Every year around this time, I get super nostalgic. College students are starting back to school and I’m over here pretending to be an adult (I’m actually pretty sure I’m still about 18). This year has been extra sappy since it marks an entire decade since I packed my bags and settled in at Virginia Tech for the first time.
I always wonder if these kids know how awesome their life is about to get. I just want to give them all hugs and remind them what a special phase of life they are about to embark on. So I’ve put together just a few of the things I would tell them if that wasn’t so super creepy.
.. You’ve probably had someone tell you to work hard, play hard before. Do it. But don’t play too hard. You may think it’s fun now to piece your night back together after blacking out, but it’s really not a good thing. (Related: use the buddy system please)
.. Go to class, study, get good grades, but don’t let that stress you out too much (unless you’re trying to get into a masters program). Most employers don’t look at your GPA, they just make sure you have that degree.
.. Eat on campus every chance you get. Especially if you’re at Virginia Tech… eat as many buffalo chicken wraps and blue plate specials as you can. Going to the grocery store and having to cook every day sucks.
.. Respect yourself. This means when that boy texts you at 2am to come over, don’t do it. If he doesn’t want to hang out with you sober, he’s not worth it. Stay true to who you are and make decisions based off of your faith and morals.
.. Don’t go to the tanning bed no matter how much better you think you’d look in your formals dress. You’ll wind up looking like swiss cheese in 10 years.
.. Just because everyone else is wearing high-waisted cutoffs and crop tops doesn’t mean you should too. Wear what’s flattering and at least keep a little bit to the imagination. For example, if you bend over to pick something up and the world can see your underwear: CHANGE. (Wow, maybe I really am an adult?)
.. Travel to exciting places… whether it’s through study abroad programs or spring break trips. When you’re there, actually take in the culture and explore the city, don’t just stay in bed all day until it’s time to go out again.
.. Take at least one financial planning class, even if it’s not required. While you’re at it, learn how to do your own FAFSA and if student loans are your thing, make sure you research and educate yourself on the best options.
.. You’ll probably have your heart broken at least once. And you’ll feel like your life is over. It’s not.
.. Don’t ever miss a football game. And while you’re there, don’t ever sit down or stop cheering for your team. Even in their worst years, don’t give up. You should still believe that they’re going all the way to the national championship and act like that every single week.
.. It’s so cliche, but you really will meet your lifelong friends in college, and you won’t do that by only hanging out with the kids you went to high school with. You might feel guilty when you start spending less time with them, but chances are these new friends will be the ones in your wedding.
.. The chances of meeting the person you’re going to marry while you’re in college really aren’t that great. Don’t be desperate. Work on your actual degree instead of that Mrs. degree and set yourself up for success no matter who comes along. That’s attractive.
.. Be kind to everyone. This goes way beyond college. Leave everyone you speak to happier than when you found them.
.. College is awesome, but you’re not living on a unicorn farm. You’ll have tough times and life will feel pretty crappy at points. Talk to your friends, family, even a random stranger. Just don’t keep those heavy feelings to yourself. Have faith that things will get better, because they will. I promise.
.. Lastly, soak it all up because it will be over before you know it. And you’ll be sitting at a computer 10 years later tearing up at all your incredible memories.