With graduation season here, memories of my college days come flooding back. I remember my boss’s daughter, who is also a Hokie, telling me before leaving that any time she sees the 118B Exit sign for Virginia Tech her stomach drops and her heart races because of how much she misses Tech. I love Virginia Tech, but thought after a year I’d be ok with having graduated and starting the real world. Hahaha good joke. I’m almost 3 years out and I would give up all my limbs to go back and redo college. Those four years were the most influential, educational and developmental years in my almost 25 years of life. For those high school seniors about to graduate here’s my advice for you as you enter college.
1. Do random roommate
With all the social media channels at our fingertips, most rising college freshman turn to Facebook to find their roommates. I didn’t do that but instead decided to random and it ended up being one of the best decisions I made. I remember being at the beach when roommate assignments came out and screaming with my parents because my roommate, Courtney Parks, happened to be from the same town my mom’s random college roommate was from. It was fate, we were bound to get along. 😉
Courtney and I to this day are still close friends. My parents actually say she was the best thing to happen to me in college because unlike me she is free spirited, always willing to do something spontaneous and fun, and not afraid to be herself. Yes, she could’ve easily ended up being awful but I’m so thankful that I chose to do a random roommate as that in turn gave me one of my best friends.
2. Leave your dorm room door open.
I’m not going to lie, the first couple of weeks of college were a little rough. I was only hanging out with people I knew from high school, not really meeting anyone. Meanwhile, Courtney (see above) already had created this great friend group. I started leaving my room door open when I was home which ended up allowing me to meet others in my dorm and meet some of my best friends (looking at you Lisa, Tessa, and Andrew). Everyone is in the same boat when it comes to dorms, trying to make friends, so remember that!
3. Don’t date someone in your dorm.
My freshman year RA warned me when I started dating this guy on my hall that it wasn’t a good idea. He would say that first semester is always great but then it would all hit the fan second semester and you’d be stuck seeing that person every day. Well, my RA was right. While I’m glad I met my boyfriend at the time and we had fun with our friends in the dorm, when we broke it off at the beginning of the second semester, what my RA warned me became true. Just learn from my experience, don’t do it.
4. Get involved.
I was overly involved in high school so I told myself I wasn’t going to do that in college. Nice try, Katie. I did take the first semester of college easy so I could adjust but it wasn’t long before I was neck deep in organizations. For me, I like staying busy and enjoyed every single one I was apart of. I also met the most amazing people through my extra curriculars. Even if it’s just one organization or club, join! It’s a great way to be involved with the community and also meet people with common interests.
5. Stop and smell the flowers.
Because I was so involved, I was constantly on the go and rarely had time to take a breather. Four years goes by quick. Every once in a while, try to stop for a minute and take in the scene. Whether it’s at a football game, sitting at your favorite spot on campus, or even eating at one of the dining halls, stop and take a look around and enjoy it. You’ll be thankful you did when you’re now almost three years out of college (I know it’s not that long, but it’s gone by quick).
And with that, I need to give a little shout-out one last time to my girl Courtney, thanks for being the Rachel to my Monica!