Sunday, August 25, 2013

What I Would Tell Freshman Erin

Welp, tomorrow is my first day of my last year of grad school!!  18th grade Baybeeee!!  Woot woot!  FI-NA-LEEE!  I feel like I've been in school since I was, well, 3 months old?  I can't believe I'm going to be a 5th year grad student at TCNJ!  I can say in all honesty that these past years flew by at a bionic speed!  Mach 1 to put it in calibrated terms.  Obviously, this means that I'm reminiscing about my good ol' college days of yesteryear.  I had a blast in college!  I made great lifelong friendships, learned amazing recipes (thank you CG for popcorn and M& changed for the BETTER!), learned what the best cheap wines were (Barefoot!  Verdi!) and learned how to make a healthy and delicious meal out of Eick cafeteria food.  (Very hard if you were wondering)  Most importantly I learned a lot of life lessons.  If I could do college over again would I change anything?  Yup, you bet I would!  But, alas, one cannot.  I mean I know that every choice I made ultimately led me to this point in my life and I couldn't be happier so I guess I made the right choices along the way.  Here is a list of things I would have done differently.

1) CHILL THE EFF OUT!  Seriously I need to remind my extreme Type A personality of this motto at least 8 times a day.  At LEAST!  I take everything too seriously.  I was that girl that read every page, took excruciatingly detailed notes (on the upside I learned my own short hand and can write like a BOSS in it) and never missed a class no matter how late I was up.  Why was I up late?  Partying?  Watching movies?  Nope, studying lol.  Dork!  I would definitely learn to chill out.  Life will not end if you don't read every last banal word of 1491, Guns Germs & Steel, & Three Kings.  Life will go on.  And honestly?  Life would be better if I hadn't read those books in their entirety.  Did my profs ever ask me what specifically happened on page 1498987869?  No.  Never.

2) You're Not Too Cool to rewear an outfit.  I went four years and never repeated an outfit.  That is a sickness Erin not something to be proud of.

3) Don't eat the pizza in Eick.  It does not taste good.  Stick with your chicken and broccoli for 2 meals a day.

4) You know you will have a lifelong friend when someone casually tells you about their 'nocs.  This friend also shares your penchant for teenaged pregnancy specials on MTV.  These are good people.

5) Knocking on doors looking for friends is a good way to meet people on your second day of college.  Did you look desperate?  Probably.  Did you care?  Nope!  You'll meet my bff and 3 year roomie because of it.

6) When that random guy at the hair salon says you should date his should date his son.  There are always lessons to be learned and let's face it, even if it didn't go as you wanted it to then, you will have a freaking blast!

7) Classy dates and balls > frat parties.

8) Go to one frat party.  You will NEVER go to one because you think frat guys are scuzzy.  You are correct in your assumption but you probably should have gone to at least one.

9) Learn to integrate your friendships better.  Merging friendships from home with your new college friends is HARD!  Work on it and improve because bad things happen when you don't know how to do this well.

10) FRIENDS is a great conversation starter and you will meet one of your bffs because you said you liked her "Friends mug".

11) Drink the black coffee the night before your African History Exam.  You will need it.

12) Put your personal life before your school work.  This may seem like you're single handedly putting the women's movement back 1,000 years but people>everything.  RELAX!  You will still have a 3.7 GPA after these semesters.  Some things are more important than...brace yourself...reading every word of your Ancient Religion texts.  SHOCKING!

13) Tell off the Frat Boy because he deserves it.  *Note* I'm not saying all frat boys are gross and this is about a specific individual.

14) Date the guys that are "Not your type".  Every relationship is either a blessin' or a lesson.  Every date teaches you something.  Will all your dates leave you reaching for the Double Stuffed Oreos?  HELL NO!  You will learn a lot of really valuable (even academically applicable) facts, lessons, and tidbits from guys you'll date.  Just because a relationship ended doesn't mean you can't dissect the good and use it.  (I should listen to this piece of advice more often)  Sometimes guys that aren't your type are good for you.  They can be like the sorbet dish, a palate refresher, something to get that taste out of your mouth.

15) When someone invites you over to watch a movie and have a Girls' Nite...ALWAYS SAY YES!  This is something you will always do.  You will rarely cancel plans with girlfriends or turned down the opportunity to watch a chick flick, eat junk food, and drink wine (after 21...yes you are that much of a good girl and will wait until you're 21) because before you know it college is over and real life sets in and you have to plan Girls' Nites.  Some of the best bonding you'll ever do will come out of your Girls' Nites.  You will have work in the am but So. Freakin. What?  Be Tired.  Live your life.

16) Race That Nightstand Down The Hall Sophomore Year.  Yes you're going to get in BIG trouble from your overly cautious CA but...c'est la vie.  It's fun and you will get to video tape his reaction.  HAAAALLAAARREEEEUS!

17) Delete Negative People.  You won't miss them.

18) Don't Bite Off More Than You Can Chew.  Senior year spring semester you will work three jobs.  Why?  Because you're an idiot!  You will also try to hold down your school work and try to have some semblance of a social life and guess what?  You will be miserable!  You will have breakdowns every day because you only slept about 4 hours a night and life was crazy.  This is a bad choice.

19) Just Say No.  Yes college is a time to try every option, go after every opportunity presented to you, take every job/internship/challenge presented to you, but SERIOUSLY DON'T!  Part of life is enjoying life and you can't enjoy it on 4 hours of sleep.  Trust me, you will try.

20) Travel.  You will travel a lot in college and you'll love it!  You'll go to NOLA twice, Nashville, DC, NYC, Disney, & Maryland.  You will want to study abroad but certain reasons (your program and...ok you'll admit it...a failed romance) keeps you in NJ all 5 years.  Now you would have sucked up the summer classes, winter sessions, and overloaded semesters for a chance to study abroad.  Also, whenever the option to visit a friend at their school arises-TAKE IT!  All colleges are different and all student bodies are different.  It's a cool change of pace.

21) Really good things are right outside your comfort zone.  You know it's a cliche but it's true.  The great thing about college is that it really is a free for all.  People are there to find themselves (or lose themselves.  It's really your choice) and you'll find that the more people judge you the more they wish they could have your _______________.   You'll make some really good friends and have a blast in a class where you don't know a soul and a group of girls kind of adopts you.  You'll end up working really well together and put together "The Best Project I've Seen Since I Started Teaching Here," according to your professor.  So do it!  Take the risk and be uncomfortable.

22) Don't Quote Romantic Comedies/Use Them As Examples In Your History Class.  When you wear an obscene amount of pink and start quoting The Devil Wears Prada people will judge you and you will lose credibility.

23) Be Friends With The People In Your Major.  Get ALONG!  These are, as Grey's Anatomy would say, Your Persons.  They are the only people on that campus who know what you're going through academically.

24) Bitching Is A Great Way To Make Friends.  The best and most effective way to make friends at college is to bitch about the workload of a class.  You will 99.99% of the time get the response, "I know right?  Like do they even care that we have 3 other classes, and I have 4 jobs, and I am president of 14 clubs, and chair of 22 committees?"  If you get the response of, "No, actually I would like to read not only 1491 but also 1492,"  RUN AWAY FROM THIS PERSON! THEY ARE NOT YOUR KIND...ALSO THEY'RE PROBABLY ZERO FUN.  You don't need that.  Bleck!

25) Everyone Thinks They Are Busier Than You.  Some really are and some are fictitiously making up clubs just to one up you.  Relax and breathe.  Also laugh when this happens because some of the things people make up are freaking fantastic!  Laugh.  Breathe.  Enjoy.

26) Research What There Really Is To Do Around Your School.  TCNJ is great academically but socially there is nothing to do.  You are not a huge fan of sitting around for hours doing nothing but hanging out.  You like to go places and see things and do fun stuff.  TCNJ doesn't really have a town or anything to do.  Well, unless you want to go hang out in Trenton?  #LOLZ

27) When In Doubt, Sit Next To People That Look Like You.  Is this narcissistic?  Absolutely!  However  it is 100% true!  It's actually a psychological defense mechanism.  You are lucky enough to meet some really nice people because of this.

28) Always Risk Getting Your Heartbroken.  Even though it sucks and hurts and you think you're gonna die, you won't!  You will be sad for a long time but you'll never regret going out on that limb and hoping that you don't get crushed.  Will you get crushed?  Multiple times.  Will you try again?  Yup. Has it worked out?  Not yet, but practice makes perfect right?

29) Read Patterns.  ID a pattern in people, life, professors teaching styles, friendships, cafeteria food rotation, relationships, everything.  As a newly minted history major you can attest to the fact that yes, indeed history does repeat itself.  ID patterns in professors' grading tendencies and use this to help write your essays!  You will do well because of this.

30) Watch Popular TV Shows.  This will give you more conversational topics before class and make you seem like a normal human.  Also watch The Office because it will help you make friends with a LOT more people.

31) Making Muddybuddies in a trash bag on a rainy Saturday is a good idea.  It's gross and déclassé but oh so yummy!

32) Put Your Phone Down!  If you want to meet friends in your class maybe you shouldn't be texting people that are not there.  Just a thought!

33) Just Because Someone Is Looking At Your Cake in FYE Cake Decorating Does Not Mean They Want To Copy It!  However you will meet a fabulous friend because you snarled at her.  So thankful first impressions are not everything and aren't always correct!

34) Use Your Student Discount.  You're not cool because you spent full price at Loft.  You are a tool.  Use the discount.

35) Buy Rainboots Prior To College.  Pink Hunters forever!! The best, most used purchase you will have ever made.  (or received for Christmas)

36) Midnight Roadtrips to Sonic Are Necessary!  As long as everyone is capable of driving you should always go!  This girl needs tots at 11:30 pm.

37) You Will Miss WaWa.  WaWa is a luxury and you should treat it as such.  Don't worry, though, fall of 2010 you will find it in Princeton and visit weekly.

38) Budget!  Shopping doesn't heal all wounds.  It makes you broke.  You don't need to own the Loft.

39) Embrace Awkward.  Everyone falls, everyone drops things, everyone spills.  In college people actually laugh with you not at you.  When awkward things happen, bow/curtsey and people will laugh with you not at you.

40) Be Happy!  Happiness is not always guaranteed and it's easy to woe-is-me all day.  Your life is awesome.  You have people that love you, a house, a car, a lot of pink stuff, food, clean water, music, books, TV, and a lot to look forward to.  Suck it up and move on.

41) Skirts & Wind Don't Mix.  I don't think I have to say anymore...

42) Don't grill cucumbers.  They do NOT taste good.

43) Don't die your hair brown.  You don't have the coloring for it.  You will look like the "Performing Arts Piece" in the SATC episode where Carrie meets The Russian.

This became a much longer list than I had originally anticipated but that's okay.  I guess I learned a lot!

Cheers to grad school!!


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