What I Learned First Semester at an SEC School

Monday, December 3, 2012

{my inspiration board}

Tomorrow is my last day of classes of first semester (before finals) and I've been thinking about what I learned over the course of the semester. I've come so far from the timid little girl in a brand new dress staring out at a new town and a big future. I've lived on my own for a semester. I've survived a 300 person class and sorority rush. I've eaten equal amounts alone and with company in the dining halls. I've made friends that I will probably be sending Christmas cards to for the rest of my life. Friends that might be in my wedding some day. But that's a long way away. Here's what I've learned up to present in 50 short easy lessons:
  1. Wear comfortable shoes during rush. And bring blotting wipes, mini deodorant, and a snack.
  2. Don't be afraid to take 8 AM's. Starting earlier means ending earlier.
  3. Map out your route to class and figure in lunch times, at least for your first week.
  4. Don't get discouraged when you don't make it into a club or organization. Just keep sending in applications to stuff until you finally get one. 
  5. Leave 15-20 minutes early for everything. 
  6. Keep peanut butter and pretzels in your room at all times.  
  7. Bring a car on campus if you are allowed to.
  8. Know who your physician is and where your insurance card is.
  9. Keep your door open and make friends with your neighbors in the dorm.
  10. Get to know your professors: go to office hours and ask questions in class. 
  11. Foster a good relationship with your roommate. You never know when you need to call her to come pick you up from the emergency room. (Not that that's happened to me, exactly...)
  12. Don't be afraid to call home every night.
  13. Get a credit card and start building credit. And always pay off your monthly balance. 
  14. Seek out upperclassmen from your high school that go to your college and pepper them with questions.
  15. Know where the nearest Fro Yo, Starbucks (or Jittery Joe's), Target, and Kroger are.
  16. Make new friends, but don't dump your old. 
  17. Go on every date night. And get set up with blind dates.
  18. Explore the town your college is in. (Athens has so many amazing, artsy scenes to witness)
  19. Put up Christmas lights in your dorm room. 
  20. Be kind to everyone you meet. That boy you blew off in the pasta line may end up being your lab partner. 
  21. Don't get discouraged three weeks in when you aren't best friends with everyone in your pledge class. Being in a sorority is great, but it doesn't mean automatic friends. To have friends you have to be a friend. 
  22. Decorate your dorm room. Twinkly lights. Garland. Photographs. A giant picture of Audrey Hepburn.
  23. Go to class. Cliche, but so true. College, despite what your peers will tell you, is first and foremost for learning and getting a good degree.
  24. Find an outlet to battle the homesickness: get out of the dorms, go for a run, go study, go grab yourself a Starbucks. 
  25. Don't go home every weekend. Weekends are great for exploring your college town!
  26. Go to as many socials as you can make. I regret skipping the last few.
  27. Make friends with boys. 
  28. Invest in cowboy boots and a Lilly dress.
  29. Learn to shag. And take swing dancing lessons. (The boys here know how to dance. Know how to keep up.)
  30. Don't sign up for a class because it looks easy. Because it will probably turn out to be a lot harder than you expected.
  31. Get a Netflix account.
  32. Paint canvases for your dorm room with inspirational quotes.
  33. Buy larges in everything. And start shopping in the men's department for oxfords and flannels and sweaters. And boxer shorts. 
  34. Get involved in a bible study or small group; it's a great way to meet people and take a break from studying during the week. 
  35. Know what classes to take in order to stay on track for graduation. UGA has this great resource called UGA Bulletin where you can check out every class needed to graduate with any degree. 
  36. Exercise.
  37. Don't buy a lot of useless (pardon my French) crap for your dorm room. Hanging journal caddy for your bed? Falls out every time you pull your sheets out. Plastic boxes for storage? Your dorm room is a lot smaller that you think it will be. Trust me.
  38. Go to every football game. And wear sunscreen and stay hydrated. And get to the stadium early (like an hour) so you can actually sit in the student section.
  39. Start tailgating early. But don't stress over game day. Just enjoy the organized chaos.
  40. Get a towel wrap. Monogram it if you're feeling preppy.
  41. Wear comfortable clothes to class. Athletic shorts and leggings will be your best friends. 
  42. Invest in comfortable walking shoes.
  43. Journal. Or start a blog!! It will be fun to go back and read about how far you've come.
  44. Don't buy "back-to-school" clothes. You'll end up only wearing leggings and big tee shirts and sneakers and by the time the Freshman 15 (it's a real thing. unfortunately.) rolls around you won't fit into those brand new jeans.
  45. Don't get behind in your classes. And don't wait until the night before to study for a test. You will hate yourself.
  46. Have your parents buy you groceries when you go home or when they visit. And get the Kraft Easy Mac, not the Kroger brand. Hey, they're paying. 
  47. Buy several packs of white tube socks. 
  48. Monogram all your sheets and towels. And anything else monogram-able. (Book bag? Oxford? Water bottle? Skin?)
  49. Take advantage of an all you can eat meal plan. But maybe don't eat desert with every meal. (Not that I've done that...)
  50. And finally: don't be afraid to be yourself. No one knows you in college, so feel free to make a clean start. 

{currently listening to}

my Fraturday Night Playlist:
(know these songs and be able to dance to them...)

Footloose - Kenny Loggins
Rich Girl - Hall & Oats
Shout - Lulu and the Luuvers
Dancing in the Moonlight - King Harvest
I Want You Back - Jackson 5
(What A) Wonderful World - Sam Cooke
Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy - The Tams
Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
Boogie Shoes - KC & The Sunshine Band

{currently reading}

Favorite Athens Blogs

And to all my fellow freshman during exam week, may the curve be ever in your favor.

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