My Dear Little Minions,
Many of you graduated high school this spring, turned 18, and are now preparing to jet off to a grand university far away from your family. Others of you graduated, turned 18, and, to help your family, have chosen to stay close to home and attend community college. Kudos and Congratulations to all of you. Before you take the next step of officially beginning classes, I wish to impart some of my great wisdom to you.
Ok, fine, here’s some things I learned and that I wish I had known or done earlier.
- Don’t forget to shower. You’ll think it’s funny now, but seriously–halfway through spring semester you’ll wake up and discover that you’ve gone one (or five) days too long. Spare the air.
- Dry shampoo. It is one of those things you never knew you couldn’t live without. Washing hair takes time. Spraying on dry shampoo makes your hair look great, smell great, and insures that you can still look great when you’ve overslept.
- Minimal makeup is key. Mainly because it takes less time. Oh, and use powders, not creams. You can put powders on while you’re waiting at stoplights.
- Don’t put mascara or eyeliner on at stoplights.
- Interact with your profs. Even if you hate the class, it is boring, and the prof is cruel. By showing interest in what is going on, you’re putting money in the bank, and that money will earn great interest. It might come out when you have to skip a couple classes for a family emergency, or it might come out when they grade your papers. I’m pretty sure profs give you more and better feedback when they think you’re listening–and mark you down less for mistakes.
- Papers! You’re going to write a lot of papers. Make sure that, if a prof points out a mistake, you never make that mistake in a paper for that prof again.
- Attend class–even if you sit in the back row and do something else to save yourself from falling asleep. Again, brownies in the bank. You’ll need those brownies some day.
- It is really easy to get caught up in work, school, life…you name it. But take some time for just you. Coffee with a friend or two can be extremely helpful…and coffee with yourself and doodlepad can be equally helpful. Make it a habit to take time off–even if it is just a half hour coffee break between classes. I had one semester where, due to weird scheduling, I had an awkwardly sized break twice a week. During that time, I would walk to an off-campus coffee shop, draw for a half hour, and then walk back. Interestingly enough, it was one of my best academic semesters ever.
- Join a fraternity (or a sorority). ΘΑΦ is one of the best things that ever happened to me. It might take some work, but once you find one where you fit, you will find great friends, great fellowship, and great opportunities. If a frat or sorority is known for its wild parties…probably not the best choice. But one that centers around a common interest or pursuit can be amazing.
- Always be the least intoxicated person in the room. That might mean passing up on alcohol on a regular basis, but you’ll feel a whole lot better, and you’ll actually remember everything that happens.
- Find a home church–one that isn’t associated with your school in any way. This will open up a new network of people who will challenge you to grow and remind you of your goals.