Thursday, September 6, 2012

Guest Post: What I l Learned My First Week in College

This is Megan. I've lived next door to her since she was a smart little girl with her nose buried in a "Nancy Drew" book. This week I received an email from her  2700 miles away from home. She is a freshman at a college on the east coast and I had asked her to send me her thoughts on what she's learned so far. 

So on a lovely afternoon in a bucolic setting when she was feeling a little homesick (and literally sick with a headcold), this is what she wrote me. We've never had a guest post here on The Happygirl but there was so much wisdom here that I knew we had to publish this.

For all of you college freshmen out there, this is for you. (And parents, this is for you too. Remember how you felt your first time away from home? And before you go there, try not to think of the things you did. Your kid is probably smarter than you were.)

when I asked Megan why she was bringing her tap shoes to college 
she said "Um, so I can tap." Right.

1) When you move away to college, BRING COLD MEDICINE. When you feel horrible far away from home, you don't want to have to spend the time figuring out where to get something. Just come prepared to feel ill sometimes. (happygirl note: Parents, in your next care package, send cold medicine in addition to mom's Magic Bars and that card with the $5 mad money from grandma. Before Megan left, I advised her to find out where the health center is before she needs it. And don't be afraid to use it.)

2) Tide Pods are the best for doing laundry! No messy detergent, just a little packet you stick in with your laundry! And colleges now allow you to monitor online if the washers and dryers in your building are free, and how many minutes are left on them. You can also receive email notifications when your loads are done or the machine is free. So cool! (happygirl note: Nice update. We had to sit in the laundry rooms while our laundry was being done or it got moved. Parents, toss some Tide pods into that care package.)

3) Naps are a life-saver. A few minutes here and there can really help and keep you from getting sick (Do what I say, not what I do...) (happygirl note: Set a timer on your phone for 15 minutes or you just might miss that Introduction to Lit class.)

4) EAT. Another probable cause for me being sick is that I just stopped eating because it's a lot of work to go to the dining hall, and sometimes I'd just forget. But make time, or else it's hard to concentrate and you feel terrible. Or at least have good snacks. (happygirl note: Try to combine a protein with a carb for snacks i.e. a green apple + 10 almonds to keep you on track.)

5) It's okay to miss home. I sure do. But talking to my parents always makes me feel better.

6) Talk to your grandparents too. They're super happy to know what's up.

7) For the sake of all that is holy do not drink too much. I'm not drinking at all. Some kids rolled in around 2 on Wednesday night from drinking at a frat. Why on a school night?! (happygirl note: And like I advised Megan, NEVER drink from an open container that someone hands you. NEVER. EVER.)

8) Find something that excites you. I'm auditioning for a dance company on Friday and I'm so excited for it!! Plus my Spanish class is great. (happygirl note: She made it!)

9) Talk to professors. Not that I've really done that much yet, but they seem like normal, cool people so having a relationship with them seems very important! (happygirl note: Your professors have office hours. Take advantage of this. Introduce yourself. Don't be that girl who meets her professor for the first time crying because she's just not getting the theories in classical electromagnetism.)

10) Do cool stuff! I went to a pep rally the other night and it was really fun! And on a somewhat related tangent, food brings people together, so sharing snacks and conversation is important! (happygirl note: My husband told me that during his freshmen year in college he was determined to meet one new person a day. I suggested that Megan try to do this by not sitting in the same place in the library or cafeteria each time and to also try and join 1 social club, 1 acadamic club and 1 sports club to meet different types of people.)

11) Buying textbooks sucks. Renting is awesome and for some people ebooks work, but I hate them. 

12) Be fun. Don't be afraid to talk to people, because most of them are fairly normal and quite nice! But also, if someone makes you uncomfortable, by all means avoid them. (Happygirl note: Follow your gut instincts. They are always right. And if you are walking back to your dorm by yourself late at night don't be afraid to call campus security for an escort.)

13) Respect your roommate. I mean I do have a pretty awesome roommate, but still. That is an important relationship, even if you aren't best friends. (happygirl note: Ask before you decide to borrow something of your roommate's, that includes clothes, food and boys.)

14) (so that I don't end on 13) Apparently college is a time to grow and have the time of your life and all. I'm not sure if that's what's happening yet, but I think it will come without me knowing. Right now at the beginning things are rough, but it will get better. Focus on school; you're here to learn, but have fun too. (happygirl note, you're a smart girl, Megan. This is going to be great! And your parents? Well, they're doing good. They miss you and I am pretty sure they are counting the days until Christmas break. See you then! )

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