“Growing up happens in a heartbeat. One day you’re in diapers, the next day you’re gone. But the memories of childhood stay with you for the long haul.”
-The Wonder Years
High school graduation marks the end of childhood, and a transition into the nascent stage of adulthood. As with every phase of growing up, you embark on an emotional rollercoaster steeped in excitement, trepidation, curiosity, sadness, and wonder. Here are some tips to stay on track, survive, and maybe even thrive!
- Everyone is scared! Be kind, supportive, and patient. Don’t let anyone sit alone in the dining hall. Remember what you hated about high school? Here is your chance to change it.
- Look out for each other. There will be alcohol readily available, and it is everyone’s responsibility to maintain a safe environment. Leave no man/woman behind!
- Become an active member of your college community through Greek life, volunteering, on campus jobs, or clubs. These commitments will not only enhance your social calendar, but keep you honest with time management and priorities.
- If you are struggling with feelings of depression, anxiety, or loneliness, reach out to someone in the counseling center. Challenges with mental health-related issues often start during the college years.
- Try to be active. These four years can be taxing on the body, which impacts our mind’s ability to function properly. Budget time to work out or join a club sport.
- Even though you are technically an “adult”, your parents will always be there, even if you don’t need them. It only takes 15 seconds to send or answer a text message.
- You will make mistakes. Some small, some medium, and hopefully only one whopper. Just remember, there is nothing worth taking your own life. 20 years from now, your mistake will have either shaped you, or be utterly forgotten. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
- Many first loves are cultivated in college. These relationships can produce very intense feelings, both positive and negative. For some, this person may be the love of their life; however, for many, there will be an expiration date. You can overcome the pain, and love again.
- Use social media responsibly. It is imperative to keep drunk and/or half naked photos off the Internet. Your definition of “acceptable” will be vastly different once your frontal lobes are fully developed. If photos are floating around in cyber space, someone can ALWAYS find them. A guideline to consider: if your parents would cringe, don’t post it!!
- HAVE FUN!!!! You’ve never experienced any four years like this before, and I assure you, it won’t happen again.
P.S. Please do me a favor, sleep in until 12:00 pm, order a Papa John’s pizza, binge watch Netflix with friends, and laugh so hard some beverage comes out your nose:)
Best of Luck,
Class of 2002