- never underestimate the power of exercise and eating healthfully--not only will it keep off the Freshman 15, it also keeps you from getting sick. And getting sick while in college is your worst enemy.
- professors are there to help you--they're scary at first but don't be intimidated or too proud to ask for help. I learned that the hard way.
- it never hurts to ask--if you think you received an unfair grade on something, ask if you can re-do it! Chances are they'll be surprised that you care so much and say yes!
- take it seriously--you only have one shot.
- you will lose friends. Especially as everyone heads different ways. It will be heartbreaking. I have cried harder over losing friends than anything else this past year. But there will be new friends, so don't worry. really.
- friends do dumb things. Like sometimes they date dumb boys. Often, they date dumb boys. Don't relax your standards for the guys your friends date. But love them just the same.
- Skype is your new best friend.
- stay in community with good, strong Christians.
- make an effort to stay in contact with old friends. Even if they don't care about you anymore.
- make friends with people who you would never normally associate with. You will learn the most from them.
- figuring out the delicate balance between how much your parents need to know and how much privacy to maintain is super hard, but super important
- you don't need a boyfriend. Really. I know it's hard to believe, but I've made it. (and I'm only partially broken and bruised so, ya know...)
- career plans change. Just go with it.
- related to that, don't get stuck in a major. Just because you've done theater your whole life doesn't mean you NEED to major in theater. I learned that the hard way.
- Take as many opportunities as possible to try things and branch out. Especially the ones that scare you.
- Actively look for what God wants for your life. In the big, the little, who you need to tell about Jesus, what you need to cut out of your schedule, how often you should go to church events, all of it.
- get a job.
- it's okay to cry. Yes, it took me until my Sophomore year of college to learn that lesson well.
- whatever you do, don't compromise your standards. If you give in once, you will regret it.
If nothing else, know that you will get busy. But the one thing that you CAN NOT drop when your schedule starts filling up is spending time with Jesus. I am still fighting with this one.