things learned, freshman year. (finally.)

Hi. So really quickly: my Japanese professor was very understanding, I borrowed the workbook from a classmate and scrawled off the homework in ten minutes, I think I did pretty damn well on that German test, my allergies are much improved, the piano playing at Aberdeen went off seamlessly, I have until tomorrow to study for the Japanese test, and none of my favorite people are rejecting me (I just have an overactive sense of communication, I suppose). My laundry is still increasing and my watch is still broken, but things are better than they were. I even had time to watch the latest Doctor Who.

That wasn’t particularly quick, was it? Oh well. Speaking of quick, here is an unusually short installment of Things Learned for my freshman year of college. I kind of don’t think this really sums up everything, but I am having a lot of trouble thinking all the way back past Sjölunden and the recent ridiculous weekend to things that I learned while my freshman year was still going on and I found the file and could only add a few things to it. Oh well. Here it is.

Things You Learn from your Freshman Year of College

  1. You really will never know quite what anyone else is thinking about you.
  2. It is almost immaterial who you hang out with. So long as you avoid dangerous situations, the people you are with are usually just wanting people to be with, and you are good enough. Don’t mess with that.
  3. On a related note, don’t go into any dangerous situations.
  4. College is a hell of a lot of fun and a hell of a lot of work. More so than anything else you’ve ever tried, including cross-country, editing a newspaper, and high school jazz band. Sjölunden comes close, but not much.
  5. Do your homework.
  6. Doctor Who is freaking amazing.
  7. Doctor Who will eat your life.
  8. Doctor Who is worth it.
  9. Friendships are hard.
  10. Transitions are hard.
  11. Friendships in transition are very hard.
  12. Fugitive is like the best game ever. If you’re in shape for it.
  13. Mr. DeVore is wrong. Routine is not the nemesis. Routine is sometimes the only thing to keep you sane. It can be broken, naturally, as can most things, but it is not to be ultimately avoided.
  14. College is a grand and glorious exercise in using what is available to you. Kick ass in this exercise.
  15. The importance of sleep cannot be overstated.
  16. Once again, friendships in transition are very, very hard, and you do not need to blame anyone if it falls apart.
  17. That said, be careful, because you, contrary to your comfortable belief, do in fact have the power to hurt other people.
  18. It is a sad fact that sometimes this vibrant glorious unprecedented you that you are busily being will attract the wrong people. Shrug about that and move on. Or torment them with your untouchable wonderfulness. Your choice.
  19. Close your window after September.
  20. Study.
  21. Potato gleaning is good for the soul. As are many other things, but you will understand yourself and your roots much better this way.
  22. Do what you want. Just be sure you’re ready for it.
  23. Never lose sight of all the wonder and the fantasticity of the journey you are on.
  24. Don’t play with your hair.
  25. Jazz is, quite possibly, the very greatest thing in the world.
  26. Find the good in everyone.
  27. Don’t stop writing.
  28. Who cares who you are? You may never know. Stop trying to categorize yourself. Just be.
  29. Each and every person is a human being, and you must treat them as such.
  30. Try to treat people as equally as possible, but don’t forget that not everyone is ready for the same thing – remember George MacDonald?
  31. Really, life is quite a tricky thing.
  32. Everyone you meet is fighting some sort of battle.
  33. Everybody has an angle.
  34. What’s really cool is to judge actors on acting and not looks – not that looks aren’t fun to judge.
  35. Don’t be afraid to wear what you love. That’s more than a little bit important.
  36. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is total BS. That being said, you are no Augustus Waters.
  37. Nothing can ever be quite fully understood.
  38. There’s that awesome board of things that used to be on Mr. Bird’s wall that Hannah now has. “Avoid loud and obnoxious persons; they are vexatious to the spirit.” To some people loud and obnoxious does not mean vexatious, but nevertheless, avoid people who are vexatious to your spirit. When you can.
  39. How to ace your geology reading quizzes? Lock yourself away and concentrate on absolutely nothing else.
  40. It is okay to be alone.
  41. What is not okay is to be alone all the time, when there are plenty of people who will be willing to talk to you.
  42. Stop worrying about being judged so much.
  43. I think you will never stop having to remind yourself of number 42. So get used to that one.
  44. Stick to the good people. Remember they have flaws too, and don’t let those bother you.
  45. Don’t abuse your money or your food. (Money is food. Think of it that way.)
  46. Just be friends with good people. You know who those are. And let them be human.
  47. Death is hard.
  48. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it might be a good idea to not do it, at least until you figure it out.
  49. How you appear to other people will never cease to surprise you.
  50. You need to read more.
  51. Because it will be worth it.
  52. Relax once in a while.
  53. Family is still so important.
  54. So is Madeleine L’Engle.
  55. Work your tail off for what you want, because nothing is sweeter than realizing you have reached a goal.
  56. BUT (and this is an important but) do not drive yourself crazy when you don’t meet a quota or a requirement.
  57. I cannot stress this enough – YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT.
  58. All you have to do is try.
  59. Not try to be perfect, that is; just try hard at everything you do.
  60. And you are quite capable of that.
  61. You are not insignificant.
  62. You are not terribly significant either.
  63. Just, you know, don’t let anything go to your head.
  64. Don’t psych yourself out so much about interviews. They’re really not that big a deal.
  65. Because you WILL GET HIRED, and dance around the room for ten minutes not knowing what to say.
  66. That’s okay. Happy things will happen and you should never ignore how you feel.
  67. That said, it will do you good to realize the gravity of things. Yes, you have said for a long time that you want to give back. You have to be ready to comprehend the enormity of that.
  68. That also said, you’ll do fine.
  69. Getting up before six every morning to work out is worth it. Taking naps in the afternoon is worth it. Devoting entire afternoons to your homework is worth it. If you work hard, things are worth it.
  70. Flashcards are the best thing you will ever encounter.
  71. Again, very few people aside from Hannah and Derek and your parents and sisters need matter in a big way.
  72. Let the stupid ones go, darling.
  73. Are you terrified of things? Yes. Can they be good for you? Also yes.
  74. All your friends are very human. Allow them to be.
  75. “Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time” – Maya Angelou

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