I remember the five-hour car ride to college. Fear mixed with excitement hit me in waves while listening to my iPod classic. On the bright side, this type of situation is the perfect time to revamp your image. High school is over and you are probably going to a place where no one knows you. You can be whoever you choose to be! That mindset shift is actually pretty liberating. There aren’t too many life moments where you can just say, “actually no, I am not going to be known as shy and awkward. I am going to be friendly and liked by people!” It comes down to a choice you make for yourself and can even get yourself out of a personality rut…..
The fashion purge….
First things first….Let’s talk about the physical. If you were pretty bland with your clothing choices in high school (I looked like a Gap mannequin), now is the time to spice things up. Not saying you need to look like a wacky elementary-school art teacher, but get a little out of your comfort zone. Ask your fashion-forward friend to go though your closet and then go thrift shopping together. Tell her to be brutally honest about what is working and what isn’t. Donate clothes that are ill-fitting or are just plain unflattering.
Now is the time to dye your hair a color you have always wanted. Get that fresh cut or even extensions. A mousey brown to a stunning blonde can make a world of difference. (Go to a salon; using a box-dye could be regrettable. Treat yourself!) Personally, I would stick to natural colors to cast a wide net of people. When you choose to dye your hair raven black or green it puts you in the “alternative” category. Unless you are already in that look and have a tattoo sleeve, for example, then try not to shove yourself in a limiting box.
The glow up….
I do not advocate starving yourself to lose 20 pounds in two weeks. Nowadays, society is wayyyy more accepting of different body types. When I was a freshmen if you weren’t rail thin, eyebrows would be raised. Thank god that isn’t the case now. However, if you want to tone up or change eating patterns to be healthier, then great! It’s a good time to get in the habit of working out and drinking more water.
Your high school boyfriend…..
Ok….summer of senior year is break-up season. I know you think that it will be fine and you can do long distance….stop! You need to give yourself the freedom to meet people and not be chained to your phone so you can have nightly phone calls. It is crucial to be open to go to parties, join that club, and just have fun! If you are meant to marry your high school sweetheart, the universe will take care of it.
Your high school friends…..
No problem with staying friends with your bestie. Just try not to use her as a crutch. It’s fun if she visits you for a weekend, yet this is your time to spread your wings. Also, she might see you as high school; you when you are trying to change up your image and rebrand. Yes, she is your old friend and you can still remain good friends through college and beyond; just try to be open to new friends and opportunities.
Expectations for your first roommate….
Hate to break the news, but she could be a total nightmare. The first night, my roommate had her boyfriend stay over….and let’s just say it wasn’t comfortable. You never know what you will be walking into. Freshmen year they might shove you in with two roommates! Make sure to have solid boundaries from the start and to not let the little things slide. I know you want to get along, but it’s easy to get walked over by a bossy roommate.
Should you play the field or couple up?…..
Boys, boys, boys….There will be new boys everywhere and probably the majority are freshly single. Going back to rebranding, it’s important to not get a tarnished reputation out of the gate. I know you want to carpe diem, but think about the rumor mill that might haunt you later when you are ready to settle down. Now, with social media, one uploaded video could blacklist you. It would be regrettable to lose your virginity or have a first casual hook up in a drunken haze. Do not answer messages after 11pm. Put your phone on silent and go to sleep. You will get many many offers to come chill in a dude’s dorm late night.
Your life can change overnight. The first night I arrived at college I met new friends, went to my first college party, and finally felt like I belonged. I allowed myself to be outgoing, confident, and open to experience. Yes, there should be limits such as boundary setting. Be careful with boys and be firm yet polite with your new roommate. Drama will happen regardless, yet you need to be strategic with your reputation and rebranding yourself. It will happen fast, but the memories and lessons will last a lifetime.