Flying from the Nest
So, it’s your first day at your college. The halls are teeming with people and your mind is reeling with possibilities. Your father is pulling out of his parking space while your mother holds back tears at seeing her baby go away. You might be a little nervous, but you overcome that fear soon enough. You’re in college now, and somehow more mature than you were yesterday.
This beautiful painting of what moving into your college dormitory feels like was what I had in mind when I ventured onto the campus of the University of California, Irvine. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly how my move-in day went. It was less of me being a proud and strong-willed university student and more of me being…well…much like an anxiety-filled puppy in the middle of Times Square.
Surviving the Jungle
I assure you, the year got much better from there. After getting the hang of washing my own laundry, I realized I could conquer the world-with or without free food from my parents. Your first year of college will be an emotional roller coaster, filled with new friends, cool discoveries, and at least one weird hall mate. Here are some tips for the young adults entering college from someone who’s just about to exit it:
1. Make friends with your roommate. It’s a lot easier to approach a friend about an issue you’re having than an enemy.
2. On the same token, make friends with your hall mates. You’ll be seeing a lot of them, and it’s much easier to visit a friend that’s one floor above you than one across campus. Trust me.
3. Set a timer on your phone for laundry. A lot of dorms allow students to take out clothes that have sat in the machines more than 10 minutes, and when that happens, things get stolen. One good friend of mine had all of her jeans stolen after she left her stuff in the dryer too long.
4. Don’t treat dinner as a contest. Yes, the dining hall is buffet-style. No, that does not mean you should eat two of everything.
5. Exploit the free stuff your university offers. This can be anything from the gym to the counseling center to the study lounge to the freebies given out in the student center. Use all of it at least once.
6. Do some studying. Everyone loves to hang out with friends, even someone like me who holes herself up in her room. Just keep an eye on your grades as well.
7. Buy Nutella. Don’t even ask me why. Just do it.
And last, but not least:
8. Call your mother. She misses you. Even if she acts like she doesn’t.