Ah, junior year – the year of friendship, love, and…Spongebob? Coming into the school year, I had no idea that things could spiral out of control the way they had during my sophomore year, but boy, was I wrong. In fact, this year presented me with even crazier situations and experiences that, for lack of a better explanation, changed my life. There were good times, bad times, and times where I couldn’t help but wonder what the fuck I was doing. But now, as I’ve finished up my last days of junior year, I can finally say that I made it out alive. Having to look back on it all, I can say that what I learned in boating school is…
1. It is important to know who you live with.
After two years of hellish rooming situations, I was excited to be getting to live with one of my best friends at last. Although we got to be together, two girls we didn’t know very well/at all, also lived in our two bedroom apartment. Shortly after move-ins, we bonded quickly and thought we had it made. As time went on, things changed drastically. Our two roommates ended up both being their own special kind of crazy, and it was the kind that was NOT easy or ideal to put up with. After a semester of ridiculous things happening around us, my best friend and I were able to escape to new rooms. I was put with three people I didn’t really know, but they ended up being some of the best roommates I could have asked for!
2. Sex is not equivalent to love.
When the boy I had been hopelessly in love with for over a year leaned in to kiss me on my couch one Saturday night in October, I could hardly comprehend what was happening. I was a virgin, and had only ever done things sexually with him before, so we weren’t strangers to each others’ bodies. After a long night of holding hands on the bathroom floor (we both drank a bit too much that night) and snuggling in bed, we had sex. It was great, and I naively believed that the chaos of “what are we” would now be solved, but I was wrong. Having sex didn’t change his feelings about having a relationship, and it certainly didn’t make him fall in love with me. I don’t regret my decision because I did love him, but it was hard to accept the truth after it was over.
3. Say yes to everything.
Junior year was the year of yes. Yes to new restaurants, yes to new people, yes to random concerts, yes to travelling, yes to a lot of online shopping.
4. Cooking, clutter, and fresh-cut flowers.
I grew up in a chaotic, messy home that never once sat down together at the table to have a home-cooked meal. I longed to be the girl with a nice apartment filled with fresh flowers and fancy cooked food – so I became that. “Family dinner nights” in my first semester apartment varied, but they taught me the importance of these things, and that a little clutter is okay. Also, a great bottle of wine is always a must!
5. Tinder boys are bad.
This is self-explanatory, but it needs to be said. Even the good ones are usually bad news in some way or another. Steer clear.
6. ‘Tis the season…for the stomach flu.
Waking up on Christmas Eve throwing up is the last thing anyone wants to be doing during the most wonderful time of the year. Because I was so sick, gifts were not at the top of my priority list this year, and instead I only longed to feel better. Remember what the holidays are about, because if you run into a situation like mine, you’ll be much happier with your mom rubbing your back in bed than the newest iPhone.
7. Life can change in the blink of an eye.
This year was a roller-coaster, with one moment being on Cloud 9 and the next crashing into the deepest pits of rock bottom. On multiple occasions I was the happiest I had ever been, only to find myself crying alone in the dark for days afterwards. As first semester was fantastic, second semester was three of the hardest months of my life. Because I was faced with so many heartbreaking situations, I was forced to cherish the good moments and make the best out of the bad.
8. Heartbreak sucks and emotional crutches are REAL.
Just as I mentioned before, heartbreak can hit you like a tornado, completely out of nowhere. I was devastated and had no idea how to deal with myself during this time, and therefore I latched onto many things and people to help get me through the rough patch I was facing. While nothing really ever made it better, I did manage to fall in love with Deadpool and expensive makeup, so I guess it worked out alright?
9. Just because someone says they’ll be there for you, doesn’t mean it is true.
I can’t stress this one enough. I faced accountability issues with my friends, a boy, and even my sorority sisters this semester. If you want to talk shit about someone, do it to their face. Don’t pretend to care about someone and be sucky nice to their face, only to turn around and stab them in the back. Trust has to be earned, and the Golden Rule still applies in college – you can’t treat someone poorly and then be mad when they treat you the same way.
10. Don’t let other people choose your friends for you.
Being involved with so many different programs and activities in school, I have a number of friend groups that are all very different from one another. Many of my friends urged me not to be friends with certain people because of their own personal problems with them, and it took me a while to be able to truly stand up for myself and the people I was hanging out with. The more time I spent with all of my friends, It stopped mattering that others didn’t like them, and vise versa. What mattered is that all of my friends were great, even if we couldn’t be one big, happy family.
11. Turning 21 is a bitch.
I’ve barely slept in a week. Party on.
12. Everything will eventually work out.
My mom and I have always had this mindset about a lot of the issues we’ve had in my family, and it didn’t hit me until recently that her theory was true. Everything works out in the end. If it is meant to be, it will happen. It may take years and years of struggles and patience before things finally fall into place, but when they do, it feels all the more better. Don’t give up on the things and people you love. Hold on, no matter what, and remember why you’ve held on for as long as you have. The wait is worth it, I promise.