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back to school: 25 reminders for college students

College: a phase of life that’s exciting, terrifying, bittersweet. A newfound sense of freedom. Four years jam-packed with love, friendship, anticipation, motivation, second {and third and fourth} chances, lots of learning. I wasn’t exactly planning on sharing this post, or writing it in the first place, but it just sort of happened. Maybe it’s because two of my sisters started college this week and maybe it’s because I’m constantly missing my college experience. The people I met, the education I received and the millions of memories I gained are all things I’m so very thankful for and wouldn’t trade for the world. Here’s just a few reminders I wanted to share, whether you’re just starting your freshmen year or you’re back for round 2, 3 or 4 on campus. Enjoy!

Always say yes. Say yes to late night food and Tuesday night drinks and extra hours in the library and impromptu morning hikes even if you’ve only had a few hours of sleep.

Take lots of photos. You’ll want to look at {most of} them a year or two or twenty after you graduate.

Just because the dining hall ice cream is there doesn’t mean you should have it twice a day.

Call your parents.

Find a favorite coffee shop {or two}. Go there regularly and always be nice to the people who work there.

Friday morning classes are a big no.

It’s obviously easy {and more often than not, acceptable} to wear sweatpants and pajamas in public. Resist the urge and put on real clothes most of the time.

Join a student organization. It’s such a great way to not only meet people with similar interests, but to build your resume for post-college and be a part of something outside of yourself.

Go on at least one epic and hilarious spring break with your favorite friends.

College is the best time to perfect the work/life balance. Don’t spend all of your time in the library, but don’t spend it all at the bar or hungover either.

Work out! One of my favorite things to do was go to the gym {free!} with my roommates and sweat it out {or spend the entire hour you’re there people watching}.

You will most likely mess up – whether it’s a failed relationship or failed test or failed expectations . Dust yourself off and keep on moving forward.

Accumulate college gear. I still to this day where my Ohio University t-shirts and sweatshirts {and love seeing other people in San Francisco rocking theirs!}

People will befriend you, accept you and love you despite what you look like, what you wear, who you dated in high school and how much money your parents have. In high school, things like this were important in the social scene. In college, no one cares.

Some of your best memories will be the 2am nights in the library. I promise.

The campus is smaller than you think and somehow, everyone ends up knowing each other. I’ll leave it at that and let you use your best discretion.

Don’t freak out about not having a lot of money. Seriously, no one in college does. You aren’t supposed to. Don’t stress about it and don’t overanalyze your ever-shrinking bank account. More importantly, embrace $2 drinks at happy hour because that won’t last forever!

Appreciate and soak up the fact that all of our best friends are in one place. This most likely won’t happen at any other point in life so make the most of it.

Every day is day one. You can always start over {whether this means changing your major, living situation, dating situation or friend group}.

Ask questions – lots of them. Ask your classmates what they’re studying, ask your roommates about their siblings, ask your professors any question if you ever feel lost or confused in class.

Take a hilariously unnecessary class. Mine involved a semi-crazy art professor and our final exam involved drawing on a paper plate.

Be open to whatever comes next. Rather than fear the future, live your four years in college with curiosity, hope and anticipation for the next year or phase of life.

Invest in your future. Pursue opportunities, like internships and on-campus jobs, that will help you in the long run.

Go to themed parties {or at least have one ridiculous Halloween}. You don’t get invited to quite as many after college unfortunately!

Make memories. I know, I know, you’re in college to get a good education and prep for the future. But I promise you this: absolutely nothing will be quite like these magical, lovely years of college so do the absolute best you can to soak them up the best way you can.

Now it’s your turn – what reminders would you give to those in college? More college blog posts here, here, here, here, and here.

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