Boy, does a year fly by quickly.
It’s hard to swallow, and even harder to accept, than we are one quarter of the way to full adulthood. What I would give to just slow time down even the slightest. I hate to introduce this post with the typical “this year taught me…” cliche, but:
This year taught me more about humility, patience, and compassion than I thought humanly possible. After the emotionally draining sh*t high school put me through, I figured college would be easy riding.
Never have I been so wrong. But instead of writing yet another overdramatic interpretation of life’s lessons (I’m so glad y’all aren’t sick of me yet because I sure am), here is my best attempt at giving constructive advice, broken down by month …
August: Don’t sacrifice any attention or effort when it comes to decorating your space. It may sound obsolete, but quite frankly you will spend more time in your dorm than any other spot. Make it a place you can seek sanctuary in.
September: There is no better time to get over whatever sort of stage fright/performance anxiety you might have. Approach new people. Awkwardly sit next to strangers in class. You have the best excuse for being weird: everyone around you is just as nervous to make friends.
October: Learn to study n o w before finals season hits you like a ton of bricks. Thanks to the ISD that didn’t afford you the opportunity (yes, I said opportunity) to learn how to take finals, you have no idea how to tackle studying giant chunks of information. Oh, and don’t wait until 10 PM the night before TXOU to paint your date’s cooler.
November: Something that I now call “the winter rut” is about to settle in. The funky weather and school obligations are going to convince you that staying at home all day is comfier and nicer and toastier. Not good. You should fight this urge and, even more, force yourself to go out and do fun things.
December: Choose to shower extra love on your friends and family when you get to spend a month at home on break. You obviously missed them, but chances are they’ve missed you even more (even if they don’t check in as much as you’d expected, they’re just trying to respect your space). Show them that you’re glad to be home through actions, not just words.
January: After giving yourself a semester to settle in and adjust to college life, now is the time to start engaging within your campus community! Take advantage of career expos, organization fairs, and word of mouth to introduce yourself to some great new outlets for making connections and finding opportunities. Try out as many as possible (you never know what will surprise you), and eventually you’ll find your people. I joined Spark Magazine, UT’s fashion publication, in the fall on a whim and now I’m Head of the PR department and a biannual writer! You can check out a full list here.
February: Mentally prepare for March.
March: Take it as it comes. March signifies the beginning of recruitment season (UT is that intense), midterm stretch, spring break, and all things social life. When you’ve got a laundry list of to-dos stacked against you, even the smallest of tasks like “get groceries” seem like another overwhelming time commitment. I’ve always been excellent at multitasking, but this month I had to scale back and simply focus my attention on one thing at a time.
April: Drowning in school work – no doubt thanks to the several class days ignorantly skipped during the March craze – never stopped us from having
a little too much fun. It’s your last real month on campus; the permanent under eye circles are worth the GNOs and late night deep convos, right?
May: FINISH. STRONG. ALMOST. THERE. The last Tower bell chime on Friday signals the official end of freshman year. As desperate as you are to hear the sweet rings of freedom through the thick blanket of summer heat, the celebration will soon be cut short by the realization that you’re leaving all your college friends in a short few days.
As you begrudgingly pack up your belongings, cringing every time you unearth yet another item you thought you’d need but never even touched (I brought three mega packs of Tide Pods? As if I wasn’t going to wait until I had one pair of granny panties left to do laundry), you suppress a sniffle and sigh. Until next year, my friends.