The road to becoming a “real person” can be a bumpy one. Filled with uncertainty and a little self-doubt, we’re bound to make plenty of mistakes. Hopefully we learn some lessons along the way, or at least laugh it off and crack a self-deprecating joke.
I’m honestly not sure when – or if – I’ll be considered a responsible adult, but I’d like to think I’ve gained some knowledge so far. When I think back to myself as a college freshman (hello, insecurities!), I feel way more confident than ever before. Here are five pieces of knowledge I’ve acquired in my 20s that I wish I could share with myself as a college freshman.
1. Finding out who your true friends are totally sucks, but is so worth it. Admit it, we all secretly hoped that the girls from our dorms were magically going to become our best friends. Sure, this does happen (to those super bubbly get-along-with-anyone girls… freaks.), but it’s okay if it doesn’t. I wish I could tell myself that not everyone I met was bound to become my future BFF/roomie/bridesmaid. In reality, the best thing to do is relax and let true friendships form with girls you actually share stuff in common with. Those are the friendships that are more likely to last until the nursing home.
2. Fat Free Pop-Tarts and Reduced Fat Peanut Butter are actually not healthy. Hey, I tried.
3. Don’t be so dramatic. When we’re young, we tend to think that everything is a huge deal. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to think more in terms of the big picture. I’ve realized that letting myself get worked up or stressed out really isn’t worth the energy, so I try to ask myself – Is this really going to matter in 24 hours? A week? A year? In most cases I have found that if the answer is no, just chill out, shut up, and let go!
4. Your “coolness” factor is declining (but it’s okay!) What’s that, freshman me? You thought college would be the peak of your badass-ness? Wrong. Sometime after I got all the typical freshman behavior out of my system, I began to learn responsibility. I actually started appreciating waking up early on Saturday mornings without a hangover. Now I choose to spend some nights in sweatpants watching Hocus Pocus and going to bed by 11:00. Freshman me would probably scoff at myself a few years down the road, but now I have no shame in spending some nights like a grandma!
5. Leave the past in the past. High school was great, but everything about college is bigger and better. Go live in the moment, freshman me! I would tell myself not to waste another minute fearing change. Being in a new environment is uncomfortable at first, but it takes time for a caterpillar to turn into a butterfly!
By Emily Gasper