-Elizabeth Langford, contributing writer
Ladies and gents, I think it’s official: I have become an adult. Yes, I am well past my 19th birthday. I can technically sign my name on a dotted line without having to fake my dear mother’s signature, and I’ve successfully navigated about 20 airports since I left home a year ago. However, I must say, I didn’t feel grown up until 3 weeks ago. Why? Because three weeks ago I clicked “empty cart” on my favorite dress shopping website, scooted on over to Chegg, and bought myself a math textbook instead of a cute 50’s dress with a sailor collar. Hold your applause, friends; hold your applause. No need to pat me on the back. I am just now implementing what I learned from mistakes I made freshman year. Now, I’m sure there’s a good chance you’re rolling your eyes as you’re reading this, but take heed, because learning to be an adult is a process, a process which, if I’m being completely honest, I’m fairly terrible at, but, of course, am always learning. There are a few things I wished I had learned earlier on freshman year, so I’m going to go ahead and impart these tiny, dinged up pearls of responsible, adult wisdom to you. But only you can decide to do with them as you please.
To start out, here’s a “Don’t”. Chick-fil-a, Sonic, and Taco Bell are great…. but don’t do it every day. It’s tempting to slide over to one of Clinton’s premier fast food joints at 1:30 am after follies practice, but trust me, your wallet, as well as your stomach, won’t be able to handle it. Fourth meal is very real, and it’s frequently the cause of the Freshman 15. Beware.
Another “Don’t”: Taking 3 naps and a siesta to get in your 8 hours of beauty sleep doesn’t count. Don’t skip on too much sleep. My first semester of freshman year, I was convinced that every form of sleep counted towards my 8-11 hours of sleep. The issue with that philosophy is that sleeping for 2 hours at night, fitting the other 6 into naps, and then snoozing through Sociology seriously messes up our sleep cycle, making us more prone to weight gain, sickness, and mood swings.
Now to wrap up, here’s a “Do”. Do something every day that makes you uncomfortable. On a serious note, growth happens when we put ourselves in situations we’re uncomfortable in. I cannot tell you how many rad friends I’ve made via incredibly awkward introductions and mistaken identity cases in the Caf. Talk to people you wouldn’t normally interact with, do an intramural you have no idea how to play, or visit a Church that isn’t your denomination. Do something new that you aren’t particularly comfortable with whenever the opportunity presents itself. I can’t promise you it will always turn out super awesome, although I think it usually will, but you’ll be a better more cultured person for it.