far and I wouldn't change anything I did. I went all out and I'm stoked I did. This is the year of memories and the year to start learning and testing yourself. Don't skip a single opportunity handed to you because great things spawn from the most unexpected events. Cliff jump off your edge of fear and land in a current that'll take you to beautiful places you don't even know exist yet!
And with that I wrap up my first year in uni. Not a single regret. I walk away with crazy stories and a bag full of experiences that have made me proud of who I am today. Can't wait to take on sophomore year by storm! But first, summer is calling.

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