What we learned during our first semester of college…

What’s up guys, how are you doing?

First, happy New Year!  We’re more than half a month late in saying that, but better late than never.  I hope everyone took the time to come up with some killer New Year’s resolutions that they aren’t going to keep, because I know I did.  I also hope you’ve all been well.

The New Year brings with it our second semester, and so here’s a quick update: our first week with our new schedules and classes went great.  I’ve even been keeping up with my homework, so I mean, that’s definitely saying something.  Our first semester of college is officially over, though, and I decided we should probably do a quick recap to let you all know what we’ve learned during those first four months.  Maria agreed.

So because apparently I really enjoy doing these, here’s a bullet-point list for you:

  1. It’s OKAY to get rid of the toxic people in your life.  Particularly, your toxic friends.  If you have anyone in your life that builds you up just to tear you down or who doesn’t believe in you, it’s time to bid them farewell.  You don’t need them.  Your happiness is all that matters.  Maria and I both were able to do that first semester, and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.
  2. Make a sad playlist — they’re surprisingly beneficial.  Believe it or not, listening to songs that make you cry when you’re already sad is a great way to stop being sad.  Sometimes you kind of need to let everything out, and telling your problems to your best friend or your parents or a counselor just doesn’t always cut it.  It’s helpful to know that you aren’t the only one who has felt a certain way, and sad songs can do that for you.  Maria is an expert at sad song playlists, and I’ve finally jumped on board and made one for myself.  I’ve only used it once so far, but it was a great idea!
  3. It isn’t cool to hate Taylor Swift anymore.  Sorry!  For some reason, from 2010 to October 2014, hating Taylor Swift was a big trend, and I’ve never really understood why.  But gone are the days when I get ridiculed for playing her music on some speakers for everyone to hear, because as of the release of her new album 1989, I’m pretty sure the girls in my unit haven’t listened to anything else!  I mean, even Maria is a fan now, so…  Besides, she’s a great role model.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone love her own life more and strive for nothing but making herself happy by creating her own rules and standards.  It’s refreshing and wonderful (and she’s literally a Christmas-gift-giving unicorn, so you can’t go wrong by loving her).
  4. You can have friends who don’t believe what you do.   This is definitely something that I’ve personally had to come to terms with, but it hasn’t stopped “Marissa” from taking over campus yet!  It’s more or less just jarring to go from my small town where everyone believed what I believed to this university, where everyone believes different things.  It’s pretty unlikely that you’re going to end up surrounding yourself with people who all share your beliefs, so being able to accept that you guys will think differently about certain things early on will only benefit you in the long run.
  5. Post-it notes are essential for a good friendship/roommateship.  I think my favorite thing that Maria and I have going for us is our use of colorful post-it notes to leave each other important reminders or just little notes to brighten each other’s day.  Most often, we leave each other song lyrics, and I don’t think I’ve gotten rid of any yet.  I keep them all on my desk, so they’re also a good way to liven up your dorm room’s atmosphere.  Plus, they look cute.
  6. Weird is GOOD.  Trust us, weird people have more fun.  You have interesting conversations, you end up catching the strangest things on film, you create fictional superheroes and places, you come up with your own sorority (ours is called Kappa Frappuccino), and everyone basically wishes they were having as much fun as you are all the time.  Don’t be afraid to do or say weird things, because you’ll end up making awesome friends — you’ll scare away the boring ones and attract the ones who are as weird as you are.  This is a BIG thing Maria and I have learned first semester, so I encourage you to take this to heart.
  7. There is no wrong time to play Taylor Swift or One Direction.  Just saying.  We both felt that this list wouldn’t be complete if this point wasn’t made, so…here you go.  Whether you’re in the shower, getting ready, painting your nails, doing homework, trying to sleep, cleaning your room, making your bed, chilling online, or reading a book, you literally can’t go wrong by listening to these two.
  8. 47.3% of the male population sucks.  This is probably completely inaccurate, but boys, in your defense, Maria wanted this point to originally be “all boys suck” so…you’re welcome.  And this isn’t just targeted at boys from Butler.  This definitely extends to the boys we grew up with.  Honestly, this point is more for Maria than for me, but we’ve both experienced our fair share of sketchy male behavior over the last few months, and we’ve come to the conclusion that guys who think girls are the confusing ones are delusional because dang.
  9. Write letters and remember loved ones’ birthdays!  Whoever says that writing letters is old-fashioned and lame is lying, because I think it’s one of the best ways to keep in contact with the people you don’t get to see everyday anymore.  It’s much more personalized and genuine, if you ask me.  I’ve been writing letters to one of my classmates who is currently in training to be a Marine and to my cousin, and it’s a lot of fun.  Plus, it’s exciting to receive something in your mailbox every once in a while!  In addition, if you can’t be home for your siblings’ birthdays or your parents’, don’t forget to sent them a card or something!  I’ve done that with two of my siblings already and I just finished writing in the card for my other sibling, and they actually really appreciate it.  So don’t forget about them!
  10. Get more than one opinion on something that’s bothering you.  Hearing what your best friend or your roommate has to say about an issue you’ve been having is great, but they might be biased!  Get a second opinion on it, or find someone who doesn’t know much about you or whoever is involved and get an objective opinion.  It’ll be easier for you to make your own decision if you have multiple other points of view.
  11. Doing dishes is hard.  But let me assure you, doing a lot of dishes with spaghettio sauce dried on them is harder.
  12. Movie nights are an excellent bonding experience.  Seriously, every once in a while I recommend picking out a movie with your roommate, buying some junk food, and taking a night to relax.  I am completely convinced that this somehow benefits your mental health!
  13. Waking up for breakfast gets harder as time goes on.  You’re going to learn to love your bed and sleeping in whenever you can, so don’t be surprised if all of a sudden you completely lose any desire you once had to eat breakfast every morning.  I’m sure this doesn’t happen to everyone, but the majority of people I’ve talked to about this have had the same problem.  That being said, try to overcome this!  Breakfast kickstarts your metabolism and blah blah, -insert other healthy comments here-
  14. Working out can include going up and down stairs all day.  Our dorm hall is kind enough to have all of the female dorm rooms located on the top floor, so every time we come or go, we’re climbing and descending several flights of stairs.  This happens multiple times a day.  And then there are the stairs we get to climb and descend for all of our classes.  So, you know what?  No matter what anyone else tells you, all of that is a workout.  Most definitely.
  15. All you need is some twine and some polaroids for a great Christmas tree.  Fine, Butler, it’s not like we wanted to celebrate Christmas with a normal Christmas tradition anyway.  If your college ends up having the same kinds of regulations that ours has, you might not be allowed to have even miniature fake Christmas trees in your dorm room.  No worries, we’ve got you covered.  Just take some twine, create a tree shape on your wall, and clip some polaroids to it like hanging ornaments.  It’s very cool, trust us.
  16. If you put your garbage bin by the fridge, it will fill up quicker.  It’s time to face the facts: Maria and I do not use our designated garbage bins very well.  We tend to use each others.  However, with mine located near the fridge, I end up with much larger items tossed into mine, so I’ve found that I end up having to empty mine more often than Maria does.  That’s cool and all, but she better believe I’m going to find some larger things to throw into her garbage this semester.
  17. 10 Things I Hate About You is the best go-to movie night movie.  Really though, we’ve watched this movie way too many times since we got here.  No movie has better one-liners or is more fun to quote, and Heath Ledger is never not fun to ogle at, so yeah, I’d get on that if you haven’t yet.
  18. Netflix is a gift from God.  Other gifts from God include that friend who shares their account with you, the wifi speed here, and Supernatural.  If Netflix wasn’t in my life right now, I honestly don’t know how I’d have survived our first semester.
  19. We don’t nap anymore — we accidentally hibernate.  Our first semester taught us to take napping to a whole new level, especially toward the end when we’d stay up all night studying for exams and finishing final projects.  Once we fell asleep, we weren’t waking up again until almost the entire day was gone.  I have a hunch that this semester will bring the same habits, so that’ll be interesting now that we have classes during the day again.
  20. Finally, leave your door open!  When possible, don’t be afraid to just leave your door wide open.  Maria and I recently learned that because we do this, we’re known by the other girls in our unit as the ones who “play One Direction really loud,” and I guess because of this we’re “awesome”?  I’m not complaining!  And neither were they; they actually liked hearing the music, and one of them even said she could hear it in the shower, which she appreciated.  But yeah, if you leave your door open, people will probably feel more comfortable popping in just to say hi or to take a quick look at how you’ve arranged your room.  That’s a great way to make friends.

And there you have it.  As you can see, we’ve learned a lot!  If you didn’t notice, not a single thing about what we learned in our classes was mentioned.  That’s because in college, I’ve found that I’ve learned more about how to survive on my own and with Maria than I did in my classes, and personally, that is more important to me right now anyway.  I’m breaking old habits and creating new ones, and while not all of them are good, they’re kind of part of the process of learning how this all works.  I’m not in high school anymore, and my parents can’t do everything for me when I’m about 400 miles away from them, you know?

That being said, don’t get me wrong.  I DID learn a lot in the classes I took first semester, and I think Maria would agree, but you know.  This post wouldn’t have been as interesting if we’d listed the things we liked about our first year seminars and the things we hated in other classes.

Until next time, take care!



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