While I had the privilege of moving into my house on campus pretty much whenever I wanted this summer, the incoming freshman of Illinois State were required to all pack up their belongings and stuff it into a sardine can dorm room on specific assigned days a little bit before school started. I watched all of them pile into Bloomington and begin to explore the area once they got settled. I did this from the balcony of my friends apartment with a glass of vodka over ice in my hands (yes this is literally disgusting but we forgot to purchase chasers). My drink of choice for the evening is an obvious indicator of the mistakes I make as an incoming senior, but regardless of my inappropriate actions as an adult, there are still a lot of things I wish I would have known as a freshman. Here's some advice I wish I could tell 18-year-old-Rebecca on her first day of college:
1. You're Going To Be Lonely
Nobody talks about how hard the first few months of college actually are. You're living on your own in a brand new environment where you don't really know anyone yet. There are going to be some weekends where you feel really lonely and there are going to be nights when it seems like you don't have any friends. In due time you will build a core group of people to surround yourself with, but it doesn't happen overnight. Stop trying so hard to make everyone like you and focus on your classes.
2. Learn To Drink
Taking shots behind the K-Mart with your high school friends was pretty bad ass when you were 17, but you're rolling with the big leagues now, so it's time we get a few things straight. You can only black out so many times before it stops being funny, so cool it on the jungle juice and pace yourself at parties. Nobody cares if you don't have a drink in your hand. Take two advil and drink a glass of water before you go to bed after a night out and you'll be fine in the morning. Your body hasn't had it's first hangover yet and you won't experience it until you turn 20. Have fun while that lasts.
3. Experience Everything
Stop making excuses for not getting out and making the most of your college years. Stop spending every single weekend with your boyfriend. Stop just being 'good enough' in your classes and extra curricular activities because you know that you have the ability to be above average in everything you do. The sooner you learn this, the sooner you will realize why going away to college is so important for your personal growth.
4. Free Stuff
Quit taking shit just because it's free! Your dorm room is small and messy so throw away what was handed to you on the quad unless it's food.
5. Clean Your Room
You are literally disgusting and you live in the same space as someone else who probably thinks the same thing but is too nice to tell you. Please pick up your stuff and make your side of the room look presentable.
6. You're Gonna Get A Lil Chubby
It's fine, seriously. You're still hot, but don't count on keeping your favorite pair of jeans forever because they aren't going to fit by this time next year. Please don't make this a big deal. It's ok and it happens to everyone. You live an active and healthy lifestyle and should not be ashamed of some wight fluctuation over the next few years. No one besides you will notice and it is absolutely positively not the end of the world.
Freshman year Rebecca, a lot of things are going to change while you're in college. You are going to learn to speak up, be independent, exude confidence, and become a real woman of character. In about three years, you're going to be ballin' in a sweet house, work at a job you love, and ultimately be the happiest you've ever been. But for now, fabreeze your dorm room and stop sleeping past your 8am gen-eds.
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