Here is a bit of fair warning: you will forget a lot (an amazing amount) about your time spent in college. All those classes, lectures, books, exams, parties: there is no way that the filing cabinet in your brain has room to store it all. Much will be discarded, save a few treasures that you’re unlikely to forget. For example:
#1. What alcoholic beverages do not, ever, mix well. Oh, you know, mix up a bit of this, switch over to a bit of that, accept some other thing, and then spend the next day wishing for death. That makes anyone a fast learner.
#2. Your first college crush. This will be a full-colour, slow motion memory that includes where you first saw him or her; the first time you spoke to each other; where your first kiss happened and who instigated it. Stop it, you’re making me feel sick…
#3. Your first college dumping. Yep, this too. Where there is love and romance, there is treachery and despair. It just seems to suck even more with the first ‘away from home’ tryst.
#4. The smell of the cafeteria. (Yikes, it still haunts my nostrils.) This scent is akin to what comes out of the fryer exhaust of a busy McDonalds, mixed with some industrial strength floor-cleaner. Yech.
#5. The taste of the cafeteria food. (This too will haunt you.) Those first few delirious months will find you stuffing yourself with French fries, chocolate milk and cream-filled donuts. These ‘food stuffs’ may pass through your system, but they will scar your psyche forever.
#6. How to use a library effectively. (Finally you’ve learned something useful!) One of the best things about college or university is that it really teaches you how to learn, how to find things and how to be resourceful with it all. You’d think that these key life skills would occur earlier in the system of education, but better late than never.
#7. The course / professor who changed the way you think. Somehow I ended up in a history course in first year, and was riveted by the prof and the way he taught through level talk and archival footage. His words, “We never learn from history,” still send a chill through me.
Savor these moments when you find them upon you. They will fill your head and heart in later years: don’t let them escape without your full attention.