Its that time of year again. The weather gets just a bit colder (then immediately hotter...stupid southern prairies), the green of the land gets a little bit browner and school starts back up again. To many kids in grades 1 to 12...ok maybe 7 to 12...it is a time of agony. And schools don't make in any easier by starting earlier and earlier each year. But for the kids who have graduated high school, it is a time of great mystery and excitement. They get to go to college. Being in my third year at Briercrest College, the excitement lies in seeing all the people you met in the previous years and discovering how many of the kids on the hall you don't know. But for freshman, its a whole new world. For some of these, its scary. And I can understand that. New friends, new teachers, new home, almost a new life. But I am here to tell you that it is the most refreshing thing you will ever experience. It's like a breath of fresh air. No, better yet, its like a breath of pure oxygen. None of that stupid nitrogen.
I can think back onto my first year. I was finally surrounded by people who wanted to hang out with me and do stuff I liked, and I wanted to be around them. Learning stuff that I liked and would directly aid my future. It. Was. AWESOME. But I also can see that there was places in which I could have done things differently. Not that I would, because I am tickled peachy on how things have turned out, but some things that I can warn others to watch out for or do.
See where I'm going with this?
College is a time to figure out who you are. But I have discovered a few universally applicable things that will aid in your journey.
1. Get out. Where? Anywhere. Just don't hide in your room and wait for people. Don't get me wrong, I love my alone time, but to develop relationships with people and figure out which people you like and which ones you want to either avoid or duck tape takes experimentation. So talk to everyone you can. Hang out with people you normally wouldn't. Just go do something.
2. Buy Christmas lights. Dorms can be very dim, especially if you live in a dungeon like basement. Like me. Want some cheap lights that don't turn people into epileptics? The warm glow of Christmas lights are perfect. I have bought a strand of 70 (I think) for each year I've been here. So I have 2 strands. But they're great for times when its night (which actually happens a lot) or you don't want it to be really bright. Also great for movies. And Christmas.
3. Drink coffee. I know its not everyones cup of tea...mainly because its coffee, but you can't avoid it. It will find you. Besides, what are you gonna do when someone (especially if its a very pretty lady) asks if you want to go get some coffee?
"Sorry, I don't drink coffee."
4. Meet girls. Yes, I realize this is more for the guys. But don't be the guy who has no friends that are girls. Because girls are awesome. You will discover that its essential to have girl friends (not girlfriends) to balance dude stupidity. Dupidity (as I will now call it) is present in all guys and is the inner voice that tells us to laugh at fart jokes and punch each other. Controlled, this is fine. Left unchecked, however, and it creates in us the "too old for high school" guy. Those are the guys who you look at and think, "When they will ever grow up?" Don't be that guy. Hang out with girls.
5. Be yourself. Cliche? Oh muchly yes. True? Very. College gives us opportunities to figure out who we are and experiment, but remember who you are. College is different than high school in that any disguises are seen through right away. So don't pretend to be someone your not to impress people. The beauty of college is that you will find people who like you for you. Everyone is basically an equal, no matter year or age or whatever. No more cliques or bullies or popular kids. You can actually do what you do and avoid mockery or judgement. You're free. See? Breath of pure oxygen.
If you remember these 5 tips, you'll be good to go. You'll be able to make the most of your college experience and be able to look back on these years with fondness and appreciation.
Oh ya, doing assignments and tests and stuff is kinda important too. You know, for your career and such. So do that too.