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Advice to My College Freshman Self


So often I write stuff here that is supposed to be widely applicable advice. It’s supposed to help out as many people as possible! However, as I’ve just started my final year of my undergraduate degree, I’ve been thinking a lot about what would have been useful advice to my freshman self. What kind of things would have been useful for younger me to hear?

So I wrote a list. Note: freshman me had a couple weird problems.

  1. You are nearly six damn feet tall. Don’t loft your bed. Concussions.

  2. Wash your car more often, so it’s clean when it ends up on Google street view.

  3. Consider easing into having a job. Jumping into a 30 hour a week job on top of twenty credits is gonna make your life rough in about a year and a half.

  4. Practice more than you think you have to.

  5. You are not “uncool” for going to sleep before midnight. Don’t feel put-upon and lame for needing 8 hours of sleep.


  7. Please please please practice piano more.

  8. Get the name of the guy who climbs out your dorm window to retrieve a flip-flop – he seemed fun.

  9. House parties are hugely overrated and you’re not missing out on much.

  10. You spent $20 on that cute planner – use it!

  11. You are okay on your own.

  12. Joining clubs is a great idea! Maybe don’t join Zombie Club though.

  13. Take an acting course early – it will help your musicianship and you won’t have time to take it later in your college career.

  14. Don’t leave your coffee mugs within 5 inches of the edge of anything. You go through SO MANY COFFEE MUGS otherwise.

  15. Cherish living with all your best friends in one dorm together.

  16. Kill that habit of eating basically nothing but vending machine Cheetos during the day!!

  17. Drink more water.

  18. Volunteering at the animal shelter is therapeutic. Do it more.

  19. No one cares if you don’t drink, stop being self-conscious about it.

  20. Being weird is much more fun than trying to fit your square-peg self into society’s round holes.

  21. Always set two alarms – not every professor lets you walk in twenty minutes late to an exam.

  22. Be more protective of your friends. Some of them make Bad Life Decisions.

  23. Pizza Hut is not a food-group.

  24. If you are confident, everyone else will think you’re the bee’s knees, regardless of your actual abilities. Take advantage of that.

  25. Beware of Jacob. He’s chill, but you lose half your freshman weekends because he convinces you to play D&D.

  26. Never turn down free food.

  27. Ditto free pens.

  28. Leave your dorm room door open as much as possible – that’s how you meet people. And sometimes get offered free food.

  29. Raccoons are honestly way scarier than anything else on campus, so avoid trash cans after dark.

  30. Have fun.

  1. Wear pants to bed because fire alarms happen at weird times and no one wants to be pants-less 2 am in a Wisconsin February.

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