I started college at the University of Miami in 2002, and I was probably a lot like most freshmen: excited, scared to be away from home for the first time, still idealistically in a high school sweetheart relationship that quickly fizzled, and basically clueless about adult life and love. If I could go back in time and tell my 18-year-old self some “buck up, kid!” pointers, here’s what they would be:
1. You won’t remember that test you aced, but you will remember taking crazy road trips with your friends.
2. Joining a sorority is a great way to make friends, but you can make just as real friendships outside of one.
3. Don’t stress about being single. You have PLENTY of time to date; don’t be in a rush to get a “ring before spring.”
4. Work! Get a job. Be as financially independent from your parents as possible. You’ll have more freedom and get used to budgeting.
5. As a woman, you’ll have to work harder to be taken seriously. It’s just an unfortunate fact of life.
6. DON’T wear your pajamas outside of your bedroom.
7. Stop complaining about cafeteria food. Do you know how amazing it is to be able to grab a tray and choose from an assortment of paid-for and freshly prepared meals? Now I come home and eat Triscuits for dinner.
8. Build lots of connections; do internships, join organizations and secure leadership positions; chat up your professors. All these things will help you immensely in your future job search.
9. If you can stave off the freshman 15 now, you’ll learn a lot about how to maintain your weight in all stages of life.
10. Enjoy college! You’re not yet in the real world. Relax and have fun, and relish your time both alone and with friends.