It’s safe to say that my college years were filled with memories I will never forget, along with experiences I will never truly remember.
Although I somehow managed a 4.0 at one point (still not sure how that exactly happened, considering there was a keg at our house every day), let’s just say I didn’t kick things off on a high note.
If I could give my college freshman self a few words of advice, here is what they would be:
1. Chill out with the Burnetts. You’re a disgrace to humanity.
You know that good old concept of “knowing your limits” when going out drinking? Yeah, I clearly didn’t. Blacking out and being embarrassing seemed hysterical at the time (Woo! College), but it wouldn’t have killed me to take it easy some nights.
“Liquor is quicker” may have been my motto at pregames, frat parties, and just about anywhere – but I really should have finished that with, “To get you to the hospital.”
2. Get your lazy ass to the gym.
My justification for not going was always that “I didn’t want to see people I knew.” LOL ok. More like I would just rather sit around watching TV until it was time to get ready to go out for the night.
The Freshman 15 is no myth – eating Chickfila and getting hammered 4-5 times a week will catch up to you. Although I eventually started working out regularly, this revelation didn’t hit until junior year.
Plus, now that I have a full-time job and actually have to squeeze in workouts, it’s disappointing to think of all of the valuable gym time I put to waste.
3. Stop complaining and just go to class. Trust me, college is the easy part.
The more you slacked off in college, the more difficult it will be to survive in the corporate world. This should be common sense, but it still seems to be a harsh reality check for new college grads. I definitely could have worked a little harder and studied a little more freshman year, especially considering that my classes were pretty damn easy.
You can’t just skip work because you’re hungover, or not prepare for the presentation because you’ll just “retake the class next semester if you fail.” Also, interview tip: Beer Pong Champ doesn’t count as a professional accomplishment.
4. You’re not cool because a senior hit on you.
Haven’t you ever heard the term “fresh meat”?
When it came to meeting guys at parties, it would have been helpful to know early on that they really don’t give a sh*t about your what your major is.
Truth be told, most seemingly “nice guy” advances will eventually turn into a request for “movie night” at 2 am (Netflix & Chill wasn’t a thing yet).
5. Join a club or two – it won’t kill you.
When I was a freshman, I was originally interested in writing for the school newspaper. Did I ever get around to it? Nope, and I still to this day wish I had.
I would definitely tell myself that there is more to college than just drinking and making questionable decisions. Smart choices are okay to make too sometimes – like getting involved in something for professional development, or just to meet like-minded individuals.
College is essentially your free pass for debauchery, but it’s still important to take time aside to plan for your future. Even though you’re only a young and naïve freshman, college presents the opportunity to try different things and discover what you hope to ultimately do. Take advantage of the resources surrounding you – and more than just the free beer at parties.