Now that classes are starting again, it's back to the usual grind. As my junior year begins, I've been thinking about the past two years, and the next two to come. I'm halfway done, but I've still got a ways to go. I suppose this is a sort of open letter to myself, and everyone else muddling through college.
Eat breakfast more. It's good for you. It provides the energy needed to face an 8 am law an ethics class, Wake up a few minutes earlier and make eggs. Or cereal. Even it it's just a granola bar, just eat something. Lately I've been eating the Belvita breakfast biscuits in brown sugar and cinnamon.
Bring water. Just because you're not thirsty when you leave doesn't mean you won't be 15 minutes from now, or in the middle of the lecture. It's not that hard. Just fill up a water bottle and throw it in your bag.
Leave for class earlier. Stop underestimating how long it takes to get to places, plus, you know you're going to want to stop for coffee.
Remember to back up everything. It's not that hard to upload things to Google Drive, or even easier, just type in Google Docs. It auto saves every few seconds, and you'll never lose a document ever again. And then you can even access all your documents from mobile devices if you download the app.
Stop drinking so much goddamn coffee. You don't need an extra extra venti trenta large. Trust that the caffeine will do the job.
Explore your city. Get the hell off campus. Those brick high rises aren't teaching you all that you need to learn. Embrace the surrounding area too. Just go places.
Wear nice clothes. Looking like you want to look will make you a happier version of yourself. Wear the dark purple lipstick if you want. Maybe don't wear leggings 7 days a week? Maybe that's too drastic a change...
Stop forgetting your headphones. You know once you get outside you're going to want music, and you know that once you get out the door you're not going to go back for them, so just keep them in your backpack.... it's not that hard.....
And other thoughts from friends:
Don't stick to a daily routine. I mean yes, class and sleep and work stuff, but do things that you wouldn't normally do, don't establish a comfort zone that you have to break out of. Embrace spontaneity.
Don't expect things from people because of how they look, what they wear, who they appear to associate with, or what you initially judge them as. Give people a chance to surprise you.
Let other people take on their own issues. I'm not saying be cold and unsympathetic, just don't take on other peoples' burdens as your own. You have enough anxieties and things to worry about, don't take on any more than you have to. You can't ruin yourself over things you can't control. Let go.
Social media isn't everything. You can't live through the tiny screen so put it down sometimes and try to actually live.
Keep your GPA up. Work hard. You're in school to learn so actually try.
Cook more. Stop eating out so much and learn how to use more than the microwave.
Keep your space neat. It's easier to live when you're not living in your own filth. Put clothes away, do laundry, actually clean.
Be less critical of yourself. As Nicki Minaj reminds us all, we don't have to be perfect, we're only human, and that's enough.
Author's note: Thank you to Lauren, Madison, Kara, and Allison for their thoughts on back to school and their personal goals. I couldn't have complied this without your help.