I did it. I completed my first year at Illinois State University. After packing up all my worldly possessions my dorm room held into my car, I could already feel the nostalgia setting in. I would like to think I left my first year a little wiser than before, so I’ve complied a list of the top 14 things I learned throughout my experience.
1. Call your mom, she misses you.
2. Going out is fun but sometimes the best memories are made staying in and watching movies with your friends.
3. Classes are going to be hard. You’re going to be unexpected and overwhelmed and that’s okay, you’ll get the hang of it.
4. Sometimes you’re going to end up drunk and with your favorite food in your hands. Fuck calories; eat the pizza with your friends.
5. Go to the gym too. Nothing makes you feel better when stressed out then plugging your music in and zoning out for an hour.
6. Get involved. If you’re worried about making friends, join something. Anything. I don’t care if it’s the damn Quidditch team, once you have something in common with people you have instant friends.
7. Let go. It’s college. No one cares about others, and people are generally really accepting. LARP on the quad, wear sweatpants every single day, whatever makes you happy. (Hell, you could probably even LARP in sweatpants)
8. Go to at least one sporting event, even if you were “too cool” for them in high school. It’s cool to all come together and support your school.
9. Some of your best memories will be made during finals week at 3 am in the library with your friends.
10. You’re probably going to gain a little bit of weight. It’s completely okay, don’t stress out about it.
11. Sometimes you need to break down and cry and sometimes you need to get your game face on. Whatever it is, it too shall pass.
12. If you can get away with it, sneak onto the football field at night. Laying on the field and staring up at the stars is one of the most incredible feelings ever.
13. Explore your college town. Chances are there are a few cool stores somewhere or a great place to go hiking.
14. Above all, cherish it. You’re lucky enough to go to college. Find your happiness.