Life in a college town: 50 things I learned my freshman year

The band The 1975 came out with their self-titled album in October of my freshman year. At this point, I had settled into my down comforter, my microwaveable mac and cheese, and the fact that Sunday afternoon is the worst possible day to do my laundry.

Also at this point, while blasting “Chocolate” on repeat, I had started to cut a mold for myself and I couldn’t wait to fill it. So, I pulled out my phone and started making a list of everything I wanted to do. Eventually, those goals turned into reality, and reality turned into a few things I had learned that first year.

1. Eat yogurt on the steps of The Met, because who doesn’t want to be Blair Waldorf.

2. Hold hands in Ikea.

3. Have that really good first kiss.

4. Make an unforgettable first impression.

5. Never replace, simply add.

6. It always is OK to go home.

7. Do something that scares you every day.

8. Fall down.

9. Don’t beg for attention, demand it.

10. Sometimes it takes beautiful people to show you how beautiful you truly are.

11. Always have an obscenely high life goal.

12. It may or may not be a good idea, but you should do it anyway.

13. Love who you’re becoming, because your life is beautiful.

14. Trust people. It’s the only way to figure out if you can trust them or not.

15. If a guy asks you to come over after 1 a.m. don’t.

16. Hold the door for people.

17. A day can’t go wrong when it starts with red lipstick.

18. Be embarrassing.

19. If it didn’t knock the wind out of them like a sucker punch, you didn’t hit hard enough.

20. Kill things. Not really, but go into things full force and annihilate them with motivation.

21. Never hold back.

22. Look both ways.

23. Sing Tom Petty and dance in the streets (seriously).

24. When things start to blur, learn to clarify.

25. Give a hell of a lot more than you take.

26. Indulge in the way a person’s eyes light up when they talk about their passion, and be passionate yourself.

27. Read. Read. Read. Books can take you anywhere.

28. If you’re not there, get there.

29. It’s OK to cry.

30. See things. Really see things for what they are and not what you hope they’ll eventually turn out to be.

31. Yes, you are crazy. It’s OK.

32. Strength is not how many things your hands can hold, but how many your heart can.

33. When you feel you can’t stand any longer, kneel.

34. Be the best person you possibly can be.

35. Thank your parents every day for the person you are at this moment. It’s their fault.

36. After midnight, you think more clearly. It’s dangerous.

37. Not everyone is your best friend “forever.” Don’t feel obligated to stay friends with someone who no longer holds the same values or interests you do.

38. There are some people you just can’t live with.

39. You learn a lot about people from their laundry.

40. Realize how lucky you are to have someone that makes saying goodbye so hard.

41. Count your blessings, not your burdens, and don’t wait for anything.

42. Sometimes you have to realize you’re being irrational.

43. A clean break always is better than lingering.

44. Realize what you’re worth.

45. Whatever you do, don’t rewind situations just to find where you went wrong. Push play. Move forward.

46. Don’t apologize for being real.

47. When all else fails, a Taylor Swift song always will understand you.

48. Your best friend will last a whole lot longer than the boy who said “Hi” to you last weekend.

49. Your mom always was right. She’ll always be right.

50. You can’t get freshman year back, and honestly, I’m not kidding, it goes by way too fast. So do stupid, big things and don’t look back.

Herzing is a sophomore at Lycoming College majoring in creating writing and painting.