Last weekend was my 10 year high school reunion, which I did not attend. I seriously considered it but just wasn't feeling it, maybe I'll catch everyone for the 15 year.
I did however make me think that I am approaching 10 years of being a legal adult. Emphasis on the word legal because there are still times where I don't feel much like an adult at all, but at least it means my parents are liable for my irresponsible behavior. Well, legally anyway. I know I've made some mistakes along the way but I also think I did a few things right. But if I could give 18 year old me a little advice, it would sound something like this:
You survived high school and are finally going off to college, have fun and go to class! Every time you feel the urge to run to Target try going to the gym instead, your waist line and your credit card will thank you. Speaking of, in the near future they are going to stop giving 18 year olds credit cards, use yours wisely because I know starting salaries sound like A LOT of money to you now, but they're not. Pay attention in your finance, economic, statistics and accounting classes (stop laughing, I'm serious), this crap is important and you will need it one day, accept the fact that you are good at math, it may not be fun but it's a good way to earn a living so you can afford to have fun.
A note on fun, getting sick from drinking doesn't mean you're good to drink more, go home. Soda = bad, water = good. Red Bull is a necessary evil, but don't have more than 4 in one day, the crash is not good. Boot pizza is awesome, cherish your 11pm on a school night quests for this goodness with Sharee freshman year. You can have fun sober, I promise. Some of your best nights will be spent at the movies and going out to dinner with your friends.
The hot frat guy in your spanish class is NOT going to ask you out, save yourself some money and pain, you do not need lace up stiletto boots to impress him; and ps: he isn't smart. A few notes on other guys: discovering someone is also from Memphis does not mean you need to make out with them, alcohol kills germs is not a good rationale why it's ok to make out with guys whose names you don't know. Getting back together with an ex is a terrible idea, there's a reason you weren't good for each other the first time. You are not going to meet your future husband at Loyola, and that's ok. I don't know why you would want to go to an expensive private college if you thought you were going to be married and at home with a baby at 25 anyway but that is not your life plan so remember you are there to learn something. You will have heartbreaks and think the world is ending but it's not, so stop crying and go have fun with your sorority sisters. MC who comes into your life sophomore year is the most awesome person you will ever meet.
Community bathrooms are not gross, they are cleaned every day by someone who is not you. What IS gross as passive aggressively not cleaning the shower because your suite mates never clean it. Oh, and just dumping a bottle of bleach on the tiles is not "cleaning". In addition to all the cute dorm room accessories, take cleaning and medical supplies with you; this will save you from having to walk to Walgreen's when you aren't feeling good. It sounds really cool not having parental supervision and for the most part it is, but with this it means your mommy isn't there to take care of you when you get sick.
It's ok that you are being exposed to people who are different from you, don't be afraid of it - embrace it! You're going to make mistakes - just remember it's just college, the dumb things you do at 20 won't define you at 28, in fact luckily you won't even remember half of the dumb things that seem so important right now. You're going to be surprised on who is your friend years from now and who you never talk to again, but treat everyone with kindness and respect if nothing else because it's just the right way to live. Every time you get scared, lonely, or think that things have turned out wrong remember that you decided to go off to school a days drive from home where you knew no one, that's pretty brave and you are stronger than you think.