Whether we want to accept it or not, it's happening. In a few days, the Class of 2014 will officially be college graduates and are now expected to find real jobs and function like real human beings in the real world...whatever that all means.
I can't help but think and reflect on my [five] years of college. (Maybe I shouldn't have changed my major so many times...) I can finally say I'll have a fancy piece of paper to validate the thousands of dollars my parents paid (thanks, Mom and Dad) that essentially says, "Hire Me".
What if we could go all the way back to Day 1? Remember that nerve-wracking first day of college when we pulled up to the parking lot, unloaded the contents of our unearthly small dorm room, and started making friends? What if we could go back to that day to give our "past self" some advice?
Here we go.
1. When you go out on Friday night, don't wear a lanyard around your neck. It screams "freshman".
2. Everyone wants to be friends. Literally, everyone. Each and every other freshman is in the same boat as you and is nervous, whether they show it or not.
3. Try to say "no" to the ice cream on the way out of the cafeteria.
4. Say "yes" to the gym at least a few times a week...if not more. You'll make some friends and have a fighting chance of preventing the 'Freshman 15'.
5. Take pictures. Lots. Some will be funny. Most will be embarrassing.
6. Call your parents. They want to know you're alive and they love you.
7. Sit in the second row in your class. Everyone knows the student front and center is a suck up and the kid in the far back is just a slacker.
8. Walk with a buddy.
9. It's okay to talk to a boy.
10. You'll probably have a mental breakdown or two (or three or more). Things might get stressful. Find good girlfriends to help.
11. If you have a boyfriend/girlfriend, you will probably break up within your first semester. Sorry.
12. Maybe you'll meet the actual love of your life.
13. Wear flip flops in the showers.
14. Be nice to your RA.
15. Take chances. Whether this means signing up for a new club or hanging out with new people, do it. You won't regret it.
16. Don't forget your good friends from home.
17. Read the syllabus. This isn't high school anymore. Read it and do your work.
18. When it's a nice spring day, sit outside with your friends on a blanket listening to music. These days will be good memories forever.
19. Even if you're tempted to, don't show people how to do the Irish Jig. You'll fall down and end up in a cast.
And last but not least...
20. Enjoy every minute. The next four (or five) years of your life are going to be filled with laughs, love, memories, learning opportunities, new friends, and so much more. They'll be the fastest and most incredible years. Make the most of them.
Happy Graduation, Class of 2014. Here's to us all finding employment sooner than later, keeping the incredible friends we made in college, and cherishing the beautiful memories along the way.