It’s strange to think that a year from now I’ll be finishing up the last few weeks of my undergraduate career. It’s even stranger to think that just two years ago I was finishing up the first semester of my undergraduate career. My time at college is flying quickly, but there are so many things that I’ve learned outside of the expected curriculum:
1. You will lock your keys in your room, or your car, or somewhere else relatively unattainable without the keys.
This will be one of those moments where it is the most inconvenient time to not have your keys. You’ll be on your way somewhere, and bam! No keys. Just try not to do it all the time. Check your pockets and purses before you leave places!
2. Mac’s can get viruses too.
I just learned this one—and I learned it the hard way, when my laptop shut itself down, turned itself back on and opened every single file ever saved. If you have a computer, you need some sort of antivirus software. I’m not very technologically savvy, but in this day and age most people need their computers for their jobs and schoolwork. Just keep your computer safe—and make sure you change your passwords. There are hackers out there.
3. You shouldn’t ever go shopping when you’re hungry…
because you will buy everything in the store and blow your whole paycheck on Ben & Jerry’s, Ramen, and Easy Mac. Don’t shop hungry. That’s all I have to say.
4. Or when you’re in a hurry.
This one seriously trips me up. If you’re rushing through the store, you will forget things! Even if you have a list, because chances are, you probably forgot at least one thing when you actually wrote that list. Trust me, you’ll regret rushing when you get home and realize you forgot deodorant or toothpaste or something you actually needed. Also, it just looks bizarre to rush through a store. You’re weekly or biweekly shopping trip isn’t a game show race. Let it be a time to unwind and do something slowly!
5. If you fill one of those handheld shopping baskets at Target or Walmart you’ll spend about $50.
You probably don’t believe me, but I’ve made enough shopping trips where I’ve grabbed the shopping basket thinking I’d save a ton of money. But you can’t save that much money if you cram those things full. You might only get four bags of stuff out of the shopping basket, but it will consistently cost between $20 and $50. Only shopping lists are 100% guaranteed to prevent overspending.
6. It’s okay to buy the generic brands.
I used to think that it was unacceptable to buy the generic brands. I have no idea why. They don’t taste worse; they won’t give you diseases; they won’t break your piggy bank. Really they’re just the same stuff but in less fancy packaging.
7. Sometimes you NEED to call in sick.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a personal day if you need it—and sometimes you need it! It’s easy to spread yourself too thin and become overwhelmed. A day of rest will save your sanity.
8. Fruit flies are born from rotting banana peels.
Not really. I’m not actually sure where they come from, but the point here is that they will invade! It doesn’t matter if you leave a banana peel out for thirty minutes or if you leave a banana ripening for a week, fruit flies can smell that like a shark can smell blood. Just make sure to prevent fruit flies because they’re really hard to get rid of!
9. Food expires and it’s not always clear at first sight.
You have to smell your milk and check expiration dates. When you live on your own, your mom isn’t there to throw away food that is bad. I’ve eaten enough spoiled food to know that…
10. It’s okay to be down to earth.
When I came to my campus, I didn’t realize I would be entering a world of people completely different from myself. A large majority of the students I encounter come from a much higher socioeconomic standing than I do, and at first, I thought I was wrong because of that. There is nothing wrong with being of a lower socioeconomic standing though. I’ve learned frugality; that money can’t buy happiness; that people can be selfish beyond belief; that people can have goodness like no other; and most importantly that love is the most valuable wealth a person can have.