College, the pathway to success —just getting that acceptance letter leads to daydreams of endless parties in which you can’t quite recall the morning after, quiet bookstores that are perfect for studying, spirited football games, crazy roommates and, oh yeah, independence. But let’s be honest, college is an interesting concept. You go in expecting everything to fall into place, that all those daydreams will finally come to life the minute you set foot on that pristine campus — but that’s like expecting a house of cards to magically fall into a neat stack. It doesn’t work that way.
This is the very definition of college: everyone knows “The Struggle,” the synonymous, colloquial phrase that translates to “I understand” and “I’ve been through it” or even comfortingly enough “I’m going through it too.” Everyone’s been through your hardships and, in some ways, that’s beautiful — it’s like a sense of unity or an invisible rope of friendship tied around everyone’s waists connecting us together. Whether it’s not having enough to eat (ramen noodles anyone?) or simply having too much to do (although what’s so simple about that?), college is one big whirlwind of adventure (or, in my case, misadventures).
In the eyes of a college senior, I, myself, have not yet left the nest. In fact, I haven’t even completely hatched — my egg is cracked and my beak is peeking out, but that’s about as far as I’ve gotten out of school yet. During my short time in the nest, however, I’ve observed five things during my time in college.
1. Procrastination is Your Enemy.
It creeps up on you like a like a virus. I’ve struggled in dedicating my time to the endless workload shoved to me. It’s like everytime I open my computer, Netflix and Hulu, my most beloved sources of juicy entertainment, seduce me with the newest episode or latest movie. It hard to say no, but I’m a fighter whose favorite weapon is her determination and trusty planner.
2. Pajamas Are Alright.
And that goes for in or out of the house. In the “real world,” that ominous wasteland beyond college that professors occasionally refer to, it isn’t socially acceptable to just walk around in your pajamas or go to important meetings with panda printed sweatpants. But over here in college? It’s all good. Anything goes whether it’s pajamas or even a bacon suit, everyone understands.
3. Sleep is A Foreign Concept.
Gone are the days where I would wake up feeling refreshed. I’ve managed to grow something that all students know as bags under my eyes. From homework (it’s always the number one cause, isn’t it?), to studying, to clubs and activities, or just plain stressing out. I’ve yet to meet someone who went to sleep earlier than 10 p.m. and I now even envy my younger siblings’ bedtime. Naps have become my closest friend who I make sure to turn too at least once a day just to keep me functioning at my best.
4. If You Don’t Control Time, It Will Control You.
Seriously. In college, there’s just so many things to do. I’m the type of person who wants to do just about everything, but there’s only so much time in the day. Not only that, but I learned very early on that studying should be at the top of the list no matter how hectic things get. Planners have become the best friend I was always looking for and alarms took on the role of my mom who would remind me of everything I needed to do at the right time. Mother knows best, am I right?
5. Just Do It.
If you didn’t join that club that you always wanted to in high school, or expressed yourself the way your heart told you to, now more than ever is the time to do it. Enough said. College is one big self-discovery. If you don’t do it now, then when will you do it? There’s everything from archery to a zombie club, and every crazy thing in between. Dye your hair a crazy color, explore a new culture. No one’s going to judge. Why? Chances are there are loads of people who are into the same thing!
Whether you’re about to fly out of the nest or were just recently laid (like me), chances are you could use a few of these tips that I’ve collected from my (brief) time in college. Here’s to hoping you’ll be spreading your wings in no time.
Photo credit: collegehumor.com