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Sunday, July 5, 2015
Survival KitPosted Friday, September 10, 2010, at 8:19 AM
My baby brother is no longer a baby. A legal adult, he stands almost a foot taller than me and has the ability to put me in a chokehold before I figure out what's going on. I'm almost seven years older than him, but it seems the older we get, the more he takes on the "big brother" role. He's starting his first semester at college, and while my parents are battling Empty Nest Syndrome, I've decided the best thing that I can offer is advice from my own college experiences. Publicly. Because I can.
Meet as many people as you can. You're living on campus with people from all walks of life, and it's very interesting to sift through the melting pot. These are the people who are going to help shape who you become and what you decide to do. Don't be too quick to judge someone; everyone wears a mask. Most of the people I didn't like ended up being some of my closest friends once we broke through the facades. In the same sense, some people will try to be your best friend, but they won't have your best interest at heart. Believe them when they show you who they are.
Coffee will be your new best friend. By the time I was a Junior at MSU, I was able to fully function with just two hours of sleep. This includes studying, working, and operating heavy-metal machinery. Learn your tolerance for caffeine. It's extremely difficult to function properly when you develop a twitch.
Every professor thinks his class is the most important class in the universe. It doesn't matter what your major is. I majored and minored in Communication, but somehow my chemistry professor thought my future depended on my ability to name every element. *Note to Chemistry Professor: I've yet to build a proton out of thin air, I still don't care about electrons, and I didn't turn into a hobo because of it, thank you.*
You can always go home. If you're stressed, if you're bored, if you're homesick, you can always go home. If you graduate after the economy tanks, and no one will hire you, you can move home if need be. (Although, just because you move home doesn't mean your bedroom will be there. It may have mysteriously turned into an office.) We are lucky enough to have parents who will always welcome us, but don't get comfortable; there are things in the world meant for you, and you won't see them if you're hanging out in Mom's living room. It's tough transitioning from a teenager to an adult, and sometimes it gets exhausting. Go home, reboot, then head back out into the world.
You may keep friendships from high school, and you may not. High school doesn't allow you to truly figure out who you are, so it's no surprise if you don't keep in touch. It's no one's fault, it's just life. Then again, you may come full circle and develop a stronger relationship later on. The most beautiful part of my oldest friendships is knowing who we used to be gave way into who we are now.
College is your first glimpse into yourself. You'll mess up. You'll break hearts. Your heart will get broken, and you'll want to break someone's face. You'll buy a dog and decide potty training is more difficult than people let you believe. You'll learn to live off Ramen Noodles because Spring Break was a little more expensive than you thought. You'll crave Mom's home cooking and wish Dad could send barbeque in the mail. You'll figure out quickly that Dawn doesn't work in the dishwasher. If you rear-end the mail lady, Dad WILL notice the dent in your car, and playing dumb will only make him mad. If you need cash, Dad won't have any because I used it all. You better call Mom once in a while, or she will call your friends because she thinks you're dead. Don't turn your phone off, or Dad will think you're dead. Don't take road trips in old vehicles--they break down. Name brands are the best, but you can only afford the Wal-Mart brand. If your bank statement has a minus sign, your debit card will quit working soon after. Mom and Dad know when you're lying, and Dad likes to play along so he can watch you catch yourself in that lie; he'll think it's funny, you won't. If your smoke alarm doesn't work, you won't know when dinner is done. I'll be keeping tabs on your Facebook, so do with that what you will. If you suspect you have food poisoning, don't venture to class; you will vomit, and you're classmates will hate you. And finally, cops never think a situation is as funny as you do.
Have fun, good luck, and if you need me, I'm here.
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Follow the events of a young, single female who just graduated college and is looking for the next chapter to begin. The Fabulous Chronicles of an Average Bombshell looks at what life is like for a young woman in her 20's, living in a small town, who has nothing in common with her friends: she's not interested in marriage, she wants a taste of the city life, and dating is for fun not so much for finding The One.