Well, guys, I'm starting my first regular blog installment! See, since I came to college, I've been writing down rules in my diary based off of what I've learned in my time here so far. So every Wednesday until I get too bored of it and start failing at life, I'm going to post my rules from the past week. These aren't your generic college rules you can get anywhere online. This is my life experience, in blog/rule form, hoping that somehow it can make your life better.
SO ENJOY. OR ELSE.
Rule #1: Wear your contacts/glasses to the bathroom.
Especially if you are half-blind without them, like me. And especially if your dorm floor is co-ed. Because if you don't, you might end up standing blind in the hallway trying to figure out how to open the bathroom door, and having an African-American dude who calls you "bra" trying to help you, and then having to go downstairs to get your roommate to open it for you, even though you can't see a freaking thing. NOT FUN.
Rule #2: Living in a new place, everything has a gimmick.
At first, my roommate and I couldn't figure out why the showers were always totally cold. Then we realized, whoever installed them mixed up the labels, and the side of the knob that said "cold" was actually hot. Don't ask me why.
So, everything has a gimmick. Whether it's the showers, the door locks that take forever to accept your key, or the window blinds that open funny, there is something different about it. You have to puzzle it out like the genius college kid you are.
Rule #3: You will not be totally compatible with your roommate.
Even if you're lucky like me and your roommate is similar to you in important ways, and you guys become friends right off, you still won't be totally compatible. It's all about teamwork and compromise. Whether this means the disabled writer wears earplugs and a sleep mask to bed because the social butterfly roomie likes to stay up late, or that the social butterfly roomie gets used to not dragging the disabled writer to every single social event/leaving early from events with said disabled writer, you'll have to change some things. It's worth the effort. And it can be a great relationship, I swear.
Rule #4: Take chill time when you can.
Yeah, it's good to get involved and be social and do things. But it's also good to have some downtime. Like sitting in your room on Saturday surfing the web for no good reason whatsoever (and secretly being amazed that your social butterfly roommate is doing the same thing), or watching TV (even if it's Disney channel), or just staring at the ceiling. Downtime is good for the body, and the soul.
Rule #5: Being a religious college student is weird.
People stare at you. Especially if you're going into the dining hall before church wearing fancy, modest clothing, while everyone else is sitting around watching football and MTV in jock outfits/booty shorts and a tank top. And occasionally smoking. It is awkward. But if you really believe in what you believe, you'll stick through it.
Rule #6: Orientation is not like classes.
I hated Orientation. Too much sociality and junk food and speeches and STUFFFFFFF. Going to classes is much different. Half the people you meet in the Orientation period you won't even see again. In class, you're actually with people you're going to see fairly often, either that semester, or later on if you're in a similar major/minor track. Plus, you get to do something useful. But maybe that's just the nerd in me speaking.
Rule #7: College guys are jerks, mostly.
You wouldn't believe the stuff I hear them saying in the hallways. Here's the rundown: College guys want girls. They want hot girls. They want hot girls for one purpose--sexy time. Whoo-hoo.
So what do you do?
STAY OUT OF THE WAY. Female friends, wait until the first few weeks have passed and things are calming down. And then be super, mega careful to seek out a guy who will treat you the way you deserve. All right? They are out there, the good ones. Don't let them slip you by.
Rule #8: If you stink at making friends, find a teacher.
I cannot make friends in a new environment to save my life. I get too nervous and shy. So I got really depressed and lonely a couple days ago, wanting to just go home and try online classes. See, I'm not good in crowds. I can focus on one person at a time really well, but how do you pick who that person is when you know no one? I was almost a week into my time at college and I'd only ever talked to my roommate.
After an orchestra-related almost-disaster, I ended up in my voice teacher's office crying about my lack of a social life. And she immediately went, "Tsk, tsk, that won't do," and called up another of her students to beg a friend for me. Me and that other girl ended up talking in the dining hall for about an hour and a half, and my social circle is finally expanding.
Moral of the story? If you are all alone like me, find one of your teachers in an area of interest (major/minor or otherwise) and they can probably hook you up with connections and such. This works better at small colleges of course... if you're like me, go to one of those.
I'm an unpublished novelist, primarily of YA fantasy, and a freelance editor. I love psychology, cats, social justice, and love! I'm also a huge fangirl. Basically, stories are my life.
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