By: Ann Redus (UTSA)
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As I began my final semester of college, I look back on the past four and a half years… wondering… what I did, what I should have done, and what I should NOT have done. So, I’ve decided to write a letter from myself – from a seniors’ perspective to myself – as a freshman. With this letter, I hope to pass on any advice and knowledge I have acquired along the way to all the fish at universities starting their college career this fall.
While the freedom of being away from the nest is quite a liberating one, you have to learn how to set your own boundaries. Looking back, I want to share the things I know now with you for your own good… So you learn from my experiences and mistakes.
- All roommates will bring trouble at one point or another. Whether they’re loud at 3am or telling you to stop being loud at 3am, living alone is the (more expensive) way to go.
- Never spend money you don’t have. You will probably acquire more overdraft fees your freshman year to pay for freshman year. Don’t write a check unless you have to and don’t buy shit you don’t need unless you have a job to pay for that shit.
- Don’t keep beer in your fridge if you have an RA. Most RAs won’t be cool with it and will probably really enjoy getting you kicked out of school because they’re on some weird power trip.
- Learn to love Ramen and other inexpensive foods. They will soon be your best friend.
- When making trips back home, don’t speed. Speeding tickets are SUCH a waste of money.
- Don’t listen to the counselors at freshman orientation. Freshman orientation counselors REALLY don’t give a shit about you because they’ll probably never see you again. Your other counselor doesn’t give a shit about you either, but they actually have to see you again.
- Buy simple, neutral room décor. You will spend SO much money your senior year buying room décor that isn’t the bright pink, orange, or lime green you bought freshman year.
- Apply for EVERY SCHOLARSHIP you can (and buy a lottery ticket everyday). Scholarships are free money and tons of free money sits there unclaimed. Go get you some!
- Credit cards are a really dumb idea. If you don’t have an income, don’t apply for a credit card. Credit card companies love naïve kids like you.
- If a senior is hitting on you, something is wrong. There’s a reason why he isn’t dating someone his own age.
- Take school seriously early on because it’s REALLY hard to bring up your GPA over the years.
Well, luckily for you, I’ve learned all of the above the hard way. Good luck to you as you start some of the most important, influential years of your life. Don’t fuck it up!