Things To Do: College Edition

3 May

So I’m really into lists. You should see my Google Docs, it’s out of control with all kinds of lists. Here’s my latest favorite of 30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30. Now I’m still 22 for the next two months, so I have some time before I need to purchase furniture and stuff like that. Everyone around me seems to be taking gigantic life steps lately: getting engaged, having babies, graduating from high school or college and all kinds of other cool stuff.

I’m beyond excited for all these people, even though I feel a little uneasy. First of all, am I missing out? None of these things are happening to me? Second of all, aren’t we a little too young for all this real life stuff. Sometimes my first thought out of bed is, “Where did I leave my uniform?” Shannon, you haven’t worn a uniform in FIVE (!) years.

But really, I’m not old enough for all of this. Have you seen the YouTube videos of babies using iPads? That’s how I feel all the time- do they really know what they’re doing? No way. Are they super cute and fooling us? Totally.

As May rolls around, it’s almost time for the internet to be bombarded with commencement speeches and life advice for the graduates. Scary warnings about the unglamorous post-grad life. Everyone feels all nostalgic and sentimental remembering  how wide-eyed they were when they graduated and the horrors of joining the working world. Here’s the thing, it’s not so bad.

All the underclassmen are finishing exams and getting ready for summers at work or at play. Well, kids, here’s my advice for your next one, two or three years of college. This best applies to you if you go to a big school, because I really don’t know much about small college life.

Get away from your program- Yes you are a (fill in the blank) major and probably a lot of your friends are too. I encourage you to get one job/internship/involvement away from that major. Learn to talk about other things and communicate with other people. I also think eventually you should have a related internship too.

Streak the quad- It’s a tradition at MU, probably at other schools too. It’s terrifying and exciting at the same time. Just do it once, no reservations, don’t get arrested and have a great story for the rest of your life.

Go to games. Even if you don’t love sports, you should at least give it a try and support your school. You’re not too cool, you’re in college.

Know your school history- Because I was a tour guide I appreciated my school’s history and the campus way more than my friends who had no clue.

Live in the dorms-Unless you’re in the armed forces, you will probably never get another opportunity to live with your peers again. It really is like a sleepover.

Live with roommates- Living by yourself is probably 100% easier and less stressful, but learning to put up with someone and let things go is an invaluable life skill. No matter what you do in life, I’m sure it will come in handy in the nursing home.

Go out/sleep in- On weekends and maybe occasionally on a weekday. Lot’s of learning happens late at night in college and it’s not always in the library. In real life (aka post grad), you actually have to get up when your alarm goes off and look presentable for about eight hours. Crazy, huh?

Date people- Some for a long time, some short time. Go one weird first dates. Learn what you’re looking for in a partner. This will of course change a whole lot.

Don’t set hard fast life goals- So, you want to be a CEO by 45, married by 30 and kids by 32. Plans change, what you want when you’re 20 is not usually what you want when you’re 22 (this could probably go further, but I’m not any older so I will not jump to conclusions).  If you do insist on this silly timeline, keep it to yourself. Heck, I’d like to retire to take up water skiing and crafts at age 40, but I’m not going to go around announcing it.

Take road trips- Visit other schools to realize how cool your school really is. Some of my best memories and favorite photos were taken in nowhere Missouri. There’s no better time to play MASH and eat gummy worms.

Go to the library, but don’t live there- Study, but don’t let that be your life. Easy to say for me, but no matter how terrible your major is, you’re only in college for a little while (usually). Have a little fun and don’t ever turn anything down because you’re “too busy.” You can always make time for what’s important.

Stay up late with your roommates- Solve the problems of the world on the couch.

Wear sweatpants to class sometimes- You’ll probably never look acceptable in sweatpants in public after graduation. Soak it all in!

Exercise- You’ll seriously feel a million times better about your body and your whole life. If you’ve looked at your Facebook page more than once today, you are not too busy to take care of yourself.

To my graduated friends, what did I miss? What else should we be telling them?

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