101 Things I Learned my First Year of College

  1.  Walking is an amazing stress reliever.
  2. Being yourself is the best way to find true friends.
  3. If you’re both committed, you can maintain great long distance relationships with your best friends or significant other.
  4. Good time management is one of the most important traits you can have in college.
  5. Gaining an education on topics you enjoy makes learning fun!!!
  6. Don’t worry if you don’t have your whole life planned out or don’t know what you want to do with the rest of your life! I promise you, everything will work out!
  7. Even if you aren’t a huge sports fan, you MUST attend a basketball game.
  8. It is more than OK to NOT want to drink/”party” on the weekends…..even if it feels like you’re the only one who doesn’t want to.
  9. Do what makes YOU happy because at the end of the day that’s really the only thing you can control.
  10. TAKE CHANCES.
  11. Never turn down free food.
  12. Work out your problems with your roommate in a civil, mature way.
  13. JOIN DANCE MARATHON! It supports a great cause and is SO MUCH FUN!
  14. Talk to the cute boy (or girl) in your class BEFORE the last day of class.
  15. Don’t forget the main reason you’re at college. Focus on your studies.
  16. Be open minded to new people, ideas, and everything else that may seem “weird” to you.
  17. Your parents some how become cooler once you’re not with them 24/7.
  18. Randomly call your parents, grandparents and other loved ones. It means more to them then you’ll ever realize.
  19. Strategically plan out your meal plan otherwise you’re flushing money down the toilet.
  20. It’s easier to be a vegetarian in college than one might think.
  21. You’re never “too cool” for anything.
  22. PROCRASTINATION WILL BE THE BIGGEST MISTAKE OF YOUR LIFE.
  23. Design students are the masters of pulling all-nighters.
  24. Make friends in your major’s classes! It makes you accountable to go to class and you’ll be able to have someone remind you about that homework assignment due on a Sunday night.
  25. You’re not lame if you eat alone at the dining center.
  26. You’re major (or lack of) has absolutely nothing to do with your self worth.
  27. You will have more acquaintances than friends.
  28. Enjoy nice weather while you can, because winter can really be cold. This means walk to class when it’s nice out. It’ll make up for all of the cold/rainy/snowy days that you’ll want to take the bus.
  29. Invest in a good backpack that will last you long time and won’t hurt your back.
  30. The freshman 15 is possible but also completely avoidable.
  31. You learn to sleep with lights on, loud noises, and extreme temperatures. Invest in an eye mask, ear buds, and warm blankets.
  32. There is a very good reason why the Design Building is open 24/7.
  33. Vote!!!! Your voice is important.
  34. If you ever say “I have nothing to do” or “I’m bored” you are doing college wrong.
  35. There are so many other places to study besides the library.
  36. Explore your campus and the surrounding areas!
  37. If you come to college with a solid group of friends, take time to still meet other people! It’s good to branch out.
  38. Read your emails. Those are important. Oh, and respond to them. That’s important too.
  39. Meet caffeine, your new best friend.
  40. You most likely do not need to buy books. RENT YOUR BOOKS. ALWAYS RENT.
  41. The hardest part when going to your professors office hours is finding the office.
  42. Join your major’s club!
  43. Getting a care package is better than Christmas. Tremendously thank your care-package-giver.
  44. Do not waste your time and energy on drama.
  45. You become an expert at small talk and answering/asking questions like, “What’s your major?”, “Where are you from?”, “Where do you live?”.
  46. Chill out by yourself every once in a while. It’s healthy to remember what an evening of solitude is like.
  47. Having school spirit is awesome!
  48. Go to the career fair as a freshman. You probably will not get a job but just do it. You might get an internship and you will make connections with potential employers.
  49. Don’t go home the whole first month of college.
  50. Going home is sometimes just what you need to feel better though.
  51. There are ways to make Ramen more exciting with a bit of experimenting.
  52. Understand that your GPA doesn’t define you.
  53. Yes, you do go to college to learn about your choice of study but it is equally important to learn about yourself.
  54. You can survive without a car.
  55. Learning bus routes is a long process of trial and error.
  56. Crows are the most terrifying creatures on Earth.
  57. Insomnia Cookies are better than your Grandma’s cookies…but shhhhh don’t tell her that!
  58. Going home your first time is the weirdest, most emotional experience.
  59. Don’t skip class because your teacher might have a review day that gives all of the answers.
  60. General education requirements are not fun. Everyone knows it. But they are also completely unavoidable, so try and make the best of it.
  61. Frisbees can be your friends and leave a huge bump on your head.
  62. I know it’s hard to believe but Iowa is actually a very pretty place if you look hard enough.
  63. It’s OK to cry when you miss home or someone at home.
  64. The quiet section of the library is the best section to get work done.
  65. Don’t buy a clicker!!! There is a free app.
  66. Watching two squirrels play is more entertaining than it should be.
  67. Say hi to that person you half know. It won’t hurt.
  68. Do whatever you can to make studying abroad happen.
  69. Not everyone will think the same way as you.
  70. Squirrels are actually really stinkin’ cute.
  71. You may absolutely hate your dorm room/living situation, but think of it this way: it can only get better.
  72. Facebook becomes cooler in college.
  73. Keep track of your expenses.
  74. If you have a friend with a car, take advantage of it! Take random road trips!
  75. Take advantage of all of the events on campus! They are (usually) free, they are in walkable distances, and they are always fun. It blows my mind how many people don’t even go to one the whole year.
  76. Always pick up change you find on the ground! It will add up, I promise you!!
  77. Naps are fine. but nap wisely my friend.
  78. Treat your friends at college like family. Take care of them when they are sick, make sure they are awake for their 7:30 am final, and write them little notes. It’s the small things that count.
  79. Greek life isn’t for everyone. Therefore, you have no reason to judge anyone who is or isn’t involved in it.
  80. Professors are like celebrities.
  81. Study groups save lives.
  82. Printers and computers only break down when you desperately need them. Have a back up plan.
  83. Keys have never been so important, yet you seem to lose them more than ever before.
  84. You never thought you would share so much about yourself with people you have known for such a short time.
  85. It may seem like you’re never alone but trust me there are ways.
  86. It’s amazing how late you can stay up procrastinating, yet falling asleep in class or in the library takes an average of two seconds.
  87. Our campus is gorgeous!
  88. Flip-flops become as important as soap, deodorant, and shampoo.
  89. You’ll only get the grade if you work for it. This may be a hard adjustment for those non-studiers in high school.
  90. Change is inevitable.
  91. If you’re from out-of-state you will be teased about your “accent”. Even if you live only 3 1/2 hours north.
  92. You’ll buy presents from the book store and charge it to your student account so your parents pay for the gifts because you’re too broke.
  93. The only thing better than birthdays are canceled classes.
  94. High school started before 8am, but now anything before noon is considered “early”.
  95. You start to memorize how late places to eat are open until.
  96. Your underwear supply dictates your laundry schedule.
  97. You see people you know you’ve met but can never remember their names or how you know them.
  98. Taking out the trash/recycling becomes the largest hassle for some reason.
  99. Spending even as little as $10 feels like giving up your whole life fortune.
  100. Just about anything can be cooked in the microwave.
  101.  You are in charge of your life now. Do what makes YOU happy and enjoy these strange, amazing years of your life.

It’s crazy to think that I have almost completed my first year of college! This year has only made me more excited about the years to come!

Shine on,
Danielle

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