I can still remember the very first day I moved in to my dorm. I remember the million degree heat and rainy weather. I remember meeting my roommate and unrolling our rug. I remember hugging my parents good bye (and trying not to touch my dad’s sweaty shirt because he’d been moving furniture in the million degree room). I remember hooking my keys onto my lanyard and watching my mom make my bed.
I remember sitting in the car that was stuffed to the brim with my belongings. The entire two hour drive I was incredibly anxious and excited for my new adventure. All of my friends had already begun school and it was finally my chance.
After about four months, the semester has finally ended. I learned so many things and I feel an obligation to share:
1. For the first week (or month or so) your roommate will be your buddy. You’ll go to meetings together, get meals together and make friends together.
2. Sometimes roommates don’t work out. Most people I know don’t particularly like their roomie, some people became best friends with their roomie and other people are just civil.
3. I’m not a messy person, but my roomie was. Confrontation sucks, but not doing anything about the issue will make you angry. Tell them to clean. Seriously. Since my roomie was messy and I didn’t say anything I just got super angry (and mice came into our room!!!)
4. You don’t ALWAYS have to be social. It’s tough being surrounded by people but you have to be okay with being alone sometimes. Fear of missing out always hit me hard, but it just left me sleep-deprived and a little bit sick of some people.
5. If a friendship doesn’t just click, don’t force the pieces into place. I was so obsessed with finding a close group of friends that I was trying to make myself fit in where I don’t. Good friendships take time. Cherish the good friends you have and don’t stress about finding a group just yet.
6. Netflix is amazing. I hardly ever watch TV anymore–Netflix is the life. You won’t have time to watch ALL of your favorite new TV shows.
7. Dining hall food is boring and it kind of really sucks. Baking and cooking are a great way to make friends and eat good food. Bake and cook whenever you can.
8. Fire drills in the middle of the night freaking SUCK. Grab your jacket (and put on cozy pants) because you could be out there for a while.
9. There are people who don’t go out. Sometimes it seems hard to find people who don’t go hard and party every weekend, but look for the people attending Friday comedian shows or Saturday night bingo. People at events are usually the funnest people.
10. Go to events! Seriously, schools do some freaking cool events. My school has had hypnotists, musicians, ALL TIME LOW (Ah!!!), cheap Broadway shows, comedians and all sorts of fun things. Join the planning committees, too! It pays off.
11. Spend your money wisely. Getting an on-campus job made me super happy and independent. There is no better feeling than collecting your very own hard-earned money (and making it rain just because you can)
12. Talk to strangers! Most people are nervous and everyone hopes to make friends. Talking to people, especially in your classes, is so important. It’s always great to have the numbers of people in your classes and it’s nice to have friends to sit with in class. BUT with this said, you won’t make friends in every class and that’s okay. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
13. READ THE TAGS ON YOUR CLOTHES WHEN DOING LAUNDRY. Make sure you don’t put things in the dryer that shouldn’t go in the dryer. I shrunk a pair of pajama shorts and now they are booty shorts. I also turned a white tank top green. Read your tags. Or call your mom.
14. Keep in touch with your parents. I admit–I was crappy at this. Parents really appreciate that ten minute phone call more than you know.
15. Life moves on. Crappy things happen, amazing things happen but ultimately life is what you make it. It sounds cheesy to say, but it’s true. This doesn’t mean I won’t bitch about the crappy things along the way but this semester has taught me to relax and not worry too much.