While everyone dreaded graduation which would shove us all into the deep end of the pool known as the 'real world', I was ready to move on. That doesn't mean my heart doesn't ache any less today - the first day of school (which is, ironically, the first day of my new job) - knowing that life there is going on and I'm not there. Don't get me wrong, I love Chicago and my life here but it's hard to think that I will never be a student again.
I'm a big believer in fate, I never like to think of "what if I had done this" because everything you do leads you to where you are today and I'm happy with where I am. So, while I wouldn't actually wish that I could ever give "past me" advice, I still have been thinking of what I would say. Here's what I came up with.
1. Go to every event. All of them. I don't care how silly they seem or how boring - just go. Also, remember the words of our girl Amy "No one looks stupid when they're having fun". Never, EVER forget that.
2. Talk to as many people as you can and never stop making friends throughout your four years. Someone who you meet your first year and you think you have nothing in common with could become your best friend by senior year if you give him/her the chance.
3. Take at least one "fun" class a semester. Look at what's being offered and pick something that sounds interesting. Don't worry about how this class will affect your future diploma. Take it because you want to.
(Fun fact: I love archeology, especially Italy focused)
4. Listen to your professors. They've spent years studying what they teach you. Whether it's math, science, art, anthropology, whatever it is, it is their passion and they are experts.
6. In terms of grades, you're competing with no one but yourself. It's bound to happen that you're going to have a class you don't do well in and it's so frustrating when you have to sit and listen to that one student who completely gets it. Some people are good at some things while others are good at others. Don't compare yourself to anyone or compare grades with anyone. Also, failing one paper isn't going to prevent you from getting a job. Eat a pint of ice cream, shrug it off, figure out what you did wrong, work harder next time and MOVE ON!
7. Don't wear pajamas to class. You're going to be tired. . . a lot and wearing your comfy pajamas is going to make it harder to stay awake and pay attention. Plus, professors appreciate when you put some effort into your appearance. So brush your hair and throw jeans on!
8. Study a language. If you don't do it now, you may never have the chance or excuse to again. Also, it's a great way to convince Mom and Dad that you have to put those skills to use and so going abroad is actually necessary.
8. Don't hold grudges and if you're mad a friend tell them. No one likes drama. I know it can be hard to tell someone how you feel but it's much worse if you just let it boil up.
(Didn't have a picture for this - here's me on my very first move-in)
9. Try new things but stick to who you are. If you like to party, there will always be people you can meet who'll want to go out with you. If you don't, there are people who don't either. There's this weird assumption that everyone likes to go rage on the weekends. Not true. If you'd rather stay in ordering massive amounts of take out and binge watch Disney movies, I guarantee you there's someone else who wants that too. Don't change who you are because you want to fit in.
10. Don't sweat the small stuff and insanely plan your life. Work hard, remember that you may have to go through some hard times to get to the good, and let life lead you where you want.
To anyone out there starting or returning to school, the best of luck to you! Enjoy every second of your time because it flies by quicker than you can ever imagine.