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16 Things I Learned in College

1. Timing is everything.

I don’t care if you’re an infant eighteen-year-old who is allowed to eat processed food for the first time and can’t deal with freedom, it’s weird to shower at 3 AM. Just like it’s weird to start working out at 11:20 PM. Keep normal hours for the most part. It will make interacting in class a hell of a lot easier.

And speaking of timing, feel out people before making decisions/ declarations. Want to ask that kid out but have an inkling that he has a slew of midterms? Wait. Have six drinks and really want to declare your love because damnit YOLO? Wait. Want to explode at your roommate because you have three tests and oh-my-God she ate the last of your lime Tostados? Wait.

2. If you’re dating and s/he completely ignores you in social settings, s/he’s just not that into you.

Seriously, this growth period in college is all about figuring out who you are, what you want, and how you love. Are you the type of person who signifies that you like someone by sharing all the wonderful, exciting things you notice on an hourly basis? Cool, find someone who appreciates that. Are you the kind of person who likes to do your own thing but like knowing at the end of a week there’s a cute face who has been doing his/ her own thing but wants to chill for a bit with you? Cool, you’re the younger version of Bill and Hill. Figuring out what you want, who and what you respect, and how much you’re willing to compromise is a lot more important than how cute that Sorin bro is.

3. Apply to something, anything, once a week.

Hone your humble-brag. And you’ll come up with sharp stock phrases to cut down app time for the things you really want.

4. Tell your best friend you love him/ her frequently.

In person. While sober. Everyone needs to know they’re indispensable every so often.

5. If you feel like you’re going crazy and just need a hug, call your stricter parent.

They’ll set you straight about why you’re here. And that you’re a damn adult who can figure it out.

6. Everyone is busy.

You are not special and that’s not an excuse. Be honest about how you budget your time. And don’t be late. Come on, things around here aren’t very hard to get to.

7. Tag along to social situations where you know less than two people.

Fear is good for you and small talk is a skill.

Who are these people even?

8. Have conversations besides small talk.

Have conversations that mean something. There is no reason that thinking should stop outside of class.

9. Become friends with your TAs.

They’re really weird but they’re there for you. They are paid to be there for you.

I would not suggest this strategy. 

10. Make time for the people who make time for you.

And have the guts to call off a friendship/ relationship where you’re giving more. Friendship is earned.

11. Go to the gym.

If nothing else, three times out of 10 there will be a cute person playing basketball. And they might be shirtless. Might as well walk around the track and stare. Don’t let your body atrophy.

12. Learn how to stare tactfully.

In class, in the DH, at a bar. It will make you feel less self-conscious about being creepy. Because let’s face it – we are all creepy.

13.  Be a strong, independent woman.

Flirting your way into a night of free drinks is not only kind of mean and parasitic but perpetuates the weird parts of “going out” culture that equate short skirts with scoring instead of self expression. I’m not saying that you should turn down that celebatory shot from your friend/classmate/person for being single/ not failing/ cause you’re physically right there. However there are those times when you know you know better.

14. Read the damn newspaper, subscribe to an RSS feed, or check out an overly political/ angry friend’s FB once a day.

It’s important to know what’s going on in the beautiful, sickening world. I don’t care if you can trudge through Plato, react chemicals, or understand fluid dynamics, if you don’t know the major political party of China… that’s pretty dumb. Don’t lose sight of the real world in the Golden Bubble.

15. Make a bucket list.

Check it off. But drunk climbing Stepan is something that probably requires you to carefully evaluate your athleticism and insurance before attempting. Just saying.

Stepan, so hot right now. 

16. Don’t read lists.

Don’t read BuzzFeed. Don’t become click bait. You’re better than that.

Read books. Trust your intellect.

Every time you go on BuzzFeed, Mary cries for your GPA. 


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AnnaLee Rice

Notre Dame

AnnaLee Rice is a senior at the University of Notre Dame with a double major in Economics and Political Science and a minor in PPE. In addition to being the HCND Campus Correspondent, she is editor-in-chief of the undergraduate philosophy research journal, a research assistant for the Varieties of Democracy project, and a campus tour guide.  She believes in democracy and Essie nailpolish but distrusts pumpkin spice lattes because they are gross. 
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