Whether you are nervously beginning your freshman year, or consider yourself to be a seasoned campus queen- this one’s for all of my college girls!
There is no denying social media plays a role in college life. Gamedays serve as the perfect backdrop for Insta-worthy photos, Snapchat stories provide a roadmap for which parties to attend, and the memes of Twitter are an entertaining distraction during your time at the library. While it may seem like social media is your guide to staying in the loop and keeping your FOMO under control, there are some important things for you to keep in mind.
For starters, no one posts a photo of themselves crying in their dorm room. We’ve all been there. You miss your family, the dining hall has you craving your mom’s meatloaf you used to hate, you’ve spent what feels like the last 24 hours prepping for your New Venture presentation, and you can’t sleep at night because your dorm has no AC. Before you know it, you are sitting in your room and you just can’t keep the tears from falling down your face. And you know what? It’s OK! Let me be the first to tell you that EVERYONE is struggling with the same challenges that you are. Your Instagram feed might be filled with aesthetically pleasing photos of matching sorority sisters during rush week, massive football tailgates, and Jenny with her new, hot college boyfriend, but that is only one side of the story. In reality, we are all crying in our dorm rooms every once in a while, because college can be hard!
Whatever you do, do not let social media trick you into believing that everyone else is having an easier time transitioning into college life. You will never know about someone’s struggles by scrolling through their Instagram, because that is not what the app is about! Instagram is a highlight reel and the sooner you learn to stop comparing your REAL LIFE to other people’s SOCIAL MEDIA LIFE, the better off you’ll be!
Second, as useful as social media can be, it can also wear you out. I am going to tell you right now, you will not make it to every party, you will not be asked to every formal, and you will not be at every sporting event the college has to offer. Think about when our parents were in college (the pre-social media/ dinosaur days)... When they went out on the weekend, do you know what they did? They actually enjoyed themselves! Imagine that! They did not sit on their phones clicking through Snapchat stories to see what the other parties were like or what their other friends were up to, and they didn’t waste time staging “fun” videos to make their party look better than the rest. I challenge you to go out on a Friday night with your best friends and not waste a single second of it worrying about what anyone else in your college town is up to that night. It is okay to miss out on things. You’ll spread yourself too thin trying to do it all, and the more present you are in your current setting, the less you will feel like you missed out anyway!
The moral of this post is this: before you know it, you are going to be at your first real job wishing more than anything that you were just starting your four years of college. You will have met your best friends and made some of your best life memories and it will have flown by faster than you could’ve ever imagined. You will not remember a single Snapchat story you watched while you were there and you won’t care how many likes your gameday Insta posts got. Instead, you’ll miss the crappy dining hall meals because they’ll remind you of how you used to sit at dinner for way too long laughing with your friends. You’ll wish you could crush another project alongside one of your best friends while the rest came to support. And you’ll even miss your freshman dorm room that didn’t have air conditioning, because that is where you sat with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s on a Monday night talking to the strangers from down the hall that you would later call your best friends.
So, my advice? Put down your phone. Enjoy the moment right in front of you and CRUSH your time at school because what they say is true, it will be over before you know it.
P.S. I would like to dedicate this blog post to my best friends from college, you know who you are, thank you for making Saint Mary's feel like a second home. And to my sister, Samantha, who is starting at Saint Mary's tomorrow! You have no idea how much you're going to love it.