12 Tips For College-Bound People

Mike Kline/ (Flickr Creative Commons)
Mike Kline/ (Flickr Creative Commons)

1. Save your money and go for the cheaper liquor—you’re mixing it, anyway.

The money you save buying a $15 handle versus a $25 dollar bottle would probably have bought you a car by now.

2. Hit the gym.

It won’t take long before the 1AM Taco Bell trips catch up with you.

3. You’re going to lose touch with some high-school friends, and that’s all right. People change, including you.

The summer after senior year was awesome for a reason—it was the last hurrah. College, the military, and real-people-big-boy jobs make it hard for all your friends to get together on a random Wednesday night like you used to.

It sucks when you stop talking with old friends, but that’s just life. Chances are that you’ll run into them over Thanksgiving break or something and it’ll be like nothing’s changed. (This is assuming you guys didn’t have some knockdown, drag-out fight. Then it’ll just be awkward.)

4. The friends that you make your first semester won’t necessarily be your best friends for the rest of your life.

So don’t freak out if you guys aren’t as close as you used to be once spring semester rolls around. First-semester friends are “friends of convenience”—you live in the same building, sat next to each other at orientation, or are in some of the same classes. Once you all carve out your own little niche at school, you’ll naturally drift apart (just like your friends from home). It’s going to be fine, I swear.

5. Start drinking coffee now. You’ll thank me later.

Jesus, I love coffee so much. Bring a Keurig to school. Save money on Starbucks.

6. Fake it ’til you make it. Acting like you know how to do something is 75% of doing something.

No one’s going to give you that job, that gig, or that chance if you act unsure of yourself. Say you can and then study/practice your butt off before the day comes.

7. Going off that, if you know how and who to ask, you can get the school to fund pretty much any program you want to do.

Wear a collared shirt and nice jeans when you ask. Have everything planned out, bring a folder with information inside it, and talk about how much it would benefit campus life.

8. Get out of your comfort zone.

For me, my comfort zone was the other Fine and Performing Arts majors. We lived, ate, hung out, and generally did everything together, and that’s awesome—not having to worry about eating alone because you’ll see someone you know sitting in your section of the dining hall is great. Eventually, though, being around the same people 24/7 will drive anyone crazy, which is why finding another “thing” to do is so crucial. I declared a minor outside the department, started to work in IT on campus, and tutored, which gave me a break from hearing about all the literal and figurative drama that hanging out with theater majors brings.

9. Don’t buy silverware; take it from the dining hall.

It’s right there; you technically paid for it already…just throw it in your bag.

10. Don’t buy milk, either; take it from the dining hall.

Big Nalgene bottles are your best friend.

11. Take everything that isn’t nailed down from the dining hall.

Gotta fight the man somehow, am I right?

12. Say yes to everything.

If that means going out to play basketball at midnight in 30-degree weather, do it. Deadlines can be extended and homework can be turned in late. As long as your grades are OK, you can slip every once in a while to do something you’ll remember for the rest of your life. This applies to everything, too, not just doing dumb stuff with your friends. Say yes to an internship, say yes to that class you were thinking about taking, and say yes to switching your major if that’s what you want to do.

Except that last shot. You definitely don’t need that last shot. No one ever does. TC mark

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