From Our Readers
July 15, 2014 8:58 am

1. Practice making new friends. You know that person you’ve thought about for the past four years but never actually spoken to? Talk to them. One of the most important lessons to learn before college is that everyone is human, and you shouldn’t be scared of anyone. 

2. Explore your home. Whether you live in a tiny town or the big city, there must be some corners left untouched. Grab a friend and go adventuring.

3. Clean your room. Not just a pity clean for your parents. Move your furniture around, confront the monsters under your bed. You’ll find more than just dust bunnies, like things you could have sworn disappeared off the face of the earth. Think of it Archaeology 101: Origins of You.

4. Take advantage of the time and indulge in your guilty pleasures. Make brownies for no reason or binge-watch something deliciously trashy. I’m not saying that I watched an entire season of Pretty Little Liars last week, but I’m certainly not prepared to say I didn’t.

5. Rummage through your memories. Whether this means printing your Instagram pictures and making an actual scrapbook or walking through your old school and neighborhood and writing down your feelings, try to make these memories tangible. Even though this time feels infinite right now, one day you’re going to want to look back on these times. Do your future self a favor.

6. Spend time with your friends. While this isn’t the last time you’ll see them, this is one of the last times you’ll be in the same place as so many of them. Cherish the little things that you’ve always loved about them, and make sure you tell them how you feel.

7. Thank your mentors. I can tell you from personal experience that it is incredibly difficult to deal with teenagers, so if someone has done an exceptional job teaching you or inspiring you, give them kudos for that.

8. Do your research. You’re heading into a whole new world, and you don’t want to be caught off guard. Think about dorm room decorations, meet your roommate, and look up which professors are going to blow your mind. Be prepared so that you can throw yourself into every moment. Don’t be afraid to try something new or put yourself out there. To quote Abraham Lincoln, “Whatever you are, be a good one.” Listen to the man, even if you’re not quite sure what you are yet.

Rebecca Lerner is a freshman at the University of Michigan who has big dreams of being a writer and playing with all the dogs in the world. Although as a human, she does not care for rejection, she has submitted her first novel to numerous publishers. She is a follower of the cult of Tina Fey and believes The Parent Trap is one of the greatest movies of all time. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @rebeccalerner22. 

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