All the things I wish I knew my freshman year of college

I started writing for Hellogiggles at the beginning of the second half of the first fourth of my undergraduate education, now I am halfway through the first half of the last fourth of college. Put simply, I’m a senior staring down the barrel of my last year in school. During my time in school I have learned a lot—academic and otherwise—and have made a lot of mistakes—academic, but largely otherwise.

Here are a few findings from the fraction of my life that is/was college:

1. Never break the dinning hall’s panini maker. 

You can put a lot of stuff in a Panini maker: bacon, pizza, eggs, and paninis. But don’t get too adventurous because the panini maker is a shinning beacon of culinary hope in a dining hall landscape that is otherwise gastrointestinally fatal (looking at you huevos rancheros).

2. Libraries are cool. Really cool.

I hope to grow up and be half as cool as a library. They have everything: books, bookmarks, long tables that make you feel like you are at Hogwarts, uncomfortable chairs, comfortable chairs, and usually a nook where you can silently weep when your computer crashes at 1 a.m. and takes your twelve page thesis paper down with it.

3. Don’t worry if you don’t find your best friend in the first week.

The average wedding I have been to has had four bridesmaids (full disclosure: I have only been to four weddings, but at least three of them have been for human couples). In college, you may lose a few people you thought were friends and some new ones are gonna pop up out of nowhere, but remember that you have plenty of time to decide who must endure the fate of wearing one of four matching off-the-shoulder floor-length taffeta gowns on your wedding day.

4. Don’t worry if you don’t find your soul mate in the first week.

Or don’t worry if you don’t find your soul mate at all in college. There is that stat that flies around to all collegiate eardrums being like 70% of people meet their spouses in college and if you don’t then you will end up ordering all your milkshakes-for-two with one straw. I don’t even think this is such a bad idea. More milkshake for you.

5. Never take an 8am yoga class.

You may think that this will be a new start to a healthier you. You may think it will force you to start your day earlier. You think wrong. Go for the 9am. You can align your chakras an hour later. This is one of the only times in your life when you are in full control of what time you get to wake up. Cherish that.

6. Talk to your professors outside of class.

Especially the ones with beards and cool shawls because they have more places to hide their wisdom and snacks.

7. You don’t have to be a new you.

In college, there is this big emphasis on changing yourself and really becoming the person you were always meant to be. Some people change in college, and some people don’t. Trying to forcefully reinvent yourself like you are in the second act of She’s All That or the first act of John Tucker Must Die will cause unnecessary amounts of stress. This is stress on top of the stress you already have for midterms.

8. Flashcards are pretty handy.

9. Highlighters are similarly handy.

10. Call your parents.

Your parents miss you. Even if you changed your room into extra storage for the dog’s sweaters, they still miss you. Call while you’re walking to class, or call during the time that you were supposed to be walking to class but made the decision to sleep-in instead.

11. Buy about 30 more pairs of underwear than you think you need.

You are gonna forget to do laundry and then when you remember to do laundry you are gonna come up with an excuse not to do it.

12. You do not have to wear heels when you go out. 

Wear what makes you feel good and comfortable. . . and whatever will result in the least amount of blisters. Wear those. Definitely those.

13. The night before your final, remember to sleep.

We all make silly mistakes when we are tired. At my most sleep deprived I thought that buying a pair of moon shoes would be a good investment. (It kind of was). Those two easy payments of $29.95 could have gone towards something more important like textbooks or groceries or socker boppers. Cramming before the night of your final that is worth 50% of your grade may seem like a necessity but sleeping is just as important. Don’t moon shoes your final.

14. Netflix will be your best friend and your worst enemy.

You will never just watch one episode of Orange Is The New Black, no matter how many times you tell yourself otherwise.

15. If you ride your bike to class, at some point you will fall/ run into someone/ run into someone and then fall. 

The blow to your ego will go away far faster than that bruise from the blow to your knee.

16. Wash your cereal bowls.

Genghis Kahn knew that the quickest way to make an enemy was to burn down their village. He also knew that the quickest way to harbor resentment amongst your army/roommates is by not washing your cereal bowls. The Mongol empire fell because of unwashed cereal bowls.*
*this is not an actual fact, do not site in academic papers.

17. No one really knows what they are doing at the gym.

Well there are like seven people who really know what they’re doing, but the majority of coeds are just as confused as you are by the weight machine thing. You know the one that looks like it will destroy your biceps and your self-esteem.

18. If you are sleepy then skip the party. 

The only thing worse than being tired and knowing that you are at least two hours away from sleep is being tired and knowing that you are two hours away from sleep while Avicii plays repeatedly in the background like it’s some type of satanic ritual.  

19. If someone at a house party goes “Hey, I have a great YouTube video you all should see” GET OUT! 

It is never going to be just one YouTube video. It turns into a weird, competitive game of who knows the Internet the best and an hour and a half later you are watching a compilation of people reuniting with their long-lost dogs and no one is happy about it. Well, no one except the dogs.

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