I remember fondly my first year of college. I remember the first time I had to sleep in a room with a person who I didn’t really know, how I had to remember to wear flip flops in the shower, and the joy of being able to eat anything I wanted in the buffet style cafeteria. My freshman year was bliss. I also remember not having some things I needed. Like, who knew that my closet wouldn’t come with hangers and that they’d be a necessity because the chest only had three drawers in it? At least our beds were standard twin size so the sheets I bought fit, but now more and more dorm rooms are using that specially sized dorm bedding. I was more than glad I’d talked my neighbor into borrowing the mini fridge that belonged in their camper because my roommate didn’t have one. Don’t get me started about having to drape my towel over the back of my desk chair. Our dorm room could really have used a towel rack.
And the worst part? The cold tile floor of my dorm room in the morning. Our area rug didn’t reach all the way between both of our beds, so there was at least a foot of space between the rug and the side of the beds. My fuzzy slippers were a life saver most mornings. Being a bit of a slob, the desk my room came with was always full of junk, and you’d never find me sitting at it to do my work. I was more likely to be sitting, very uncomfortably, on my bed with my back against the cold cinderblock wall. I would have loved to have a lap desk and back rest, or even a body pillow.
Back in the dark ages before WiFi when I went to college, there were a total of four outlets in our dorm rooms, and we had to actually use wires to connect to the Internet. The powerstrip my roommate had thankfully brought made it so that we could use the fridge, microwave, coffee maker, AND laptops at the same time.
The transition to college life can be scary. It can also be exhilarating. Your first chance to be an adult can be heady stuff. What will your classes be like? Will you make friends? Should you declare your major right away or do you want to take a bunch of classes to find out what interests you first? College is a place where you meet people with whom you may have nothing in common but for your choice of school, and they can end up being your lifelong friends. You’ll be challenged in ways you never dreamed of, and worlds of information will just open up before you. There’s no way to learn it all.
If you don’t have a car, you’ll want to befriend somebody with one so that you can go explore your new town. College towns usually have some great funky stores that you won’t want to miss, and there will be at least one restaurant that you won’t know how you lived without before. You’ll spend some of the best years of your life getting to know yourself as an individual through your classes and through your interactions with all the new people you’ll meet.
The biggest piece of advice I wish I’d gotten my first semester? No classes before 9AM. Your alarm clock will be your enemy. Trust me.
Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2015