So here I am, over a month of college in the books (literally and figuratively) and it already feels like I’ve been here forever and never actually attended high school and whatever they call organized schooling before that. It’s been a month that honestly spanned the entirety of human emotion, but its been worth it. Here, in no particular order, are some of my thoughts, tips, and anything else I deem worthy of mention during my first month of college.
- There are some weird people in college, but chances are you’re one of them. -I was told this week that I was considered the most normal person in the honors dorm…until I started playing with the textured accent wall. Clearly I’ve been hiding my weirdness far too well.
- Don’t stereotype people by their major- While making jokes related to majors is totally acceptable and actually encouraged. I came in with certain negative preconceptions about people only based off their majors and most of them were so wrong and I really like the people that I’m living and taking incredibly difficult and/or time-consuming classes with. The next 4 year with them is so exciting sounding.
- Take your time- Getting involved in activities and groups in and outside of the actual college is really important, crucial I’d say. However, don’t feel the need to jump into every single organization or activity you’re asked to join or else you will literally drown yourself in time commitments. Also, don’t feel the need to start doing all these things the second you get to college. Take some time and settle in to the new atmosphere and find things you enjoy and want to be a part of. Just because friends are doing something doesn’t mean that you have to.
- Caferteria Food is still Cafeteria Food- Yes you are now in college and cereal, chocolate milk, and ice cream are available at every meal but its still just a cafeteria. Some of the food I legitimately enjoy, but fairly frequently I go into the Caf, look around, then wish I hadn’t already used up my valuable swipe. IMPORTANT- Regardless of the taste of the food, IT WILL MESS YOU UP.
- Brian Gill was right- With the last bullet point in mind, the toilet paper is trash. If you can afford your own, do it. If you can’t just be prepared to suffer the consequences.
- Laundry is fun- I don’t understand why I enjoy laundry other than the fact I just feel responsible and independent. On the topic of laundry, do it. Otherwise you smell and no one will want to get anywhere near you. If you don’t want to do laundry, say once a week, make sure you have enough essentials (boxers) to make it through however long you it is till you want to do laundry.
- Get some sort of schedule- While it is great to be flexible and do spontaneous fun stuff in college, but if you want to pass classes without stupid amounts of anxiety-filled late night work sessions, then have a schedule. Find time everyday to do some sort of work/something productive. Don’t spend all day on work though or else you will hate life, have no friends, and still probably not have the highest grade in the class (which coming from an honors student, is completely irrelevant).
- Find a church without killing yourself- I am in the midst of the process as well as watching people I care about have the same struggle of finding a church to call home for the next few years. It can be very difficult and incredibly stressful. I personally have had to come to grips that I am not going to find a church that is exactly like The Hills and has everything I want. Even more recently I had expressed to me the necessity of balancing the “church shopping” consumer mindset, with “where can I serve and be needed in a church.” I want to find a church that will fill me when I go and has opportunities for community outside of Sundays and Wednesdays, but I also want to find a church that has a place for me to not simply receive but to give. It really is a difficult process that once its over and you’ve found the right place I guarantee it’ll have been worth the effort.
- Questions Abound- I have questioned my life more in the past month than I think I have ever before. Is that a bad thing? I really don’t think so. It’s a growing experience to see who am and what God has in store for my life. It’s not a lack of plans that’s scary, it’s the abundance of plans down a plethora of different paths that is intimidating. Also being at a Christian college I’m being presented the opportunity to not simply take my faith for granted but to have new view and ideas being presented to me and I have to decide what it is I believe. That’s pretty stressful but I think it’s necessary for a real faith to blossom.
- Make friends that matter- Making real friends has been one of my biggest worries thus far. I’m worried I’m doing something wrong because I’m not constantly surrounded by the same large group of new people and we do everything together. Part of it’s my personality that I don’t like to socially be a follower. I tend to be in a position of leadership in a group or else I don’t really like being in the group. But I also don’t think I want or need a bunch of new superficial friendships. I want meaningful relationships with people where we can talk about the deep stuff that lasts. Part of the problem is that those friendships rarely (I can say never is incorrect from experience) happen in such a short span of time as the first month. So my advice for myself and for anyone else is to look for those friendships as they begin to form, but don’t freak out if it takes time.
- Eat well(ish), Sleep(sometimes), Exercise(When you feel like it)- Try your best to be healthy but realize sometimes you will epically fail at one or more of these things in a day and that you will recover because you are young, but don’t make it a habit.
- Have fun- This is the easy part honesty. College is fun as long as you have the right mind set going in.
I’ve probably got more thoughts on the subject but I think I’m done with this blog as I am currently failing at the getting sleep portion of health. Just know that college for me is exciting and challenging and emotional but I’m absolutely fine with it all because I know it’s part of the process of growing as a person and as a Man of God. I don’t know how to end this so..