So you’ve made it through your first and second semesters of the dreaded freshman year. Summer is finally here, and these next few blissful months will undoubtedly be spent lounging around in various air-conditioned places or out by the pool for a nice, relaxing end to a stressful chapter of your life. While you’re waiting for classes—and the responsibility that comes along with them—to start up again, rest assured that the forthcoming school year will be a million times better than the last, and here’s why.
1. You no longer have to deal with “the look.”
You know the look I’m talking about. The one you get when you’re at a party and someone asks you what year you are, and you give the obligatory “I’m a freshman” response—to which they answer with a look (The Look) that can only be described as a mixture of pity, contempt, and annoyance. You never again have to begrudgingly admit to anyone that you’re a freshie, and words can’t describe how amazing that feeling is.
2. You know your way around campus.
After spending all of first semester wandering around aimlessly trying to find your 9 AM Anthro lecture in a sea of people doing the exact same thing, you’re now an expert on all the quickest shortcuts around campus to avoid sidewalk traffic.
3. You’re returning with an army of amazing friends.
Nobody—and I mean nobody—knew what they were doing freshman year. This was an entirely new experience for everyone, and that sort of cluelessness brings people together to form some beautiful friendships. When you’re surrounded by people who push you to be your best and fill your life with positivity, there’s no stopping you from achieving everything you want out of your college adventure.
4. You’re already an expert at the “broke college kid” lifestyle.
You already know what it’s like to be praying for someone to leave you a good tip so maybe you can grab some McDonald’s on the way home from work, and you’ve got all the knowledge on which dining halls have the best dessert options. You’re like a cheap-eating ninja, equipped with insider coupons to all the low-budget restaurants around campus. Your mom would be so proud.
5. Your packing skills have improved immensely.
Calculator? Check. Favorite college sweatshirt? Check. Emergency junk food stash? Double check. Being forced into a cramped dorm room has made you downsize your immense closet and shown you just how little you need to get by on, which makes packing for your new apartment a breeze.
6. You’re super well-versed in the confounding world of Blackboard.
Why, oh why, does Blackboard always seem to crash when you forget to turn in your assignment until fifteen minutes before it’s due? The nationwide online assignment submission platform has taught you a hard-earned lesson with procrastinating on more than one occasion, and you’ll be all the better for it come next year.
7. You’re eager to live on your own again.
For some people, summer means spending three months back under your parents’ roof again—and depending on their personalities, this could mean losing some of the independence you gained while away at school. Do you have a curfew again, like you did when you were a lowly seventeen-year-old? What’s the policy on drinking boxed wine and inhaling a tub of Ben&Jerry’s in front of the television when you’re feeling moody? Getting your own place for sophomore year will give you the space you need from your family to regain your sense of self and responsibility—and decorating your new place is going to be the most fun you’ve had in a while. Bring on the Pinterest DIY and hoards of HGTV Home Improvement shows!
8. You know what works best for you.
You know which campus libraries are for finals-cramming and which are for grabbing a coffee with your friends—and you definitely know better than to hit up the gym around New Years. You’ve figured out through trial and error which study habits suit your learning style the best, discovered that the tutoring centers are the best resource in existence, and learned that partying on a Thursday night when you have an 8 AM lecture the next morning is a terrible idea. The tips and tricks you’ve gathered from the past year will only make transitioning into this next chapter of your life that much easier and set you up for becoming the most successful student you can be.
9. Your little college town actually feels like home by now.
The baristas at the Starbucks across the street from the Life Sciences Building have become your friends. The steps of Old Main have become as familiar to you as your own front porch. This campus that once seemed so unfamiliar and even a bit scary has now become your safe haven, a welcoming place where you will spend the next three years of your college journey and gain more than you ever could have imagined. You’re not apprehensive or afraid of it anymore—in fact, you embrace it with open arms.
10. You know you’re going to make it through the year alive.
You’ve done it before, right? Sure, finals week was absolute hell and you contemplated trading in college for becoming a stripper on more than one occasion, but you stayed strong and that’s what really counts! And if you can make it through that, then you can do just about anything life decides to throw at you, my friend.