School is back in session! Well, for most of you it has been for a few weeks now. While many of you have already graduated, I am suited up for another year of college life! I don't mind though, I look forward to spending more time at this place. Starting my last fall semester as an undergrad got me thinking back to 4 years ago when I started out as a little freshman. It's crazy how so much changes within the span of four years, isn't it? Some of you are still finishing up college, some of you are working on masters degrees, some of you are traveling the world, some of you are married or planning a wedding and some of you are expecting your first little one! It amazes me how much time can change everything! Thinking back to when I was a college freshman, I can't help but notice the ways that I've changed as well. That is why I came up with a list of 10 things I wish I would have told myself 4 years ago. I hope this will make some of you laugh and remind others of you to live your life to the fullest!
10. Tsunamis occur FAR less often on the southern Florida coast than you think.
I spent an unspeakable amount of time in my freshman year thinking that a tsunami would suddenly occur. I seriously thought that at some random moment, while I was laying in the sand, a 50ft tall wave was going to randomly come crashing on the shore. I spent so much time fearing that this would happen, that I scarcely got in the water! I can't believe how irrational I was, nor can I believe how many great beach days were tainted by my fear of this impending tsunami.
9. Stay AWAY from the Mountain Dew!
Mountain Dew is like the crack cocaine of the soda world! It's SO addictive and SO bad for you! I solely blame Mountain Dew for the awful freshman fifteen...that never went away. Seriously people, Mountain Dew is the glue that binds your fat together in all the wrong places! Every time I would drink it, I would get this sick rush, like a drug addict! It was SO good! But never again folks, never again...
8.Don't be so awkward.
I'm not sure if you know this by now but...I'm awkward. Not all the time but, more often than I'd like. Awkwardness can be useful at times...I can't think of any examples right now but....I'm sure there's at least one....Maybe. Anyways, in a small Christian college environment, awkwardness is hastily equated to flirting. I never quite figured out "Small Christian College Boy Etiquette". I'm still not sure if you're supposed to completely ignore them, be reserved, yet friendly, or just be super friendly. I suppose my confusion contributed to my awkwardness but, nothing runs guy friends off like the assumption that you're flirting with them. I wish I was more suave!
7. Travel More.
It's so much easier to travel when you don't have to pay for it out of pocket! I wish I would have done Study Abroad of gone on a mission trip while I was younger. It seems so much harder now. If you have the opportunity to travel, go for it! The experience is invaluable!
6. It's okay not to be okay.
I spent so much time in my early college years pretending to be all "sunshine and flowers". It's not that I was gloomy and full of angst, but I feel that I tried too hard to hide the side of me that was hurting. If I would have realized that it was okay not to be okay, I would have been a lot more okay with myself too.
5. Talk Less.
There are those numerous times where my mouth ran way too much about all the wrong things! Sometimes it's best not to be over opinionated and judgmental. Your first thought isn't always the right one. Sometimes you shouldn't speak until you've had time to think on the matter. I can remember plenty of times I've said things that I seriously regret. Talking less and listening more can truly save you a lot of trouble.
4. Be Honest.
Being honest with yourself and others can really go a long way. Being honest with yourself creates a better understanding of yourself, in turn making you more comfortable with who you are and who you are not. I also wish I was more honest with myself when I knew It was time to walk away from something. It turned what would have been good experiences, into negative ones. I should have saved myself the time.
Being honest with others will save you a lot of trouble as well. There are so many times that I smiled and went along with things that I really didn't want to do. Consequently, it made me resentful towards other people when it really is not their fault, it's mine for not being honest to begin with. A lot of times I harbored negative feelings toward people when all I really needed to do was be honest and tell them what was up.
3. Don't be afraid.
I'm such a scardy cat sometimes. I mean, when it comes to reasonable things like riding roller coasters or walking down dark alleys at night, I consider fear to be a healthy emotion. When it comes to walking to the beach at night, taking challenging classes or simply just jumping in the water: fear is inhibiting. Conquering the fear and taking advantage of those moments that really count make for the best memories.
2.Don't always take the safest path.
Sometimes I sit and wonder how my life would have been had I not chosen the safe path. I realize that the dangerous path is what stretches you and grows you. It's what makes you flourish. For so long, I was comfortable with the ideal, safe path. Now I realize that things don't always have to go perfectly for them to actually work out. Life is too short to always take the safe road. Sometimes you have to drive through a storm or two. So, if you happen to be at the crossroads, take a (reasonable) risk.
1. Love every moment.
Life is an accumulation of moments. Some of these moments are great opportunities, some just suck and some are once in a lifetime. Either way, love the moment to the fullest because it probably won't come back around again. So whether your favorite song is on, you're laughing your behind off, crying your eyes out or just doing your homework (trust me, you will probably miss that someday too), live it up!