Here is the second guest post for the week. A big thanks to Marcie for being willing to guest post! Enjoy!! :) I know this post is full of helpful info!
To My 18 Year Old Self:
With another school year behind us and all of my newsfeeds of all social media outlets filling up with pictures of high school graduation ceremonies and end of high school parties, I can’t help but remember what that was like. That time in my life was a whopping 12 years ago. Is it possible that I’m really THAT old?!?!? Yes, I am now a 30 year old wife and mother to a 16 month old little boy, and yet it still seems like yesterday that I was having my last class of my high school education, beyond excited to be FINALLY moving out of my mom’s house and into a dorm at the University of Alabama.
My college years were some of my favorite years. I loved, I lost, I partied, I danced (I was on the University of Alabama Dance Team), I gained friends, I lost friends, I grew to know myself a little better but most importantly, I grew to know God better. A lot can happen in four years and those four years have the power to shape who you will be in the future. So, as a way to reminisce on this time, I have compiled a list of things I would have told to my 18 year old self. I hope you enjoy.
- When registering for classes, DO NOT sign up for 8am classes unless necessary. Just because you were able to make 8am classes in high school doesn’t mean you’ll make them in college. In high school, you had no choice, but in college, you have the option to sleep in. And you’ll take it. So do yourself a favor, and opt for the later class.
- Keeping in line with the scheduling of classes, don’t schedule classes later in the afternoon either. Nothing after 3 or 4. Because you’ll be too lazy after the day to go to those classes either. Shoot for the 9am-2pm range. It’s your most productive time.
- Study. Let’s be honest, this is the reason you’re in college. And jobs aren’t going to come easy. These days, it’s hard to get a good job that pays good money without at least a 3.5 GPA. So spend some time in the library if you have to. Get away from roommates that will try to convince you to not study but to go out because “you’re in college now”. There will be time for that. But academics is your number 1 priority right now.
- Don’t party too much. For several reason. It will cause your school to suffer, which is a big thing. But probably even more important is that you don’t want to start bad habits. Staying out late partying will cause you to sleep in late and miss classes. You may drink too much. You may even get into other things that you REALLY don’t want to get involved in. I’m not saying don’t party at all, just party smart. Don’t do it too often and make sure you’re doing it with people that are TRUE friends that will take care of you if you need it.
- Don’t just date anyone. Just because a guy is cute doesn’t mean you should date him. Get to know him first. See if he’s worthy to be a boyfriend. Overwhelming chances are, this is the four years where you will meet the person you will spend the rest of your life with. So keep that in mind. Don’t waste time dating someone that you don’t see yourself marrying. If he doesn’t love you, love children and most importantly, love GOD….he ain’t worth you’re your time. Kick him to the curb and move on.
- Don’t try too hard to fit in. College, especially if you go to a BIG university, is nothing like high school. In high school, everyone knew everyone and there were “clicks” of people. You know…the popular crowd, the nerdy crowd, the pot smokers, the goth crowd, etc. Don’t try to be someone you’re not because you’ll end up being friends with people that aren’t like you. Be yourself and you’ll meet people that are like you too.
- For the love, DO NOT where heels to class. You’ll be laughed at by most girls and the boys will know you’re on the prowl to find a guy and they’ll pounce…and they’re not the kind of guys you want to associate with. Also, if you go to the university gym, don’t wear makeup and pearls. Again, be yourself. If someone doesn’t like who God made you to be, they’re not meant to be in your life anyway.
- To contradict the previous “stiff” comments, here’s a relaxing one. Every now and again (but not often) skip a class. Playing hookie is good for the soul. Just make sure to catch up on the work and don’t skip an important class…like one with a test!
- Get a job. Not only will it be great for your checkbook, it will also look great on a resume. Trust me, I recruit for my job and we recruit at the big universities. I’d rather hire someone who has a bit of a lower GPA that has had a job and knows what responsibility and answering to someone else is like than someone that’s never had a job and has a 4.0 GPA.
- Also on the recruiting front, be careful of the things you put on facebook, twitter, myspace and whatever other social media sites are out there now. These days “private” isn’t private and your information and pictures are accessible to everyone. When it comes time to hunt for jobs and have interviews, do a quick run through of your pages and remove any BAD pictures or posts.
- Find a church that has a good youth group and get involved. This will allow you to not only grow in your relationship with God, but it puts you around the kind of people you need to be around. You’ll make friends that hold you accountable and friends that you can help hold accountable. Truthfully, THESE are the friends that you’ll stay in touch with when college is over.
- Put your friends first. Sometimes we get so deep into a relationship that we can’t see what others see. Our friends see faults in our significant other that we’re too “blinded” to see. If your friend comes to you with a concern, listen to them. Friends should ALWAYS come before boyfriends. It makes sense. You can have TONS of friends that will stay friends your whole life. But only ONE boyfriend will make it to the end…well, that is unless you’re a polygamist.
- Don’t smoke cigarettes…or anything else for that matter. Smoking seems to be the big thing these days for college kids. It is SUCH an awful habit and let’s be honest…it STINKS. It’s definitely a habit that is not worth the risk it comes with. Trust me, you’ll have just as much fun at a party NOT smoking a cigarette as you will if you are smoking.
- Last but not least, don’t feel the need to go out every night. I know you just escaped your parents household which means you have free reign to come and go as you please. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. This is coming from a mom, keep in mind. Rules are there for a reason. To keep you safe. If your parents made it a rule, there’s a reason for that. It’s fun to go out once or twice a week, but don’t feel that you have to go out to have fun. Sometimes, you just need to close your apartment door (or house door, depending on your living situation), turn off your phone, order some Chinese food and rent movies.
So you guys tell me and all the other readers of Jamie’s blog. If you wanted to tell your former 18 year old self something, what would it be??? Big thanks to Jamie for allowing me to do my very first guest blog. If you are interested, feel free to follow me over at my blog, Justin & Marcie: www.justinandmarciemorris.blogspot.com