College is a time to “find yourself” when you don’t know what the hell is going on. And that is perfectly okay. Come Thanksgiving, Uncle Bob is going to ask you about your life plans for the next 20 years, but you don’t need a detailed outline. You can be as vague as possible because as long as you’re happy, learning, and keeping up with personal hygiene, you’re doing okay. If you ate a meal or two in the handicapped stall in high school, college can truly be a time to flourish. (Also, never do that again. Talk about a contaminated Capri Sun straw, ammiright). Embrace becoming someone you never thought you’d be. And try to sleep more than 4 hours a night. As I enter my 6th and final year of college (Shut up, I’m a transfer with a double major), I have some Grandmother Willow advice for surviving college life.
1. The first week of school is go time! No slacking allowed. You have to introduce yourself right away. Doing it 8 weeks later is going to be awkward. It’s really easy to go to class, sit there, and go home, but you will be happier if you have a pal and your grade will probably be better.
2. Major in a subject where the potential of getting one answer wrong on a test actually STRESSES YOU OUT BECAUSE, DAMMIT, YOU KNEW THAT. Take courses that make you happy and eventually you’ll have enough credits to graduate and enough loans to take whatever degree happens to be on your diploma. Learn about what you love. Learn about what you want to take with you for the rest of your life. If you work hard, keep a positive attitude, and search for opportunities, you can have any job. (Except for a heart surgeon. Some training, please).
3. When your friend breaks up with her boyfriend of six years, be careful not to say “Thank GOD. Ugh. Hated him.” They will get back together and it will be slightly awkward. “Honestly, I Never Liked Him” is the sequel to “I’m Just Happy That You’re Happy.”
4. Learn one complete rap each year. This is your party song. When it comes on, prepare to wow everyone in the room with your mad rapping skills. This works even better at parties that don’t have performers at them. So, everyone else is like “Wow! Get that girl a record deal!”
5. Ignore “logic” when looking for love. Neither one of you can predict where you’re going to be or what you’ll be doing or if he’ll have a dad bod. You’re not so Raven. Life is unpredictable. If you spend your time darting away from potential heartache, you might discover that you never loved. Don’t prep for a funeral before you’re dead.
6. You need an umbrella and a great pair of rain boots. Do not think you can get away without having either unless you like wet socks and wet hair. And unless your backpack is waterproof, you may have some soggy reading material.
7. No one will remember what you wore last week. Be fashion forward at, like, 5 events where there will be cameras present. Like, “Hey! Sometimes I look presentable!” Embrace the fact that you don’t have enough money to wear a new, unique, high fashion outfit to class every day. Everyone’s a little bit basic.
8. Gossip happens. And gossip harms. Choose your words wisely and confide in people who won’t question your character when shocking news hits them at a house party. School is already exhausting enough.
9. If a guy texts you at 1:30 a.m. to get Taco Bell, smoke weed, and try to sleep with you, he doesn’t want to know your mind. Some people are worse than Spy Kids 3D and that’s just a fact about life. Do you, of course! But make sure their intentions match up with yours. Because your roommate will only tolerate Adele for so long.
10. If you enjoy house parties, awesome! If you’d rather have quiet conversation with no more than 6 people because you have social anxiety, awesome! Chances are, there are other people who aren’t into the loud music, dark basement scene. Find these people and you’ll be a lot happier when Saturday rolls around.
11. People you know will date your ex, your favorite Viner, your fake boyfriend that you were almost going to say hi to. And you’ll have to be chill about it.
12. Interventions often come in the form of TOPPERSTIX and self-esteem boosting convo and you have no idea that it’s happened until it’s happened.
13. Do not let your friend with the camera phone from 2002 take the group picture. Know who your social media expert is within your circle of friends and allow them to work their magic. Assure your friend that you will tag them and they, too, can have the memory forever and ever and maybe use the image for a decorative pillow.
14. Under no circumstances should you allow yourself to trust someone who wears sunglasses indoors or sleeps with their socks on.
15. You don’t have to be anyone’s therapist. Always be kind. But lend an ear to people who know things about you and care about those things. There’s a difference between someone being your friend and someone giving you generic Gandhi life advice every 3-4 months. When dealing with people that you “just can’t” with, there is never a time when “Rolling in the deep” isn’t an appropriate response. It’s vague, profound, a bit dated, and a total conversation ender.
16. STOP LOOKING AT CROP TOPS ONLINE AND CHECK YOUR SCHOOL EMAIL.