It’s fall of 2011. You walk into your new dorm room, and it is everything you thought it would be… except ten times smaller. You realize that there won’t be as much room for “activities” as you had initially hoped for.
But it’s ok because you also get to share this tiny ass room with another human, one you may or may not know yet. And if you just met your new roommate, you get to experience the awkwardness of not knowing one another well enough to ask, “Hey, can you not hit the snooze button every 5 minutes?”
But then you realize this:
it’s freshman year.
This is your year to meet a friendly face down the hall. It’s your year to completely embarrass the hell out of yourself because apparently you should know how much alcohol you can handle. Scratch that. You know that’s a lie — you wanted to black out because browning out just doesn’t give you the excuse to say, “I don’t remember doing that horrible, horrible, horrible thing.”
Freshman year also means your first football game, which is synonymous for waking up at 10 a.m. to bong a beer with your best friends. And then you take a nap afterwards so you can re-energize for a night of celebration because your school is unstoppable (GO BUCKS). But with an occasional loss, you still go out to watch all hell break loose on campus, while cops on bicycles (or the occasional horse) hand out underages to try and ruin your night, which it doesn’t.
Fast-forward a year later – sophomore year.
You don’t have to worry about walking to parties in groups of more than four anymore because no one will chant “FRESHMEN, FRESHMEN, FRESHMEN!” But sometimes they still do, and that’s ok because one person in your group will ignorantly yell at them for being mistaken.
Sophomore year is the year you get to live in an apartment or a house with a group of other people. You learn that not everyone likes to have the thermostat set on the same number as you (which always has to be an even number), and that most people aren’t as clean as you are.
This leads to the creation of house rules that everyone must follow… for about three days. But you adjust. You have your first “home cooked meal” with the roomies, which none of you enjoy because drinks beforehand were involved. You throw your first party with the roomies. You share your first big fight with the roomies…and then a few more. You bond with the roomies.
You also fall in love this year. You meet the man/woman of your dreams, and you know you are going to end up marrying this person because everything lasts forever. And then, all of a sudden, they break up with you. You’re heartbroken. You’re devastated. All you can do is get drunk every night for a few days, which is really nothing out of the ordinary. And for heaven’s sake, you just got dumped; you deserve to drown yourself in alcohol.
All of a sudden, you question everything: your future goals, your love life, your bank account…
You decide that you might not want to be an engineer or a nurse or a journalist, but instead, you want to be a teacher. So, you switch your major. No biggie, it’s still only your second year. You walk into your first major class and then realize you hate it. You go back to your advisor to switch back to your old major. This time, you decide, you will stick with it.
Junior year arrives quicker than you expected.
You still don’t know what you want to do with your life, other than sleep and drink and eat excessive amounts of junk food. Sometimes, you think about dropping out, but not out loud because that would be embarrassing to admit. But what about all of the loans you’ve already taken out? And the money you’ve already wasted on two years? You can’t drop out now. You’re already half way there. So, you decide to switch majors again because you had an epiphany that what you truly aspire to be is, drum roll please…
Anything that can graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Communications.
This also happens to be the year you turn 21. You celebrate by blacking out both the night before and the night of, because you need to make sure everyone knows you’re fucking legal now. You make questionable decisions, but what’s new? You can finally walk around campus holding a bottle or a case of beer, and it is the most liberating feeling in the world. Congrats, you made it.
Senior year – the last year of college.
You’ve gone through a lot. Not only did you gain 10 to 15 pounds, but you also lost it. You’ve been waiting for this final year to arrive because you want to start making real money. You take part in your last first football game of the season and your last first semester.
And then something hits you: you don’t know if you’re ready. You feel like you need another year to get your shit together, and you think that being in the real world is a scary thing. You look at these last few weeks as the last month of being a kid who can use the excuse that you’re still trying to “find yourself.” You look back at all of it, and you wish you could do it all over again. You think to yourself, I should have done more. I should have met more people.
Yes, college is almost over, but do not fear. The future you has something to say:
“(Insert your name here), you will do great things. You will meet more people. You might gain weight again. You might obtain adult acne (but that’s ok because it will make you feel like a teenager again). You will have plenty of time to make more drunken mistakes — or regular ones. You will continue to learn. And you will be happy.”
If you are still feeling uneasy about all of this growing up stuff, here are a few things you will NOT miss about being a college student:
Dropping over $500 per semester on these…
Learning that most of your professors did not turn out to be like this guy…
And learning that some of your professors turned out to be like this woman…
Realizing that “we’re here to help” can be a lie…
See, you feel much better now.
Congrats, seniors. You’re almost done, and you will be more than fine!
Now, go back to decorating your cap.