In honor of schools going back to school this week and next, and Boston's favorite day of the year, September 1st move-in day, here are a few things I would have like to have been able to go back in time to tell my college Freshman self. I might have made it out with a few more documented memories of all the good times I had at UC Santa Barbara.
1. Just because it's "included" in your dining plan doesn't mean you have to eat it. One grilled cheese is enough today, Katie. No, you don't have to line your pockets with cookies because you might be hungry later. You're going to be poor in the future from all your student debt so you might as well get used to being hungry.
2. On a similar note, try more vegetables. I know in highschool you could get away with eating instant ramen for lunch, a couple of bagels as your pre-workout, and pint of Ben and Jerry's as your post workout "protein" shake, but you don't swim 4 hours a day 6 days a week anymore. Try something green for once. You might be surprised how good some of those babies taste. And maybe, just maybe, skip the second ladle of dressing.
3. Soda, beer, and vodka DO NOT count towards your daily water intake, no matter what you read in a magazine. At the very least try this pattern: water, beer, water, beer, water. Think of all the money you will save on ibuprofen.
4. Think of what your future self might think of that outfit choice. Do you own a skateboard? No? Then why are dressing like you hang out at the skate park every Saturday? Also, think about trying a different hairstyle than stick straight. Your future locks will thank you.
5. Don't panic about the future. You are smart enough to at the very least "Fake it, 'til you make it." Nothing is going to as planned. Trust me. Nothing.
6. Shopping at Forever 21 and other similar fast fashion stores are a waste of your money. You will work hard for that money, so save it for the important stuff like eating out, kegs, and, like, your future travel... See note above about being in student loan debt.
7. You will have to dress up for theme parties at least once a week, so mentally prepare. I know you hate it because you lack creativity when it comes to costumes but you will come up with some fun parties and sometimes your costumes will be classic... funny classic not Audrey Hepburn classic. You will also never want to look at another costume for as long as you live after you graduate. And that's ok.
8. You will not use your college degree. So pick one and stick with it. Switching majors every six months is just annoying. Pick English. Just do it. You will love it. You get to read real books, not text books, and you are better at writing papers than you are studying for a test.
9. You won't regret NOT being a sorority. So stop waffling and just get on with making friends the old fashion way... like asking to borrow a pen or just asking straight up, "Wanna be my friend?" You will still make friends and you won't be required to pay any dues. Again, note about student loan debt. You will walk away from UCSB with the best pseudo-sisters a girl could ask for anyway.
10. You are going to have so much fun! Soak up every minute. Once you graduate you have bills. Loan debt seems to be a recurring theme... 'Merica!
BONUS: Be VERY thankful social media is still in its early days and iPhones don't exist yet. Oh, and save your money on getting that disposable camera developed. You will gain the Freshman 28 (not just 15 for me) so you will want to burn those pics anyway.
So I know that was 10 things, well 11 if you count the "Bonus," but there are just some things that needed to be added. I learned a lot in those four years. I regret nothing and look back very fondly on those years. Some of my very best friends are fellow Gauchos. In fact, I may have a girls trip coming up that may involve some very good food, that I may share with you all. Maybe. If you're good.
Good Luck in College, Kids! It's a super fun, super challenging, once in a lifetime experience. Don't squander it!