15 Things I'd Tell First Year Joy

At college, people are so PC about things that they hate the term "freshmen" so here you go, first year instead of freshmen. In the same vein of Kara and Jada before me, I'm going to be trying my hand at some advices to my former self type of thing. I'm calling on all college students and recent graduates to attempt this too. It's a great way to start the new school year now that you've learned from your mistakes and past fumbles and besides, it's just a fun to reminisce about how stupid you once were and how by completing this, delude yourself into thinking that you are now infinitely wiser, only to repeat some of the mistakes yet again, later on.
  1. Don't take calculus with that professor. Actually, scratch that, don't take anything with that professor.
  2. Don't fall asleep during class mandated film viewing sessions at night. It'll save you the time from rewatching certain scenes on Netflix.
  3. Learn to appreciate espresso. Stop after two cups in a row, otherwise you'll be so jittery you can't even sit still, let alone study.
  4. Learn that Red Bull does not work on you, not matter how many you drink. Don't even think about Four Loko.
  5. Stop showing up at so many sessions at Career Development Office. You do need to learn how to write a good CV and cover letter but not networking. Yet.
  6. Go to those late night figure drawing sessions. You'll improve your technical skills so much that you'll surprise yourself. The roommate, however, will be initially alarmed due to the sudden pile of nude figure drawings in the room. 
  7. Don't expect that just because you spent high school in the Midwest mean that you will already have experienced the worst of US winters. Just you wait until that mega-snowstorm hits NYC on Boxing Day (seeing people ski down 5th Ave was cool though).
  8. Take in the beautiful sunrise over Connecticut River. It will be the most memorable experience of your freshmen year because nothing will feel ever more serene than sounds of birds chirping and the water lapping against your oar at 5:40 AM.
  9. Row your very hardest in every stroke during all practices/races, because it may be the last time in a long time that you'll be able to do crew.
  10. Be on top of all the musical acts that come into town. You'll be missing out on Mumford & Sons, Matt & Kim, and Ingrid Michaelson among many others, and you'll still be kicking yourself for missing out on all of them a year later.
  11. Skip out on the parties all together. You'll never be that girl who's great at flip cup or beer pong. You know you'll just be more at ease (and have more fun!) in the periodical room reading The New Yorker.
  12. Don't even attempt to draw/write an entire essay in a different language (French) with a hangover. Drinking a coffee to try and get yourself out of the funk will be the worst thing you can do.
  13. Make an effort and try to write letters by hand to boarding school pals in different schools around you. It will be the most heartwarming thing ever to open your mailbox and read their replies.
  14. Stop ignoring Dad's emails. Don't forget about the weekly Skype sessions with Mum.
  15. Start the blog early in the school year and it'll help with the existential depression. You'll meet like-minded strangers who will shatter your cynical view of life with their warmth and kind words. Moreover, you'll save yourself all the time wasted with that therapist who was really nice but did not help at all with anything.


Maria said...

thanks for the sweet comment on our offices at WHO WHAT WEAR :)

I intern there, and it's even more chic in person. I'll be sharing sneak-peak photos on my blog, soon.

xo Maria



Lindsay K said...

Joy, this is wonderful. Oftentimes, I wish I could give my younger self a few helpful hints. Bravo!

Amelia said...

Very interesting.

However, I tend to have a problem with such lists, mostly because I am a physics geek. If you could in fact bend time-space continuum and meet your former self and tell her all of these things, you would (excluding the case you'll drive your younger self mad) in fact create an alternate reality. Wanting do overs is something inherently human, but without those experiences you wouldn't be who you are today.

And I'm just writing a novel here, aren't I?

Punctuation Mark said...

these is great advice... they all need it for sure! hope you're having a great weekend!

Sweet Harvest Moon said...

Love this :)

Claire and Vasia said...

Really interesting post and nice blog!


Jada said...

I'm so glad you made your own list! I'm going respond to a few of them...sorry for this long comment.

#3 I think I need to try at least one shot of espresso instead of drinking lots and lots of coffee when studying.I'm afraid I would get super jitter like you said you do.

#6 I took a drawing class my first semester, but eventually dropped it because I had to take more classes that focused on my major. We were going to draw a nude model too, wish I got the chance to continue with that class!

#9 I wish my school had crew! I'm hoping my future transfer school does.

#10 Don't miss out on those good musical acts!

#11 This is me as well. I'm the girl who prefers reading on Friday nights and drinking jasmine tea.

#15 I read your birthday post before, and I have to say we all feel that way sometimes. We escape the bad and morbid thoughts of ours with writing, art, music, or anything that really can help. It does its best to slightly mend our minds.

I also just finished listening to David Foster Wallace's commencement speech on Youtube. I wanted to listen to his voice while following along to the written speech. It's a very powerful and moving speech, and I'm still processing the last final paragraphs.

Rachel said...

This is so funny. #10 is a great one. #11 would definitely be on my own list, with a small addition: If you do, for some reason, decide to attend a party, don't feel obligated to wear heels or buy 'going out' tops from Forever 21 just because that's what other girls do.

I'm sure you're already wise to this, though. ;)