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Happy Monday!  I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what life was like when I was in college.  The things I thought as a freshman make me shake my head.  It’s probably because my facebook has a lot of back to school posts and I may or may not miss college life.  All the post really got me thinking about what my expectations were freshman year and where I am now.  I was wrong about a lot of things.  A LOT of things. Fortunately I’m very relieved I was wrong about my future.  With all that in mind I decided to make a list of a few things I would tell my college freshman self.

If you’re visiting from Pinterest, this used to be a picture of me kissing a deer head, (yes, that happened freshman year) but I decided to class it up a bit and change the picture.

Advice I would give myself in college if I could go back in time.

When it comes to school…

Don’t waste your time getting cute for class.  Everyone knows only freshman put that much effort into getting ready.  Don’t be that freshman.

Go to every football game.  If you don’t go freshman year you will regret it.  Once you graduate it will be a long time before you get to go to another game, and even when you do finally get a chance it wont come close to cheering from the student section.  GO TO EVERY GAME!

You are not crazy for taking 22 credit hours a semester or for double majoring and double minoring.  It will get you a fantastic resume, but it will not get you the quick easy and fantastic job right out of college.

Studying your butt off for the first major test in a class will ALWAYS be worth it.  So will completing all those little assignments.  When you do well on the first test and do all the little work, it will save you from SO much stress at the end of the semester.  You’ll learn this lesson after the first semester, but probably not ever listen to it.

You will always have to sacrifice one of these three things in order to have the other two: enough sleep, fun times with friends, and good grades.  Succeeding in college comes down to knowing what two to choose when.

When it comes to fun…

Your metabolism will never be as good as it is right now.  Cherish it and know you will have to work for that body one day.

Also cherish just how much alcohol you can put down.  Damn girl you can really put down some alcohol.  You will not be able to maintain that tolerance after graduation.  The good news is you will be perfectly fine with that. In fact, you’ll stop drinking alcohol completely. On the other hand, you and coke (the beverage, you were smarter than that) will continue your love affair even after all of those “no soda for a month” attempts.

Nothing good happens after 2 am….but a lot of the good stories you will tell years from now will.  Also, you will regret the Tour de Franzia and will prevent you from EVER enjoying wine of any kind.  That three day hangover is going to be miserable, but it will be worth it.  You will tell the stories of that night for years to come. And those friends will continue to be your friends long after the late nights end.

You are the average of the five people you surround yourself with, choose wisely.  You will adopt the habits of your friends, just as they will adopt some of yours.  It’s important to take notice and be sure you’re becoming someone you’re proud of.

Your friends will never hate you for being responsible.  I gotta say, I’m very proud of you for having fun and still being responsible.  Schedule that taxi, call that pledge and take that person’s keys.  Your friends will never hold a grudge for you keeping them safe.

When it comes to love…

The guy who pushes you to change your beliefs and morals is not the right one for you.  He will make good points and you will think he’s right.  You will think you made the wrong choice by sticking to your standards.  You will even let him keep coming back into your life throughout college.  But you will never regret sticking to your morals.

You will not be in a steady relationship through most of college and you will not have an engagement ring by graduation day.  Be thankful.  All those guys who had the potential to be “the one” are not the man you should marry.  In fact, the guy you literally said, “no, I would never date him,” happens to be the guy you’re gonna end up with.  Turns out God really does have a sense of humor. You will eat your words and be completely fine with it.

Speaking of “the one,” he doesn’t exist.  You will date several guys who you think have the potential to be your husband.  And to be honest, you could’ve probably ended up with some of the those guys and have been happy.  Love is not a feeling or intended for one single person.  Love is a verb and a commitment to acting it out regardless of the emotions you are feeling at the time.  What makes a person “the one” is the fact you both chose each other to commit to for forever and ever.

That guy who is really drunk and totally acting like a freshmen…you’re going to marry him.  And you’re going to be so incredibly happy about it.  Don’t judge him too much, he just wants to enjoy college, he’ll grow up.

When it comes to life and your future…

Save your money.  You will be thankful one day you saved up a large emergency fund.  Your future self would be even more happy if you saved even more.  Did you really need that dress from Forever 21?

Your parents are more often than not going to be right.  They know more than you.  Think about it, they got through college without Google.

The economy is going to be terrible when you get out of college.  You probably don’t understand what that means, but it pretty much means you will not be able to find a job that you are qualified for.  In fact, you will either be too qualified or not qualified enough for nearly every job.  But don’t worry.  This will make you focus on your passions and push you to a career you truly love.

You will not have your life together at 25.  And that’s completely ok.  You will be broke, struggling to make enough money, and not quite sure how you’re going to make everything you need, but you will be working at a job you love.  You will not have settled for what was good enough and your future will be bright.

Those five years of college will go by fast.  (Yes, I did say five years, you’ll understand by your junior year.)  It will be so much fun.  Ms. Pat was right when she said majority of what you learn in college will not come from a classroom.  In every moment you feel regret, disappointment, fear, and pain, know that it is shaping you into the person you are meant to be.  Take a deep breath, don’t be so hard on yourself, and know that it will all be okay.

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  • Rachel

    Oh man.. there are a lot of things I would like to go back and tell my Freshman self, but none of them are particularly web-appropriate! Knowing my five-years-ago self though, I probably would have just done whatever I wanted to do regardless of any advice! 😉

  • It’s definitely worth it to take a strong course-load and to save your money–that pays off years down the road!

    • katiewinn

      I have to agree, taking a big course load was worth it. I double majored and double minored and I never would have gotten out of there if I didn’t pack on the courses. I’d probably still be in college haha.

  • #13 is so powerful. & I agree 100%. Such a scary concept to voice to most people though – good for you for bringing it up. Certainly something I wish I knew a few years back.

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  • Sorry for the double comment but I was so inspired by #13 I actually wrote my own post about my opinions on the topic. I linked back to your site and this post but if you have any issues with this let me know. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • G

    I love this — ” Love is not a feeling or intended for one single person.” This sums up my own beliefs on love more simply than I could ever hope to say myself. Thank you!

    • SomethingWinnderful

      I’m so glad! I had written out a much longer reply, I could go on and on about the concept of there being a one single person you’re supposed to spend forever with, but I figured I’d save you the novel. Thank you for reading, I’m glad you were able to relate!

  • Kaitlyn

    Oh my lanta, this was lovely. Thank you for this walk down memory lane, and for helping my present walk seem less lonely =] Funny and sweet words, truly. <3

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I’m glad your walk seemed less lonely 🙂 It’s amazing to look back at where you once were with older, wiser eyes.

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