As your first semester comes to a close, you have, no doubt, seen a bit of what college life is like. A lot happens between your freshman and senior year. Getting your priorities right is important but those are often lost under a layer of things that don’t matter in the long run. Here are some things I learned during my time at K-State that might be useful for you to know:
Your (many) exes: I wish someone could’ve shaken the deadly attraction between my significant others and I. When I think about the breakups I went through and the energy I put into those people, I regret all the people I wasn’t meeting. I spent too much time trying to figure out what went wrong. Trust me when I say years later when you see your ex at a bar, you’ll most likely give them an awkward side hug and catch up about the pointless things going on in your life. That feeling in your gut you get when seeing an ex out will go away faster than you think.
Looking nice to go to class: For those of you putting on makeup or straightening your hair before class, for the love of God stop now. First of all, think of all the extra time you could be sleeping before class. Sleeping – an amenity all freshmen are most likely taking for granted. Enjoy it while you can. Dressing for success does not apply in the classroom. Be comfortable. If you are more comfortable with some mascara on, that’s fine, but do not feel obliged to do much more. The hour you spent getting ready can be used for a million other better things, trust me.
Being awkward to strangers: Talk to the person next to you in class. When you’re waiting in line somewhere on campus, start up a conversation with the person behind you. I sincerely regret my socially awkward approach at getting through college; putting in my headphones, putting my head down and focusing on one foot going in front of the other. Engage, people! Technology has made it too easy to get through life without ever looking up, but think of all the great people you could meet if you did.
Recruitment: This might be too honest, but I was “respectively removed” from my sorority after a year of being in it. As a freshman, I kissed an ungodly amount of butts and paid an even more insane amount of money to be somewhere I thought I needed to belong. Three years later, I speak to maybe a handful of girls I once considered my best friends and avoid the rest. If I knew the amount of shallow people I was surrounded with when I was a freshman, I could’ve saved myself a lot of hurt and money. I’m not saying that all sororities are bad, because I live with three people in sororities now and am close with a lot of their sisters. However, if you have some sort of inclination that it might not be right for you, it isn’t the end of the world. Be yourself, and if people still don’t like you, then find someone else to hangout with.
What people think of you: I realized I cared what people thought about me when I studied abroad in Ireland for a semester. While I was there, my clothes never matched, my highlights had completely grown out and I was the palest I had ever been. Being confined to one suitcase and little money for five months left little room for accessories, and all my money was being spent on traveling instead of beauty amenities. I had never been happier. People saw me exactly for who I was, where no amount of makeup or tanning lotion could hide me. Upon returning to the U.S., I immediately realized that because I was so anonymous in Ireland, I felt so unbelievably comfortable and cared little about what others were thinking of me. In Manhattan, I am no longer just a stranger, and I found myself taking little steps to make sure my boots matched my leggings and different things like that. Don’t! The sooner you accept who you are, the sooner everyone else will too.
I could go on and on about the things that don’t matter when you are a freshman. However, no amount of articles or advice from a stranger is going to make an upcoming K-Stater realize that there are so many important things that have nothing to do with how you look, who you hangout with (or don’t) or how others perceive you. Focus on your grades, have fun while doing it and most importantly, don’t change for anyone.
Kelly Iverson is a senior in mass communications