1. Eating before drinking is very important. Very important.
2. You can always know if someone is a real friend by how they act when you are successful. Real friends will be genuinely happy and excited, and you will know because it feels real and amazing.
3. Pay attention to what you’re doing and add water to your microwavable mac and cheese before actually putting it in the microwave (and turning it on), unless you want to almost burn down the microwave and be a huge inconvenience to your roommate.
4. Sharing a room with someone is not easy, but it can definitely be fun.
5. Don’t go out without knowing how you’ll get back, unless you want to wait out in the cold for a cab that may or may not show up.
6. Ramen gets old fast, and after eating nothing else but ramen for an entire weekend you can literally (not really) feel the sodium in your veins.
7. You will gain weight.
8. You will lose touch with friends from home. It hurts, but it might even be for the best. Growing up means losing a couple of friends, and maybe even realizing who your real friends were all along.
9. You will develop a caffeine addiction. In high school, I needed coffee to help me study. Now, I need it just so I won’t get a headache (this is so sad, I am 18).
10. “When the days feel too long, walk faster.”
11. You may not figure out yet what you want in life, and that’s perfectly normal. To quote my most recent obsession, “I thought being an adult meant knowing what you believe, but that has not been my experience.” – Hazel’s dad in The Fault in Our Stars.
12. That being said, there’s no better feeling that knowing that even though you still have a lot to figure out, you like where you are at the moment, and that you’re walking towards your goals.
13. Long distance relationships are hard, and just love is not enough. You need communication, honesty, and a strong desire to make things work. Really, if you are in it halfheartedly you might as well just drop it.
14. There will be some days when you feel like there’s absolutely no way you will finish everything you have to do. You will get through them.
15. There will be some weeks when you have 5 tests, 2 essays, and 3 group projects due. You will feel like you’re going to die. You won’t. You will get through them. With lots of coffee. And ice cream.
16. However, you have the same number of hours in a day as Beyoncé. You got this.
17. If you are an international student, people will ask really weird questions. For example, this semester I gave a seminar on my country Panama, and someone asked me what steps we were taking to fight erosion. I was surprised to receive such a specific question, but then I realized he was basically asking me if we weren’t afraid Panama was going to disappear (because we are basically a stretched isthmus, but for the record, the ocean is not on the verge of swallowing us all).
18. “You will dream about getting out of your hometown and you will miss it when you finally do.” (And then you’ll come home again and get bored).
19. The feeling you get when you drop your drink as soon as you finished paying for it is a particularly painful one.
20. One of the hardest things to agree about with your roommate is the temperature of the room. Or you can just wait until they fall asleep and then change it to whatever you want. (Kidding… kind of).
21. Growing up sucks, and one day you will wake up and panic because you didn’t ask for any of this and you would much rather go back to being 10 and watching Recess and having your mom drive you to dance class. You will be fine.
22. A lot of people say that when you’re in college the real learning happens outside the classroom, and yes, it is true that college is a unique experience that will end up shaping who you will become, but that does not make your actual knowledge any less valuable. There may never be another time when your main responsibility is just to learn. Once you start finding subjects you really care about, you realize how amazing learning is. Besides that, it’s an enormous privilege, and you should really take advantage of the opportunity to submerge yourself in everything you’re passionate about.
23. Your interests may not be in the same area at all, and college is great because you get to explore them all. Where else will you be able to walk from your physics lab to your dance class and then to your creative writing workshop?
24. Cold Turkey, Self Control or any other app that blocks your access to selected websites (Tumblr…) works wonders.
25. No one remembers the nights they got plenty of sleep, but no one remembers the days, either. Wake up. Waking up at 3 pm is just not worth it.
26. Bob’s Burgers is the best show ever. Your friends may not agree with this. They’re dumb.
27. Don’t skip class regularly. Your bed, or Netflix, or whatever it is you feel is more interesting than lecture will still be there when you come back, and it’s probably costing you a lot of money anyway. You just can’t get a good grade in a class if you don’t show up for it.
28. If you wouldn’t do it sober, you might not want to do it drunk.
29. Naps taken between classes are glorious.
30. People WILL take your clothes out the washing machine or dryer if you are not there the second it stops.
31. Don’t leave your detergent or dryer sheets or hamper in the laundry room if you ever want to see any of these items again.
32. The past is not as good as you remember it, and the future will not be as scary as you think. Enjoy now.
33. Adventure is out there.
34. Remember college is more than studying, and 10 years from now you won’t remember that test but that impromptu road trip might be one of your favorite college memories.
35. Your body cannot subsist solely on ramen, mac and cheese, water, and coffee. Eat real food and you will feel a lot better. Whole wheat bread with peanut butter and sliced bananas is super easy to make, and it’s a great breakfast because PROTEIN and it’s also super yummy. Also, eating pasta every day is SO GOOD but probably not very healthy.
36. People that help you move out of your dorm room and carry your stuff are true friends and probably angels straight from heaven.
37. You might have to sleep on the library floor once or twice.
38. One alarm is not enough. I have like 8: to wake up, to get out of the shower, to get breakfast, to start walking… Whatever works.
39. “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt. This quote got me through literally all of my classes (especially physics and statics). Google and solutions manuals are your best friends.
40. Sometimes it ends up different and it is better that way.