Some random advice to you, because these things are on my mind.
Some things are much easier than you think they are. Internships, for one. If you are like I was, the name is rather intimidating. But it’s kind of the same thing as volunteering (if you are a humanities major) or a job (if you are in one of those fields where they actually pay their interns.) So if you have ever volunteered, or held a job, it’s pretty much the same thing, but with a spiffier title. You apply, which can be a formal process or something like stopping by the local historical society and talking to the director, then you get the internship and you follow the directions and do as you are told.
Do what you like
Speaking of volunteering/interning/working while you are in college. If at all possible, find things to do that interest you. If you get work-study, try and find a work-study position that interests you, even if it doesn’t directly pertain to your major. If you decide to volunteer, do something that is fun to you, not what you think would look good on your resume. Same for internships. The reason is that you might not do what you thought you were going to do after college and if you are applying for jobs that are outside of your area of study, it’s great to have some experience somewhere in your past. It may be that you have to work food service to get you through school, but if you love to spend time with children, try and volunteer with them. Maybe you will end up working in a school or a daycare and you will be happy you have that experience with children.
Really think about it before you get a tattoo. Think about the placement and design for a very long time before you commit. This is because–like everything–styles of tattoos come and go. Maybe you picked out an awesome tribal tattoo for your very first, because tribal tattoos are the coolest thing ever. How will you feel ten years later when someone points out how clichéd and lame tribal tattoos are? (Could this be an example from my actual experience? I’ll let you decide.) In general, I would also caution you to put those tattoos where they can be hidden, especially when you are just starting down the tattoo path. You’ve got your whole life to splash them across your body. Put the first ones where they can’t be seen until you know that you want to be the kind of person who has visible tattoos. It’s possible that in 10 years, you won’t be that kind of person.
Drinking and Drugging
Think carefully about drinking and using drugs. If you are going away to a new school, meeting really cool people and ready for new experiences, it’s tempting to dive right into everything. But you don’t really know these new friends and who knows if they will be the kind of friends you had back home who watched out for you while you were not 100% sober. John Green said once that there are those in college who say never to drink and those in collage to drink all the time. He advises that you probably don’t want to pick either of those factions. If you are going to drink, do it lightly and with care. You’ve got stuff to learn and assignments to complete. It’s best to minimize the fallout from your social time (read: hangovers). Also, that stuff’s expensive, and you’re probably underage which makes it illegal.
Take fun classes! You’ve got requirements to meet, sure, but find the most interesting classes you can to fulfill those requirements. As someone who wasn’t the biggest fan of science and math, I was pretty happy to take Botany and Anthropology to fulfill science requirements and Logic to settle the last of my Mathematics requirements. And I turned out to be awesome at Logic, which was not an experience I had in any other math class of my education. Maybe you love science and math but are dreading your humanities requirements. Find the crossover classes that sound interesting. Or just scan through the schedule and take what appeals to you. Maybe a class in memoir writing will be just what your physics-loving self desires.
Protein and PE
Eat protein every day and take a PE class every semester. I’m not kidding about the protein. There’s a good chance you will become a vegetarian/be faced with an entire dining hall devoted to pasta/have to cook for yourself for the first time in your life. Take it from me and HAVE PROTEIN WITH EVERY MEAL. And PE in college is awesome, plus it makes you exercise, which is good for your stress levels and health. Most colleges have really great choices in all areas of PE. I took everything from Ballroom Dancing to Advanced Swimming and Diving to Mountain Biking. I would have loved to squeeze in a hiking PE class, or learning how to kayak or scuba dive, but I had to graduate. If you take the class with friends, you have built in social time during the week too.
That’s all the random advice for today, collegiate friends. Good luck to you.