Books, Boys & Booze

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Just the other day, I was talking to my mom on the phone. She casually mentions that she was going to take my 17-year-old sister, Marli, prom dress shopping this week.

I was speechless. I don’t know what happened.

When you were 3, you called me Sissy and thought I hung the moon.

When you were 10, you played Polly Pockets and Barbies with me, giving me a great excuse for my friends as to why I still played with them.

We’ve hated each other, and been each other’s best friends~ and while I have been away at college, I guess I forgot that you were going to mature more than I could ever imagine. Not only are you touring colleges or  going prom dress shopping, but you have the world of possibilities at your fingertips.

As I sit here approaching my senior year in college, preparing for the ever-so-frightful real world, there are so many things I wish I could go back and tell myself as I began my senior year of high school.

Although I obviously can’t go back in time, I can share the mistakes I made with you, hoping that you’ll save yourself from some of them, choosing a few of your own instead…

On Friends

  1. Freshman don’t have packs of friends their first day. They’re hanging onto their high school friends for dear life. So, when it seems like everyone has a group of best friends their first week of school…don’t worry. They don’t.
  2. Don’t be afraid to talk to people. When people say you won’t make friends in your classes, don’t listen. Sometimes class friends are the best friends-and can develop into some awesome friendships.
  3. It’s okay to take some you time. In fact-you need it. Don’t feel like you always have to be hanging out with people. On the other hand, try to do something social every day. That’s a good rule of thumb so that you don’t end up isolated for a week straight…which sounds crazy, but it can happen.

On Class

  1. Do your best not to skip class. I know right now it’s going to sound so easy, but it gets really tempting. Especially in classes with attendance, because those are just free points.
  2. Don’t be afraid to talk to your professors. Once you get to your Junior or Senior year, you will need letters of recommendation. If you’ve gone through college without creating relationships with any professors, these are going to be tricky to get.
  3. You might be different…but I find that 8ams are a bad idea. While waking up at 6 everyday for school in high school is the norm, there is something about college that makes 7:30am so much harder.
  4. If you fail a test, don’t freak out right away. It’s just about beating the average. Wait for the curve to come out. Chances are if you studied a lot and still failed, the rest of the people did too.
  5. Schedule for classes as early as you can. This may depend on where you go to college, but if it’s anywhere half as big as Ohio State, ya snooze ya loose.

On Boys

  1. MOST boys are still stupid. Just like in high school, college boys will do and say the dumbest stuff to impress girls. The only difference is that now they are more muscular, have facial hair, and although you may not think it’s possible, they’re more cocky.
  2. Note that I said MOST. My word of advice on boys, is to pick the nice one. Pick the one you would want to introduce mom and dad to. Because ill tell you what, if he seems like a dick, he’s probably a dick.
  3. If a guy spends more time at the gym, worrying about his biceps and having enough pre-workout…..don’t. just don’t.
  4. Don’t take catcalls personally. Us Swart girls are just fabulous-you’ll have to get used to the rest of the world being jealous 😉

On Parties

  1. It’s true…college is the only time where being a low-key alcoholic is socially acceptable. So you know how you think that when you get to college you’ll go out Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays? Yeah. Well that’s fun until none of your jeans fit, you’re failing your classes, and you don’t even know where to start to catch up on your life. What I have found, for most weeks one night a week is a pretty good idea. Then, on weeks where you don’t have much, have fun. Have fun BUT keep your priorities straight when you need to.
  2. Never use dad’s credit card at a bar…he’ll call you out on that one. Lucky for me, when I did, it was after my car accident, so I was on pain killers. Buying a Dr. Pepper at 4th Street Bar isn’t as big of a deal…but it’s safe to say that was a yellow flag for me to always check that I was grabbing my card…Dad texted me no less than 3 hours later asking why I was drinking on pain pills, and why he was buying me alcohol.
  3. DON’T DRINK THE JUNGLE JUICE…it’s just how all bad nights start. So don’t do it.
  4. If you forget which drink is yours, get a new one. It’s just a good idea.
  5. Don’t say yes to the 12th shot. You’ll wish you didn’t

On Parents

  1. Call mom and dad. It’s really easy to get caught up in your life at school, and forget about them. BUT-there will be nothing better than a long talk with one of your parents to make you feel like you’re right back at home.
  2. Ask before you buy anything. It’s always easy to swipe their card in the moment…so always ask. Remember, it’s better to use your own money and ask them about it later.
  3. Mom and Dad know more than you think. So if you have the real world approaching and have no clue what to do about a bill, the cable guy, the mice in your pantry, the heat, groceries, laundry etc. etc…don’t listen to your friends, call Mom and Dad.
  4. Thank them…all the stuff they have been doing for you for years that you now have to do on your own, you’ll realize how hard they’ve been working for you.

On Roommates

  1. Try your best to room with people you know before moving in with them. I know you know I have had troubles with roommates, and I can tell you I think a lot of those problems could have gone away had I known them better before moving in with them.
  2. A clean roommate is the best roommate…So always keep up after yourself. If you do, when shit goes down, your roommates will have no grounds to be mad at you. Don’t mind what they do-just keep up after yourself.
  3. You have to choose housing really early, so it’s really likely that you will find people you like a LOT better than your roommates after you’re already living with them. So when your roommates are bitches, just hangout with your friends, and live with them the following year.
Most importantly…call your sister. While you’re loving college, I’ll be paying bills and working 9-5. So pray for me.

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