Note to the Newcomer
I’d say about 30% of the education a student receives in undergrad is academic, while the rest is intensely personal. I had learned so much during those 4 years, and much of that knowledge was acquired the hard way. This list should be beneficial for any young person entering a new world, especially collegiate women, but is of course tailored to my experience.
I walked onto the campus of Baylor University at 17 and on many levels I was unprepared by what I faced on campus, I quickly found out that college is not the safest place to learn life lessons.
Here's what I'd tell myself if I had a time machine:
· Spend more time alone. When you’re caught up in a group, it’s almost impossible to do what you actually want to do. Let alone find out what that is, which is important. I urge you to be your own friend and enjoy the freedom of having time to pursue your passions and talents.
· Malice is real. Just because you don’t practice the Machiavellian art of being an evil asshole doesn't mean the people around you aren’t. Jealousy exists. Evil lives in people the same way goodness does. Folks will paint ugly and inaccurate pictures of you, and do shitty things just because they can. Even so, you’re right to remain kind and forgiving.
· You are beautiful. Inside, outside, and more than you and your humility can fathom. Instead of treasuring you, foolish people will try to use you. Your personality is solid. Your sense of humor is gold. Your charisma is strong. Though people will try to diminish your magic, it cannot be boiled down to a cute face and fat ass.
· Those aren’t men. Just a ton of boys wrapped in problematic ego and fragile masculinity. They’re waaayyyyyy more concerned with impressing each other than impressing you. You have to seek out partners that are kind and caring, even so barely any of them will know how to take care of you. They’re lost children still finding their way, just like you.
· Take care of yourself. Make informed decisions and trust your gut. Be cautious, learn from your mistakes and don’t become so attached that you’re afraid to leave certain choices and people in the past. Though you have no concept of how much mind, body and soul are connected, you’re never too young to protect yours by practicing self-care.
· You are enough. Don’t let anyone steal your smile or make you question that. You do not need external validation. Not one social affiliation, nor any person’s approval will make that more true. Your spontaneity and ability to live in the moment are some of the best things about you. So have some fun and remain true to yourself.
BONUS: BEWARE. Everybody loves somebody who can take them where they want to go. Watch who you let in your car. If you aren’t driving and need a ride, remember that gas is nooooot free. Neither are oil changes or car washes. Throw your homie a $5 every now and then and always be appreciative.