As a graduating senior, I am looking back on some of the most transformative lessons I’ve learned during the greatest four years of my life. I probably was told these things prior to stepping foot on the ERAU Prescott campus, but it’s kind of one of those learn for yourself type deals. Here’s what I came up with:
Be a yes man (or woman)
In high school I would’ve considered myself judgmental and a cynic. It wasn’t long after I moved into my first room in our Mingus dorm complex that I realized my cynicism was embedded in fear. I became a much better person with a more convincing idea of who I am once I committedly opened up to new experiences and new people. College is the easiest time to make new friends because suddenly you are introduced to hundreds of new faces and most of them probably have similar interests to you. So say yes to joining clubs at the activity fair, going campus events put on by BCA, and eating lunch in the Union because before you know it, your college friends are your family. They will be there for you. They will take that lower-level general ed class with you. They will be there for the late nights and early mornings. They will agree to last minute coffee dates and even last minute road trips. So say yes because at worst, you’ll have a new story to tell.
Don’t forget where you came from
The friendships that you develop in college are wavelengths different than the ones you made growing up. You and your friends from high school share a bond that you won’t find with anyone else because you survived a nightmare together. They are the ones that knew you when you had braces and coordinated rubber band color to the upcoming holiday. They knew you when you dated that jerk but he just looked so cute playing that blue guitar. They knew you when you had a terrible sense of fashion and bleached your hair. They knew all these things about you and they still liked you, so they are worth keeping around. And trust me, when you go home for the holidays, you aren’t going to want to hang out with your family the whole time. In today’s modern world, there is no excuse not to stay in touch with someone. The friends you meet in college are going to be amazing and radical and filled with innovation ideas but your past made you who you are, don’t lose sight of the important people from it.
Your undergraduate love life is not a romantic comedy
Bradley Cooper is not going to spend hours a day practicing a dance routine with you and Anna Kendrick probably won’t make out with you after her stunning a Capella performance, and that is just the reality of it. Here me out, you do not need a counterpart in college. We can sit and agonize over the fact that our latest crush hasn’t texted us back and our best friends will sit there and say things like, “I’m sure his phone is dead” or “He’s probably swamped in homework” and all of these are better than realizing that he is not texting you because he doesn’t want to. But your reliable friend will keep feeding you these excuses because most likely, it has happened to her at some point as well. And by the way, sending him a text at midnight of a kissing emoji won’t suddenly remind him of how much he is in to you. The only thing that will do that is his own desire to do so.
There are no exceptions to this. And that goes for you too gentlemen. Stop bombarding that cute, outspoken girl in your English class with texts and Facebook messages. More often times than not, she’s not reciprocating because she doesn’t want to, not because she’s a “bad texter.” Don’t get hung up on one person if you can help it because there are thousands more dying to meet you! (Cliché, but it’s the truth I swear). College is the time to find the simple joys in being alone. It is when you stop searching and become comfortable with the idea of independence that the right person will come along.