Facebook is loaded up with graduation images now, given that it’s that time of the year, and I’m feeling fairly bittersweet about it. It’s been an extremely short and action-packed year, moving to Europe and starting/finishing my freshman year at a huge university. Needless to say, I’ve made a lot of mistakes, learned a lot of lessons, made a lot of friends that I am so grateful for, and done a lot of things I never dreamed I would; if this is just the beginning, then I am beyond excited for the next three years.
That being said, I still feel like a baby and know without a doubt that I have a lot left to learn and experience. Here’s a few things my freshman year has taught me.
1. Roommates are terrifying at first, but they can easily become your best friends if you let them. I went random, with no desire to live with anyone that I knew from high school. That’s how I roll when I start new, with a clean slate, and I wouldn’t trade my roommate for the world.
2. There is no one to tell you to do your homework. Unless you have a responsible roommate that can be a good influence, time management is vital.
3. The Best Nights, and the ones I remember the most, were spent in the company of one or two friends, drinking wine or eating at Steak n’ Shake at 4 in the morning. Not blacking out at crazy parties.
That being said…
4. The unsung hero is the one that goes with their friends to the parties, making sure they limit their vodka sprites and don’t go frolicking off with strange boys. I’ve learned to appreciate filling that role through the year.
5. Social Networking is an actual real networking tool that even professionals use (as a last resort), and now I have a decent argument to use against my parents when I’m spending too much time on Facebook or Twitter.
6. Homemade Food tastes really, really good. Oh, and steak. I will never take for granted again.
7. Knowing things and being an intellectual asset to society is fun sometimes, and worth suffering through economics lessons and foreign films.
8. You have to learn how to talk to people and professors and professionals that you don’t know. That’s the only way to survive with even a hint of social life, and can act as a saving grace when there’s an issue with a class. I’m not good at talking to people I don’t really know, but learned quickly if I didn’t want to spend my entire freshman year with one friend that I should make an effort.
9. Competition underlies everything, and is fierce. My best friends are nowhere near my major, and in return none of us act as competition. But, I have a few friends that pursue the same things I do and I have to watch my snakiness as I research opportunities. That’s not to say DON’T be friends with people in your major, but I definitely have learned that bragging about opportunities will get you nowhere, especially when your resume is so important.
10. It’s really really fun, to live on your own and make adult decisions. Not fully adult, not a child anymore, it’s a fine and fun line that we’re crossing here.
I made a quick trip down to Tampa to visit my old high school before coming over to Europe, and I realized that I don’t mind looking back at the memories made there, but I have no need to ever experience it again. I love college, I miss it, and I’ll be happy when the fall rolls around to do it all over again.
cheers! and good luck to the baby graduates