I am certain Charles Dickens was unintentionally referring to college when he wrote in A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of time, it was the worst of times”. So here you are, as an upcoming freshman, so sure of yourself and your notions about life. I hate to break it to you sista—you think you have the world all figured out, you don’t. You are young, and you have so much life to live. You just took your graduation gown off, it’s time to put on your big girl panties (I feel like that’s such a mom-thing to say)!!
As a student who has been to three universities: Baylor, LSU, and the University of Arkansas, I have a bit to say regarding your expectations towards classes, friends, the morning after too many cranberry vodkas, organizations/clubs and how to prepare yourself to be #adult-ish.
So here’s how to put the “fresh” in your Freshman Year (and college experience):
1. F*$+boys: you’ll know ‘em when you see ‘em.
2. When a relationship has run its course (after-all T-swift needs songwriting material..)
I wish I would have taken the time to properly heal instead of continuously jumping back into the same wrong relationship, holding onto something that was already gone. I know you thought he was “the One,” but maybe, just maybe take in the fact that “the One” for you right now is yourself. I know you’re telling yourself you’ll never love again. You will. It will be different, obviously—it’ll be a whole different person.
Before that happens, you must accept the reality of the end of a relationship. After all, if so-call Prince Charming did come along, it wouldn’t be fair to be with him while secretly wishing it was someone else. But say if you do end up alone, is that truly all that bad? And even if you are alone, you won’t be—you’ll have friends, family, JESUS, places to travel, work to accomplish, and a life to live. Also, just because a relationship ended doesn’t always mean they were a horrible person. In the frustration of a breakup, you may think they were the biggest a**hole. Nonetheless, it could just mean the two of you were not right for each other (however, this isn’t to say he/ she isn’t… it depends on many factors)… Remember that there was a time that they were everything you desired at the point in time, and maybe even needed in that specific season in life. In the same breath, don’t mentally replay all of the good memories so often that you forget the valid reasons you separated. Post-break-up me, I wish I would have faced the reality of to have loved and lost, rather than putting on emotionally temporary Band-Aids. I later realized while it is great to be loved by a man, I only really need 4 men to love me: the Creator, Jesus, my daddy, and my dog.
3. Call My Daddy More
As a Freshman, you may be all caught up in the excitement of the phase of life you’re in, but always remember the people that matter to you, regardless of what stage of life you’re experiencing. Make an effort to show you’re thinking of your loved ones: near or far.
4. Just because they do it in country songs, does NOT mean you should try to drink your pain away
If you do choose to drink, make sure beforehand that you embody a healthy state-of-mind. Going out to the bar does not erase the pain from a breakup/ any issue you’re enduring. It might feel like a temporary relief, etc. However, if you sincerely want to heal and close the old chapter of your like, WORK ON YOURSELF: MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF (see below, #10)
It’s important to have a support system, people who make you want to be a better person and likewise. You’ll find friends (men and women) in unexpected places. Maybe you’ll meet your next BFF while studying for a French test. Friends who go through an all-nighter together, stay together, am I right? In point of fact, I have met many of my close friends through classes—as an upperclassman; I found friends with similar interest, who enjoy/ tolerate my long rants about English lit. Or maybe, you’ll meet close friends while working on a campaign together or through joining an organization, church, or sorority. I’ve always been a floater, so I don’t necessarily have one friend group, but I have had multiple wonderful women affect me during college, all of which who have supported me and helped me become the cool, weirdo I am today. In college, I have learned some friends do grow apart; cherish the memories and be thankful for those who choose to stay in your life.
6. Celebrate the little things
Life is a beautiful thing, and we often take its goodness for granted. So why not? Once, a few gal-pals and I had small Christmas get-together at my apartment and enjoyed the night with an Olaf piñata—fun times, def recommend.
7. Netflix and chill with yooooself
Success in college derives from time management. At times I have rocked at it, other times, it has been a downfall. Take study breaks, aka watch Netflix, but monitor your time wisely.
8. Tick-tock be aware of the clock
I genuinely can’t emphasize how pertinent it is to factor time management into your college experience. Set personal deadlines for papers. Your absolute best work can not be done the night before. You might be able to pull it off Freshman year or even later on, but it’s harder to do so when you get in upper-level classes that are more specialized.
For example, my Sacramental Poetics class as a Junior year: the writing prompts are pretty taxing. Most professors can tell the difference between your first draft and when you aren’t half-a**ing your work. Also, being prepared will likely relieve yourself of unnecessary stress. This is something that I to this day am trying to work on; remember personal-improvement is a process, not a “bibbidi-bobbidi boo” ordeal.
9. Know what you believe
I believe college is an excellence time for self-reflection. Meaning, it is healthy to evaluate your thoughts and beliefs. It’s good to know WHY you believe what you believe in… For example, don’t be a _________ merely because your parents are. Do research and align out what you personally think is best. It might be the exact same thing as you were raised, but now you know why, not just because mommy and daddy said so. This applies to religion, morality, politics, and life in general.
10. Make Time for Yourself
This is pertinent in not only when facing heartbreak, stressful/ difficult times, but during prosperous times as well. Go to the gym with girlfriends and check out that new cycling class you’ve heard about but never tried, go exploring, read a book, write poetry, go for a joyride, put on a face mask, whiten your teeth, pick a sport and stick to it, etc. Do whatever you need to do in order to feel beautiful independently of the vilification of a man saying you are. You were beautiful, smart, witty, kind, and weirdly you before, during, and after your ex. Sure, it feels great when your man-friend tells you how beautiful you are, but your value/ beauty does not diminish whenever he stops saying and/ or seeing that.
11. Keep Your Morals Intact
Moving out of the house is exciting, but remember every flower has roots. Don’t get lost or lose yourself in the midst of college chaos.