College is a Wonderful Place Full of Candy Around Every Corner (or Advice to College Freshmen)

I teach a first year experience course, and at the end of the course, the students write a paper giving advice to next year’s freshmen. As college freshmen begin to move on campus and start the next phase of their lives, I’d like to share some of this (hilarious) advice.

– “Do not fall in love with the first guy or girl that you meet. That was harder than I thought!”

– “In high school, freshmen get picked on all the time and are thought of as the scum of the earth. However, in college, I have found that the only difference between a senior and a freshman guy is facial hair.”

– “…through a lot of hard work, blood, sweat, actual tears, racism, stares, breaking down, doubt, a car crash, and one concussion later, I have learned to persevere.”

– “You can get a job at the school, like making sure people don’t steal stuff from the library.”

– “The good drink machines are on the second floor. It has all the good drinks and always works.”

– “I still remember the look on my face when my parents left, and I was lost. Now I look back with a smile on my face, because now I have no fears.”

– “…sometimes it was interesting, and I liked it, but other times it was boring and I fell asleep.”

-“Most kids are used to being spoon-fed their whole life, and they really do not know how hard it is to be on their own.”

-“You never think you would miss beating up on your little brother every day until you can’t anymore.”

-“When you’re sitting in bed debating on whether or not to go to class, get up and just go,”

-” I thought if I could go here and become a better wrestler, get big muscles, and possibly a girlfriend in the process, then why not?”

-“It’s nice to have a little brotherly brotherhood.”

-“After extensive private lessons in American Sign Language, I now know how to sign bacon.”

-“Being away from home is hard. Especially 2,355 miles away.”

-“College is a wonderful place full of wonderment, surprises, and candy around every corner. Ok, I lied about that last part.”

You just can’t make this stuff up!

I Will Not Look at Your Online Dating Profile If….

So, if I were to ever look at an online dating site, which I’m not saying I have, these are some guys I would not check out. IF I checked out online dating. *Cough. Cough* Maybe, perhaps, it could be that these are real life examples I’ve seen. I mean, my friend saw when she was online. Yeah…my friend.

1) Your main photo is of you and a deer carcass. (Remember, I live in West Virginia.)

2) Your main photo is you in the bathroom mirror. (You don’t have one friend that could take a picture for you?!)

3) Your username is Mr. Giggles

4)You admit that your photos are all more than 2 years old.

5)Your username is Lonely Guy. (Desperate much?)

6) You have a face tattoo. (Apparently you don’t have a job.)

7) You dont use apostrophes in your bio. Youre better than that.

8) You are wearing jorts in one of your profile pictures. (If you don’t know what jorts are, you need to Google that junk. Now. You might be a violator too!)

9) The first line of your info says, “I still live with my parents…”

10) You call yourself a tool in your profile.

Well, that was a waste of 30 minutes. I mean, my friend’s 30 minutes…

Do you have any that you would add?

5 Things I Learned This Summer

Summer. It’s a break from the norm. It’s full of vacations and warm weather, cook-outs and shorts. It can also be bursting with lessons and realizations. And now that fall has crept in and summer is over, it’s the perfect time to talk about what I learned this summer.

#1- Fake it till ya make it.

Act like you know what you’re doing, even when you really don’t. I did quite a bit of this during the summer, especially during my time in Japan. Teaching small children English with no translator? Sure, I’ve done that dozens of times. With my eyes closed. And my hands tied behind my back. I acted confident, which made me feel confident, and , in turn, others thought I was confident. And it all ended up going well.

#2- You don’t have to like everyone.

While you do need to love everyone, you don’t have to like everyone. This means that you do need to be polite and have manners with everyone and treat everyone kindly. It does not mean that you have to enjoy being around them or purposefully seek them out. My friend oh-so-wisely pointed out to me this summer that I feel like I’m being mean when I don’t want to be around someone. It’s not being two-faced to be nice to someone and yet not like them; it’s called having manners.

#3- I hum when I’m nervous. 

Sorry this is not a huge life lesson that is applicable to everyone,  but I noticed it while traveling overseas. I was in so many new situations, whether it was wondering around in downtown Tokyo by myself on my first day there or getting ready to meet the superintendent of the Tokyo school system. I never realized I do this, but apparently I just hum a little tune to calm myself down. So, if you ever see me, and I’m humming something that doesn’t even resemble an actual tune, I’m probably a little anxious about the situation I’m in.

#4- It’s ok to say no.

Why do we feel like we always have to do everything people ask of us? And then you know what happens? We can’t do any of it well. It is absolutely ok to tell people no sometimes. Sometimes they are shocked when you tell them, but, hey, they’ll get over it. And I know you- you would be nice and tactful and  not  just blurt out “NO!”, so it’ll go fine. Try it once and see how you feel. I am still working on not feeling guilty afterwards, but I’m getting there.

#5- We regret what we didn’t do more than we regret the things  we did.

We never know when we’ll get another chance to do  something. We never know when we’ll be at that place again or have that opportunity. I hate when people travel somewhere and say, “Well, I didn’t get to see “x” that I really wanted to see, but I’ll catch it next time I’m here.” What if you’re never there again?! What if you don’t get that chance? This isn’t just about traveling either. I know there are several things in my life that I wish I had done, and sometimes I still think about how I wish I would have. That’s a terrible feeling! It’s not too often that I sit around and think about how I wish I wouldn’t have done something. Usually there is at least a lesson learned. So, I ate the raw beef dish at the Korean BBQ. And I don’t even regret it.


Now here’s to hoping I learn a few things this fall as well!