1. Don’t pack your entire room from home. If/when you do this anyway, use some time before you leave school for summer and go home for a break to take half of those things back.
2. Unpack. You’d be surprised at how much hanging things on the wall and little touches from your old life help you sink into your new one so you can sleep at night.
3. Don’t feel bad asking for help or taking extra things from home. They probably expect you to anyway and there will be things you don’t know how to do and things you won’t expect. It is so much better to be over prepared than under. In college the most ridiculous things become useful.
4. Don’t ever sit on the front row of any class and expect your teacher not to talk to you. If you don’t want to maintain first row behavior for the rest of the semester, then don’t even try.
5. Try going out and staying sober. If it’s only fun when you’re drunk you probably shouldn’t be going out. Look for other ways to spend your time. Useful ways, like building forts and watching movies.
6. Make friends with people who are nothing like you. You will laugh with them and find them interesting. You will enjoy their company and have a few drinks. The relationships won’t last long. The differences will set you apart.
7. Make memories and try different things. You’ll be happy about it later and at the very least have a good laugh.
8. Answer the phone. Your family will worry. Your mother will pester you. Remember that she probably has much more time during the day and thinks of you more often than you do her. Remember that she watched you take your first steps and now no longer gets to make sure you are crossing the street correctly. Remember that she woke you up for school in the morning when you were younger and can no longer make sure you do so. Be patient. Family will keep you grounded.
9. Never underestimate how important you are to someone. You might be the only person someone trusts or the only person someone talks to. Try to be there and try to listen. You’d want the same things for yourself.
10. Realize that you might not like the person that you were. You may come to hate the person you were. This is a good thing. Learn from those mistakes and the ones you’ve made recently. Try not to make them again.
11. Don’t compare yourself to people. You are you for a reason. There will be girls who look effortlessly put together and boys with perfect bodies. You don’t know what they went through to get to where they are now. If you are comfortable in your own skin then don’t bother. If you are not and wearing sweatpants everyday makes you feel badly about yourself, then don’t. If you are doing your best be content. If you feel like you can do better than change. You have complete control over yourself.
12. Try to smile at the people you make eye contact with when you’re walking by. There will be a lot of them but try. Be the person that you want people to see you as. Be a force so powerful that people will not just walk by but acknowledge your presence. You have everything that you could ever need inside of you. Your body is a tool and your mind is powerful enough to get you into and out of any situation. Be careful with it.
13. Don’t judge people when you first meet them. As you might know by now it is often not the person that they are. Don’t be surprised when their intentions and views change. Their expectations of you may change too and they might not know who you truly are. Show them.
14. Realize that you will forget things. You will forget things and lose things and it will feel like the end of the world. You will blame yourself for stupid things and want to cry. It’s okay to cry. Over the small things and the big things. Let your emotions run but don’t let your thoughts turn so dark you can’t resurface to light. Don’t blame yourself. What’s lost will turn up and if not it can be replaced. People are not like that so cherish the people around you. And cherish yourself. Don’t waste your time worrying. Time is precious.
15. Understand that you will grow. You will grow and sometimes it will feel like it happened all at once, but, trust me, it was gradual and with tiny steps. What everyone says about losing friends is true. But don’t think about it as growing apart from them. That will make you feel strange. Think about it as you yourself are growing up and away, taller and stronger. Think about the greatness in store for the future. Not everyone will be able to walk with you to it, but a true friend that is meant to be will never leave your life permanently. Their journey might be different.
16. Prepare yourself for when you meet *that* boy. He may not be the most beautiful person you’ve ever seen but he will be beautiful in every sense of the word. His touch will feel like magic and his voice will sound like silk. He will make speculations of who you are after only touching the surface and you will like the person he comes up with. His room will start to feel like home and you will crave him in ways you didn’t think you could anymore. Don’t be wary or afraid. Experience him. Let his hands run over you but do not let the softness of his touch take the purity you’re saving for love. Listen to his words and let them make you feel again but do not be surprised when they turn from magic to a stinging pain you can’t quite forget. Move on when they do. Separate yourself. Don’t let it happen again.
17. Don’t give up on yourself. Spend time alone getting to know you. Sit the way you want to sit and think the way you want to think. Read books, listen to music. Be idle and relax. Give yourself time to breathe. Make time for that because sometimes you will feel as if you haven’t taken a single breath all day.
18. Remember that happiness is not found from emptying shot glasses in a crowded room or the smoke you’re putting into the air. It is found in love and spirituality. You will know that it’s wrong and that you are being unkind to your body. You will do it anyway to avoid feeling empty, to rid yourself of reality. Don’t. Don’t be afraid of yourself or the world around you. Face it. Feel what you’re truly feeling and be strong. Be honest with yourself and only spread kindness and love to those around you instead of selfish habits that may infect them like poison.
19. Accept criticism. Especially from the people you love. They have seen you at your darkest and will want to see you climb out of the darkest depths to a higher level you didn’t think was achievable.
20. Don’t ever let anyone define who you are. I don’t care if you love them. I don’t care if you feel you need this person to be a part of you or they already are. They will not be a part of you if you change the things that make you, you. They will become a part of the hoax and the idea of who you are. Be loud. Be weird. Be awkward. Be bold and let your colors show. Either they will love the person you are in complete honesty or leave. It is better to surround yourself with people who know who you are and stay than those who will trap you with their way of thinking and don’t allow you freedom to roam and make mistakes.
21. Don’t ever doubt yourself. You are capable. You are powerful. You’re golden.
22. Laugh. Laugh when something is funny, laugh when it’s awkward, and laugh when you are in disbelief. Life will bend you and you may feel like you are about to break. You will walk tightropes and cross lines that shouldn’t be tampered with. At times you may feel like breaking. Try to see past it. It are these moments that define us.
23. Don’t take yourself or anything else too seriously. Everyone else around you still has a lot of growing up to do, too. If something makes you uncomfortable or you feel out of place, leave. Try to do so without having hard feelings.
24. Accept that separation is necessary. Alone time is necessary. But if someone wants you around them then try to do so without compromising your own time or feelings. It is just as important for you to be alone as it is for you to float on others wavelengths. We were all created to interact and vibrate off of each other. Don’t isolate yourself.
25. Find a church. Find a church if you’ve been going every day since you were five. Find one if you’ve never been to one. Find one if you stopped going before college. It is important to develop a relationship with God at this point in your life. A belief in a greater power will make you reach wanders you never thought and show you who you are more than you could ever imagine. If you go and still do not believe, keep going. Seeing other people’s Faith will open your heart and your mind and give you hope in spite of everything. Hope is contagious and powerful. So is Faith. These together will spark a fire in your soul you never knew was there. It will take your breath away. You will be humbled.
26. Do the things you say you are going to do. Now isn’t the time to back down or miss out on simple pleasures. Don’t make plans or goals and never reach them. If there is something you’ve always wanted to do or try; go for it. You are freer now than you ever will be. Make as many mistakes as possible.
27. Keep a journal or find some way to remember things as they happen. Spend time reflecting over your life and the direction its going. Make space for the things you want to add in. Remember the past but don’t let it cripple you. It is a part of you that has no power over your future but has everything to do with who you are. Be as present as possible.