The Huffington Post article “The 20 Things I Wish Someone Told Me at 20” could be easily renamed “Sorry Mom” for a lot of current Boston College juniors. For freshmen, this article may be taken as a guide, a sense of direction, or at least a list of how to be less awful. For seniors, it may be seen as a checklist of what they did and did not accomplish. But being a Boston College twenty-something might be a little bit different than being a UCLA or even BU twenty-something. As a Boston College student, here are 20 things that will serve you well as a twenty-something for your years at BC.
1. Figure Out How to Be Happy
Happiness is a funny thing, and sometimes we lose it. Find the little things that make you smile and go after them. It doesn’t matter if it’s starting the day with Starbucks, checking chores off of a to-do list, or watching an episode of SpongeBob on your couch. Just find out what it is and do it. It just might change your life.
Everybody wants good grades, a great internship, and six figures by the time they’re twenty-five. If you can’t see life outside of those end goals, you’ll drive yourself insane and never reach them. Breathe. Go outside. Run around the quad. You’re still a child, and you need to hold on to that for dear life.
3. Life Is Way Too Short To Regret Late Night
You absolutely should not eat late night every night or even every weekend, but you absolutely should not regret doing so if you have. We are all guilty of judging ourselves based on other people’s standards, but if you want ten orders of mozz sticks then, honey, you deserve them. The less you care, the happier you’ll be. Trust me.
4. Take In Every Moment
The more time you spend thinking about your past, the less time you’ll spend experience the things that are happening right now. Open up your eyes, your ears, and your heart as wide and as often as you can. These are the moments worth remembering.
5. You Create Yourself
You might not know it, but every little thing you say and do right now becomes a part of who you are as a person. If you walk into freshmen year and decide you want to be standoffish and cold, you will be. If you want to be bubbly and high-strung, you will be. You get to decide, so think long and hard before you pigeonhole yourself.
6. Your Friends Aren’t Having More Fun Than You
Facebook is a deceiving tool, and you can’t give into it. You know how you spend hours editing and meticulously choosing great pictures from your weekend to put online? So do your friends. Anybody can fake a great time, but it’s up to you to go out and have one.
7. Spend Your Money Wisely
Instead of buying $400 shoes and nineteen different Halloween costumes, try spending your money on an experience that you’ll remember forever. Having the ability to afford a good time with the people you care about is worth a whole lot more than a new purse.
8. Marrying Rich Is Not A Real Life Goal
Seriously. When somebody asks you what your major is and you reply, “standing outside of Fulton to meet a hot business major” you look ridiculous. Making a joke is one thing, but there is a small and very serious percentage of students who are pursuing their “MRS” degree.
9. Don’t Lose Yourself
In the midst of midterms and finals and Keeping Up With the Kardashians, it’s pretty easy to forget what is really important to us. Before you lock yourself in the library for a week straight or party a little too hard this weekend, take a step back and remember who you are and who you want to be.
10. Hold On, But Don’t Be Afraid To Let Go
Your high school friends will always be a part of who you are, but when conversations seem forced and Skype date cancellations rack up, you need to cut some ties. There is no sense in keeping people in your life who don’t put in any effort to be there.
11. Less Acronyms
As a Boston College freshman, it’s hard not to join five thousand different clubs that you don’t care about. Some say college is all about standing up for causes you don’t believe in, but don’t spread yourself so thin that you forget what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Pick two clubs and make a difference in them: don’t just be an extra body.
12. Stop Being So BC
The next time you quickly pass someone in the quad and say “HOW ARE YA” with no intent on hearing an answer, just stop. If you don’t really care, don’t ask. And stop asking people to lunch so that you can talk about your problems the whole time without listening to theirs. Oh, and I know you’re not really texting.
13. Just Say “Yes”
As a smart BC student, you might be an over-thinker. As an over-thinker, you might miss out on amazing opportunities. The next time someone asks you to step outside of your comfort zone, don’t think - just say yes. You’ll be surprised at what you discover about yourself.
14. These Might Not Be The “BEST 4 YEARS OF YOUR LIFE”
And that’s okay. For a lot of people, these are simply the “best four consecutive years of their life.” For others, not so much. If you keep trying so hard to have a great time, you’ll stop having a great time. Just live your life, and stop feeling so pressured.
15. Stop Gossiping
It was cool in middle school, because it was cool in middle school. Talking about one roommate to another roommate about how bad of a roommate he/she is solves absolutely zero problems. Housing is enough of a nightmare without bad behavior behind the scenes. You want that eight-man? You better be prepared to speak up.
16. You Are Not The Sun
The world does not revolve around you. It’s so hard to remember that other people exist when we have personal issues up to the roof, but kindness and consideration can’t be forgotten in the midst of our own problems. Make the world a better place for everyone, not just yourself.
17. Read Something Else
I know you totally “don’t have time” to read anything else because Perspectives has you reading 5 books a week. I know. But reading something funny or stimulating or instructive that wasn’t assigned by a professor will make you so much happier. And smarter.
18. First Impressions Are Everything
And this fact sort of sucks. You are going to be the most nervous when you first meet potential employers, but this is the most important time. Take a deep breath, keep track of how much you are using your hands, and talk slowly. Keep eye contact and try to smile every once in a while. This goes for meeting her parents, too.
19. Go To Mary Ann’s When You’re Legal
I’m not even a senior, but I know that I will hate seeing freshmen try to get into MA’s on a Friday night when I am one. For once, let the people who actually are twenty-one get to be twenty-one with their peers. Stop ruining their fun and pull your shirt up. You’d appreciate this act of kindness if the roles were reversed.
20. Bring It All To The Table
There are so few moments when we really give 100%, and every minute we do something half-heartedly is a minute wasted. Stop giving 20% to five things and find the one that you really care about and give it 100%. There is no better feeling than a hard-earned victory, and you’ll never know what that’s like if you don’t start trying.
Feature image via of The Gavel.