Or, 31 things I learned during my first semester at William & Mary
Dear “First week” Phebe,
- Despite everything that you would like to believe, leggings and sweatpants will become your fashion staple, and you won’t want to ever take them off. (Plus, you will think you look so cute in them.)
- You will look and feel fabulous the first two weeks. And then… you won’t.
- Give yourself time. Friendships will not come easily and neither will adjusting to the pace of college. But you’ll get there.
- The unexpected friends are the best.
- It’s so contrary to how you were raised, but school in college is about learning how to do the minimum well. (Don’t worry; I still can’t do that.)
- Give yourself time to be homesick. The busyness immediately sweeps you up and carries you away on a grand adventure, so that you don’t even miss home. But then a month later, you remember the shore and everything you had there, and then you lose it. The littlest things will remind you of your family—embrace it. You don’t have to be strong. You can cry. It’s okay.
- Get used to feeling “new.” You’ll feel that way the entire semester.
- Spend more time praying and less time making lists.
- Invest in your hall. They will be your greatest friends. They will keep you motivated (and distract you) when you have lots of homework to submit. They will go to the dining hall with you, so you don’t have to sit alone. They will tell you that you’re beautiful when you feel bleh. They will be your biggest fans and your constant entertainment.
- God is better than you ever could’ve imagined. You thought you were in awe of His faithfulness in high school? Just wait. It gets better.
- People are the priority. The time you spend with people will be returned to you. In the long run, relationships are going to last and bring the most joy.
- Fraternity parties really are not all they’re hyped up to be. Really.
- Let go of convention! It’s okay to eat breakfast food all day, any time of day.
- Give yourself time. You’re not going to feel settled at a church right away. In fact, you’re going to spend your whole first semester looking (and who knows how much longer). But through the process, you will learn more things about yourself and the kingdom of God.
- Just because you go to bed before 11pm the first few weeks, doesn’t mean you’re going to get enough sleep in college. LIES. You will find school gets tougher and bedtime gets later.
- Even though you decided not date your freshman year doesn’t mean that there won’t be cute guys. Okay? They don’t just disappear.
- Even so, you will discover that most of them are dumb. Focus on your female friends. But wait! Just when you thought there was no hope for the male race, one opens the door for you. #such is life
- Hashtags will define your life.
- Deciding to start praying for finals during the first month was a GOOD idea.
- Spend more time with the kids from your freshman seminar—they’re pretty cool.
- Pretty much everyone here is talented. You will feel average most of the time. Play the comparison game less and love others more.
- Being an adult is not easy. You have to deal with mice, dishes, and printers. And some days you just want to scream, “Someone tell me what to do!! I don’t know!!”
- God will get you through those rough spots. Prayer is your best power tool.
- Don’t check your mail everyday. You’ll just be disappointed.
- Finals week will leave you an emotional wreck. It will also be one of the best weeks of college. And by the way, you will not only make it, but you will be victorious.
- You and your roommate will become wonderful friends, and you will do pretty much everything together (you’ll even write and perform a rap). Don’t worry.
- Speaking of rap… don’t question the unexpected. Just embrace it.
- You don’t have to start completely over. The growth you experienced in high school will remain. Freshman year of college is nothing like freshman year of high school. Yes, there will be awkward moments, but you’ll also feel more comfortable and confident in your own skin.
- You’re going to learn to not take yourself too seriously and to laugh at yourself.
- Dance more.
- You will have doubts, and that’s ok. But just know that come the last week of your first semester, all those doubts will be gone, and you will know that you belong.
Main points: Don’t worry. Give yourself time. And pray.
Your first semester is going to be wonderful!! You’ll look back in December and think, “where did the time go?” Cherish the moments.
Love, “Last week” Phebe