1. Some of the classmates you once respected and admired might turn out to be less noble than you had hoped. Some of the classmates you initially blew off as strange, socially inept, or annoying might turn out to be among the greatest people you should’ve gotten to know better. At any rate, you’ll learn that first impressions might go a long way in forming reputations but that they are ultimately meaningless.
2. Your body will no longer be able to handle the vicious rise, rage, repeat cycle you put it through during the first couple of years in college. As a freshman, you used to brag about how many times you could go out in a given week. At the end of college, you begin to brag about how many hours of sleep you can manage in any week.
3. Speaking of sleep, never underestimate the importance of a solid eight hours of zzz’s. You will begin to crave these rare but necessary occurrences — much like you once craved cheap, lukewarm beer in a frat basement while someone played Avicii through tinny iPhone speakers.
4. This may be the most difficult lesson to internalize during college, but you will grow to understand that drinking anything that anyone hands you in a red solo cup can only lead to destruction and carnage. Just don’t do it.
5. Hopefully, you’ll figure out how to listen to your instincts when they warn you against a bad idea — but if you know something is a bad idea and you’re going to do it anyways, do it for the selfies.
6. But, if you’re going to take a selfie, don’t send it to that kid you told all your friends you stopped talking to…unless you’re looking for disaster!
7. There is no need to react poorly to people who have treated you cruelly. Save your negative energy for a more worthwhile pursuit because the universe has an excellent way of righting itself. Who knows? Maybe that girl who was unnecessarily mean to you freshman year will end up peeing herself in public three years later. Karma, baby.
8. Do the reading…at least, once in a while. Though it may be tempting to spend the six hours you could have used to complete an assignment on, say, catching up with Game of Thrones, college is too expensive to squander. You’re supposed to be learning things. For your future or something.
9. Though many guys* at this age are biologically prone to behaving like stinking turds, there are some good ones who you will (fingers crossed) learn how to pick out. With luck, you will also realize that judging people with superficial standards will never leave you satisfied — in a romantic context or otherwise. Date that dude even if your friends tell you he’s a dweeb. I wish I had.
*Some girls are prone to this as well. This is certainly not a gendered phenomenon, as much as I’d like to convince myself that it is.
10. The past few years you have spent on campus are a poor representation of how real life actually operates, and this realization will hit you hard once you near the end of your college career — when the rose-tinted glasses come tumbling off your face. Life, man. Life is not college. What mattered before and what may matter now — social capital, status symbols, Friday night’s essential ragers, and petty drama — doesn’t have to matter later on, if you so choose.