04/22/2014 05:29 pm ET Updated Jun 22, 2014

27 Real Lessons for the Freshman Girl

As I sit here taking in next year's "pre-frosh" nervously strolling around campus, I can't help but think back to myself in their position just one short year ago. Although I'd like to say I'm jealous of them to have so many opportunities ahead, I wouldn't be completely honest. I wouldn't trade what I've learned about college, life, and myself in that time for the world and I'm excited about the person that freshman year has made me.

1) You will get bad grades. Accept them and learn from them.

2) Drink water before bed.

3) Go to your professor's office hours. It's not nearly as intimidating or awkward as you think it will be.

4) Just because there is unlimited food in the dining hall does not mean you should go back for your fifth plateful.

5) Carry pepper spray at night. You never know.

6) Keep a journal.

7) Go outside when it's nice out.

8) Seriously consider the cost/benefit of the situation before wearing heels out.

9) Do one thing you never thought you'd try.

10) Study a little bit every night.

11) Spend some time alone and get comfortable in your own skin. You are your own best consolation for when bad things happen.

12) Beware of tequila.

13) Don't let your love life be dictated by what others say is acceptable.

14) Make time for exercise.

15) Don't stress about a major or your future.

16) Go out of your way to be considerate of someone. They won't forget it.

17) The "skinny arm" is an art to be mastered.

18) Speak up, but know when not to.

19) Even when your classmates say they haven't started that paper yet, they probably have. And you should too.

20) Take pictures.

21) Have your health center phone number in your contact list. You will absolutely need it.

22) Learn how to take a compliment.

23) Don't cling to unhealthy past relationships.

24) Smile and be happy. There is no limit to the potential of you.

25) Meet your other roommates: Ibuprofen, Febreze, and Clorox.

26) Be aware of other people's intentions.

27) Keep your head up and make the most of every minute.