I haven’t posted here in too long. I’ve gotten texts, emails, and Facebook messages asking me if I’m still blogging and I’ve responded the same every time: “Yes, I am. I’ve just been busy writing for other projects. Hopefully I can post relatively soon!” Soon is a relative term, but I know this post is well overdue.
Sorry for the delay, friends. I appreciate you sticking around. <3
Fall is primetime for social media. Everyone is proud of their new riding boots, cozy cardigans, perfectly carved pumpkins, barely-there (yet, sometimes creative) Halloween costumes, and the Instagram filters that make it look like summer-skin never faded.
But, I’ve noticed something new this fall.
Maybe it’s because I’m a Student Ambassador (I give student tours at Fontbonne) or maybe it’s because I’m an intern in the Admission’s office (I call prospective students to see if they need help with the application, answer any questions about campus, and try to connect with them as a current student), or maybe it’s because I didn’t have a typical college search process.
I’ve noticed fall is also the time for college visits and when seniors start getting their letters of acceptance (so exciting!).
My Instagram is full of pictures of bright-eyed girls posing for selfies with their letters of acceptance (you all are gorgeous). My Facebook is full of status updates like: “Narrowed it down to three choices: SEMO, MSU, and MU. Help!” My Twitter feed is full of 141 characters saying, “Can’t wait to be a [insert mascot here]!” and “College visit today!”
When I decided to graduate high school a year early, I had less than six months to tour schools, apply at schools, and then pick a school. My requirements for a school weren’t hard to meet:
- Be able to drive home and back in one day.
- Offer my major (which, at the time was Speech-Language Pathology)
- Accept my dual-credit classes.
I had never heard of Fontbonne before I decided I wanted to be an SLP, but when I learned that Fontbonne’s speech-path program was nationally ranked, I decided that’s where I needed to be.
So, even though I didn’t have a typical college search process, I am a college student who survived her freshman year. And I want to make sure you do too.
To you bright-eyed, eager, college-searching girls,
The world is yours.
Don’t quit reading because I’m cheesy as hell; I am being serious. You will never have as little responsibility as you do now. Now is the time to do something wild, like move further away than forty-five minutes from your hometown to go to school.
When you’re touring schools, look around. Picture yourself there. Then, picture yourself there four years later. Do you see a smarter, more capable, confident young woman than you are right now? You should.
I know everyone talks about college being the time to experiment with alcohol and sex like it’s your rite of passage as a young woman. This is true in some aspects; you deserve to make your own mistakes and learn something about yourself in the process, but being a college student isn’t an excuse to do things that harm your feelings of self-worth. Because when the school year is over, those feelings are still there.
Plus, college is so much more than that. It’s a process of getting to know yourself outside of the environment you’ve been living in for the past 18 years. It’s about making new friends and enjoying the things they have to offer from places of the world you haven’t been to. It’s also about meeting new people and trying new things, and realizing you don’t like them at all.
What I’m trying to tell you is, don’t spend thousands of dollars (even if it isn’t your money) to binge drink bad alcohol. Use those thousands of dollars to embrace your youth and all the attention your body gets from avoiding beer.
And one last thing, college is a stepping stone. It’s supposed to be different than high school (and it’s supposed to be different from your adult-life). You aren’t supposed to be the same person you were in high school for the rest of your life (and if you are, I feel sorry for you).
Let yourself grow and change.
You don’t need your childhood best friend to be your roommate (real-life experience talking). Really, you don’t need to know anybody. You, by yourself, are pretty amazing. And the world will notice.
Embrace the unknown, but know if it ends horribly a transferring to a new university is relatively painless.
The parties are fun.
The bars are better (getting in is way too easy).
And the guys are nothing like the boys you met in high school.
But YOU are the best part of it all.
A girl who had the worst first-year of college imaginable (so bad I’m writing a book about it) and wants more for you
P.S. You can still tailgate at Mizzou if you aren’t a student there. And the guys that go there will still be interested in you (trust me on this one).