One day, last summer, I was riding the Long Island Railroad back to my Aunt’s house from a training day for an internship. I felt like I was going to bleed out through the blisters on my feet and my entire body was throbbing like I had run a marathon. So, I put in my earphones and watched a woman put on her makeup while riding the train.
Did you read a lot about transcendentalism in high school? I did. Thoreau, Emerson, Krakauer’s Chris McCandless story, but why? Was it a warning about living a life of “quiet desperation,” or were all of these trascendentalists, in fact, also men leading lives of quiet desperation, even in their silent reverie?
I first learned the word facade/façade in middle school. We were learning about French art and architecture. The teacher put a slide of a church on the overhead projector, one of those crude, cumbersome machines with sheer printouts. She explained that the church had a false front or a façade. I remember thnking to myself (I wasn’t vocal in my younger and more vulnerable years) “why not make something through and through? Why put up a facade?”
The preparation for this hearty task begins hours before your actual flight. First, forget to brush your teeth. This will surely repulse the person next to you when you repeatedly try to make friendly small talk. Now is also a good time to drink coffee, monster breath.
1. You’re free! Do whatever you want.
I’m not saying you should go crazy, drink, and party. But I wish I had realized sooner into my freshman year that everything that confined me in high school like curfews, cars, rules, no longer existed. My freshman year I remember calling my mom and saying that I was bored. She responded, “Bored? You live in New York City. You have no reason to be bored.” You don’t have an 8 to 2:30 schedule anymore. Make your own routine. Make your own life.
2. Go Join Clubs!
As a freshman, everyone is open to making friends. Don’t be shy, just say hello. If you don’t like them you don’t have to continue the conversation but the friends you make as a freshman can help you later on. That being said, you aren’t going to retain the same group of freshman friends. You’ll all find your own path and make new friends in the subsequent years. It might seem melancholy, but you won’t lose them. You should join clubs though, because it’s a good way to branch out and get free food.
3. Don’t try to date the first guy (or girl) that you meet.
You’re just finding your footing in college, so is everyone else. Give yourself some time to take in your new collegiate world. Sure, that guy you met at orientation is cute, but he’ll probably be in one of your classes. Then, you’ll probably cut things off two weeks into the class and have to suffer through the rest of the course with him. Or not. Laugh it off.
4. Everyone thinks that their roommate is the devil.
Here’s a secret no one tells you; everyone is hard to live with. Why do you think there are so many roommate horror stories? Believe me, someone will even try to demonize you, you little angel of a roommate. The fact is that, up to this point, you’ve only lived with people that have to love you. You don’t have to love, like, or even socialize with your roommate. Seriously!
5. Getting A’s in college is doable.
A lot off people slack off when they get to college. A lot of people told me that B’s were normal. I didn’t get a B until my second year of college. Think about it like this. You worked so hard to get into that university, why not keep up the fine work? And if you budget your time well, you never have to pull an all-nighter.
What do you wish you could tell your college freshman self?
If LA were a woman, she would be incredibly charming. Universally, those who saw her would deem her attractive. No one would disagree that she was multi-faceted. She’s the kind of woman who tosses her head back in laughter so that her collarbones could reflect the stale, four o’clock sunlight.
*disclaimer: not all girls get ready like this, but you’d be kidding yourself if you said you didn’t do it at least once in your life*
In two hours, you’ll have one hour left before you have to meet him at that bar or that coffee shop down the street. So you should leave yourself an hour for hair and makeup, an hour to decide on an outfit, half an hour to worry, and thirty extra minutes in case something dire happens.