Things I’ve Learned Since Coming to College

Elissa Sanci

College has taught me so many important life lessons, and most of these lessons will probably stick with me for the rest of my life. Here’s a list, in no particular order, of the things I’ve learned since coming to UNH:

1.How to do my laundry: Be honest. How many freshmen knew how to do their own laundry before coming to school? Maybe I’m the minority here, and everyone else knew how to launder their clothes before I did, but I don’t think that’s the case. However, since going away to school, I’ve learned how to successfully clean my own clothes and not add too much detergent to a single load (I’ll never make that mistake again).

2. How to manage my time: College is essentially a balancing act. Three classes today, a 10-page paper due tomorrow, two articles to write for the newspaper, and going to the gym. And I usually like to fit in eating and sleeping too. College means prioritizing all aspects of your life, and it also means being mature enough to know that watching the new episode of How I Met Your Mother isn’t a priority…at least not until your history paper is finished.

3. How to manage my money: And when I say money, I not only mean my real money, but my dining dollars too. As anyone who started as a freshman at UNH should know, we’re required to have the unlimited board meal plan that comes with 525 dining dollars. In the beginning of the semester, you question how anyone can run out of money—$500 is just so. much. money. However, you quickly realize how wrong you are when it’s only September and you’ve already blown through $300 of it. You like to think you don’t know how it happened, but you’re very much aware. It went a little like this: Sandella’s? Swipe. Smoothies at the gym? Swipe. Sure, let’s make it a large coffee! Swipe. C-Store run!?! Swipe. Swipe. Swipe.

4. How to be responsible: This applies not only to homework but also especially to laundry. You do not—I repeat, do not—want to be that kid, the one who leaves their wet laundry in a machine for four hours. If you’re doing your laundry, you have to be responsible enough to commit to it. College also means your mom isn’t going to be flipping the lights on two hours before class to tell you to get your act together and shower. You’re on your own to wake up, to get to class, to do your homework, and most importantly, to pass all of your classes—mom can only pester you so much via text message.

5. That I don’t necessarily need much sleep to survive: College has taught me to value sleep. Sleep as much as you can at a time, because you don’t know the next time you’ll get to do it again.

6. That I will do almost anything for free food: It’s almost sad how true this. As long as there is free food, I’ll most likely be there. Extra points if it’s food from an outside source and not supplied by the dining hall.

7. That I will do almost anything for free anything: Again, sad, but true. It’s college, and everyone is broke! This is a time in our lives where we teach ourselves to live off jars of peanut butter and crackers, and we are definitely not in the position to turn down free…anything. It doesn’t matter what it is—if I don’t have to pay, I’ll take it. Pencils, hats, T-shirts, buttons, bracelets…it just doesn’t matter.

8. That I should always go for something, even if it’s out of my comfort zone: This year, I’ve learned to do things that I would normally never do. I’m personally not one to go places alone or do things where I don’t know anyone going in, but since coming to UNH, I’ve pushed myself to join groups that I was interested in, and I’ve learned to be more independent. As a result, I’ve met so many new people, made many new friendships, moved towards achieving goals in the future and made lots of awesome memories along the way.