Dear Graduates

Dear graduates,

You made it. Four years of high school are finally coming to a close and you are done. If you are anything like I was, you are extremely ready, waiting, and anxious to get away to college. I think that too often we rush to get somewhere and then, before we know it, it is over.

I am now graduating college and would like to share eleven tips that helped me to have a memorable college experience.

1.     Say “yes” to everything. You are going to be thankful for midnight Target runs and waking up at 4:30 a.m. to go on a sunrise hike. The best memories are made at the strangest times.

2.     Talk to everyone. You will be surprised by who ends up becoming your best friend in college. Friendships can begin in the drive thru of a restaurant if you take the opportunity.

3.     Explore. Explore. Explore. The little, ice cream food truck in the parking lot of the mall can become your favorite late-night adventure. Go thrift shopping, swim in a lake, and take every opportunity to make a memory.

4.     Don’t push your schoolwork to the side, but take care of yourself. Sometimes you just really need to take a nap in the middle of writing a paper.

5.     Stay up late on the weekends binge watching shows on Netflix. This one might seem a little strange, but this is something that you will not be able to do for long. I am now balancing two jobs, planning a wedding, and graduating college. And surprisingly, I do not have time to watch shows any more.  

6.     Eat healthy, y’all. You’re going to hate it and it is going to be hard, but just wait until you are sick and your mom isn’t there to bring you soup and medicine. It is a miserable experience and I would highly advise against it.

7.     Don’t try to impress everyone. I have done the walk of shame to the library to print papers multiple times in socks and sandals. Oversized shirts and sweaters are your best friends.

8.     Fall in love. Or don’t. College is a weird time where half of your friends are getting married and the other half are still enjoying being as single as it gets. Don’t feel pressured to fit into a certain mold of what “everyone else is doing”.

9.     You don’t have to know what you are doing. Some people go into college with a plan for the next ten years of their life and they stick to it. Don’t stress yourself out because you don’t know what you want to do yet or what you want to major in. You will figure it out.

10.  Find a home church and get involved. With all of the crazy, spontaneous occurrences that take place in college, it is so important to have some consistency in your weekly schedule. Don’t be afraid to bounce around until you find the right fit.

11.  Have fun. College is a unique experience and it will fly by faster than you can imagine. Soak in every minute of it.  

With Grace,

Stephanie Baderman