Seeing as my freshman year has officially ended, I thought it would be appropriate (albeit perhaps annoying) to do a sort of reflective, this-is-what-I’ve-learned exercise. Those always seem cathartic, and I especially like when people format them like lists of advice and wisdom to the next generation. But seeing as I am literally still eighteen years old, I wouldn’t dare speak like a sage to the second-person-plural audience of incoming freshman. But I can (and often do) talk to myself, and there’s a wealth of information that I could have used going in. So here goes.
A List of Advice from Which September 2013 Sheridan Might Have Benefited:
one. Don’t buy a fifty-pack of blue-ink pens. What are you going to do with all those pens, Sheridan? Those are going to be a hassle to pack on move-out day. Seriously, just buy like six pens.
two. Be kind to your roommate. She’s lovely. I know you think you’re being nice. Be kind instead.
three. Don’t drink anything someone gives to you in a plastic water bottle. Is your life an after-school special now? What are you doing?
four. Spend less money on food and more on train tickets and birthday presents.
five. Buy a thick coat and thicker pants. You’re not in Georgia anymore, honey. And speaking of Georgia, making fun of your Southern origin to get laughs will come back to haunt you. Don’t give people permission for their prejudice.
six. They always say not to come to college with a relationship. How about this: don’t develop crushes on people who did.
seven. Don’t cling to instant coffee or friendships past their expiration date.
eight. When things feel cloudy, often it’s just the weather talking.
neuf. Take the time to enjoy your French reading. You signed up for these classes because you wanted to. Savor them.
ten. Clubs, months, friends, and due dates will come and go, and that is One Hundred Percent, Grade-A Okay. Change as much and as freely as you want, but know that being a floater comes with some level of loneliness.
eleven. Never do things in perfect rows of ten. There’s something to be said for imbalance.
Well, dear reader, that about sums it up for this futile exercise of self-instruction. I look forward to the new years, the new selves, and the would’ve-could’ve advice they will all bring. But for now:
To you, my Warren-dwelling, wide-eyed and curly-headed past self, I must bid adieu. Yours truly,
Your future, slightly taller (!) and entirely still unwise and unwizened narrator,
July 2014 Sheridan