Making New Friends

By a show of hands, how many of you are kind of nervous about making new friends?  If you’re sitting at your computer with your hand in the air… wave it around…. put the other hand up…. okay now put them down, you look ridiculous.  The thought of going to college and not knowing anybody and then having to make new friends it extremely frightening. Will people like me?  Will I like the people at my college?  Will they ever be as good as my high school friends?  Theses are all natural concerns but let me say this… take a deep breath, you will make friends, you will have fun, people will like you.  Here are things to think about as well as a couple pieces of advice on how to make friends.

1. Everyone is in the same boat as you – yes, some people will know friends who go to the same school but for the most part everyone has arrived to college alone and everyone wants to make friends and everyone is probably a little nervous to make friends.

2.  Everyone will be nice…for the first few weeks – you will be surprised at how quickly you make friends because everyone you meet, for the most part will be super nice because they, like you, are trying to create a group of friends.  With that said, be cautious of how quickly you ‘latch’ onto new friends because soon enough people’s true selves will shine through and ‘Miss Suzie Smile’s’ will soon become ‘Miss Suzie I Care More About Boys And Drinking Than Being Your Friend’

3. Don’t spill your soul – when people, especially us girls, are making new friends we tend to spill the beans about our whole life.  Usually people hang out together outside or around in a dorm room and talk to get to know each other.  I remember girls who started to cry and talk about family problems, old boyfriends, personal information… it was bizarre.  It’s important not to spill the beans right away because a) you can’t trust these peeps yet to keep there mouth shut (they don’t even know you so they don’t owe you the code of silence) b) you have a clean slate do you really want to be bringing up your past?  This is a time of your life to create new memories!  Keep moving forward!

4.  You will have different friends the end of your freshman year than you did the beginning of your freshman year.  This happens so often.  Sometimes it will just be a couple new friends other times, you entire group of friends will change.  Again, another reason not to spill your guts to your new friends the first weekend of college because heck, they might not be around at the end of your freshman year and do you really want them knowing your secrets?

5.  Keep your options open – don’t just look for the people who remind you of your friends from high school.  There may be other ‘types’ of people who will actually be better friends for you than your high school friends, outrageous right?  It’s true though so keep your options open and be nice to everyone.

6. Join clubs – if you join a club that interests you, you are going to meet other students who have similar interests.  It’s an easy way to make friends.

7. Fun thought – you will make friends of all ages.  One of the coolest things about college is that when you stand in the middle of your campus and look around, you won’t be able to tell who’s a freshman/sophomore/junior/senior and we all know you can pick them out in high school now.

8. Talk to people – common sense right?  It may take you our of your comfort zone but simply open your little scared freshman mouth and say hello to people.  When’s the last time someone said hello to you or was nice to you and you thought ‘omg that person was so nice and said hello, what a b*tch’…. uhhh, never!

9. Go to parties – yes, these can be scary at first.  There will be drunk people, possibly random clouds of smoke, loud people, loud music, and random people hooking up.  Take it all in with your eyes before you jump into the scene.  Parties are a great social event and a quick way to meet people, a little liquid courage can also help to meet new people (be safe!  we’ll talk about the party scene soon)

10. Get a job – you will be surprised at how much free time you have at college.  Look for a part time job on camps.  It will be a great way to make a little extra spending cash, keep you busy, and make new friends.

I think I’ve said this before but my best friend in the entire world, the girl I can’t image living without, and the person who will be in my wedding party (when that day comes), I met in college.

Cheers to making new friends!

Gabbriel

P.S. if you don’t make friends, let me know i’ll come to your college and make it happen

COLLEGE PHOTO: My best friend and I on a winter ski trip.

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The Good College ‘Stuff’

Hello Hello!  I have gotten a number of e-mails requesting different college topics to be discussed and it has opened a whole can of worms, I can’t wait to start typing.  First off, to the gentleman that asked if I would marry you…. let me think about it…. thinking….. thinking….. sorry, but no.  Second, it’s Saturday and while I would love to sit inside and type away about college stuff (seriously, we all know I love college) it is too nice outside and my bro is getting married a week from today so there are a lot of duties I need to take care of.  BUT!  I wanted to let you all know what’s to come in the following posts because I am so excited…..

1. Packing for school – I know, not so juicy but it’s a must considering the packing should start soon and there is no way you can pack your entire life into your college dorm and no reason that you need to buy everything is the ‘going away to college’ section at the store.

2. Making friends at college – have you asked yourself, ‘will I make friends at school?’  ‘how do I make friends?’ ‘what will my new friends be like?’… I’m sure you have… no worries!  College friend making champion is at your service.

3. Getting into a relationship at college – Wowza!  This is a good topic, boyfriends/girlfriends…. love, sex, drama, the good, the bad, unfortunately sometimes the harmful… lots to talk about here.

4. Greek life – should you do it? what’s it like? pro’s and con’s… does hazing actually go on??  you’d be surprised…

5. College parties – will I get invited to parties?  do they happen often?  is it like the movies?  Let me just say this…. when I was in high school I imagined college parties to be crazy…. when I got to college it was more than I ever imagined…. this topic is definitely the good stuff

Cheers!

{G}

 

High School Relationships

Well, this one is a little more of a challenge for me given I didn’t have any serious high school relationships or a boyfriend that I had to say goodbye to when I went off to college.  However, at the end of the day a relationship is a relationship and emotions run wild, especially when it’s time to leave the one you love.  I’m sure many of you have serious boyfriends and girlfriends and are soon heading off to college.  Have you talked to each other about what you are going to do?  If not, you should.  Here are some things that you need to think about first.  Then, if you and your significant other decide you want to give a shot and try and stay together you can continue to read down the post and see the few pieces of advice I have for you in trying to keep a long distance relationship work.  By the way, most people believe they have found their true love and the only option is to stay together even though we both know you’re secretly thinking, “will this even work?”

So first off – here are the things to think about.

1. Just break up with them – the stress of keeping a relationship on top of the change of heading to college is just too much and if it’s meant to be, it will be no matter what even if it’s years later.

2. The break up bench – usually all schools have them.  On the weekend, there is always a girl on the break up bench, crying hysterically on her cell phone while the relationship ends.

3. College is full of raging hormones – this is prime time to meet as many people as you can, learn what type of person is the best fit for you and to have fun (remember to be safe!)

4. Often times to relationship you had changes – you go from a fun, high school, see-each-other-all-the-time relationship to a long distance relationship and checking with your bf/gf throughout the day becomes a major annoyance.

5. You will change – college changes people, you learn who you really are and many times the person you become isn’t the best fit for your high school sweetheart and guess what… that’s okay!

6. Insecurities will absolutely fly in – when he/she doesn’t answer their phone Friday night, you will start thinking about who they’re with and what they’re doing.

7. Just break up with them – did I say that already?  

Okay, so maybe i’m being a bit harsh so let me transition to the advice for those of you who honestly believe you’ve found the love of your life and are willing to do anything to stay together in college.

1. Communication – holy cow, communication!  This is the most important thing in all relationships.  Talk now about your expectations.  When you go to college be completely honest with each other.  If you’ve met somebody the first week and they sweep you off your feet, tell you bf/gf that it’s just not going to work – never, never, never cheat on them!

2. Trust each other – if you don’t trust each other completely, it will never work.

3. Visit – you need to understand that keeping this relationship is going to take work, if you go into college thinking, ‘well, let’s just see what happens’ it probably won’t work.  You need to put the effort in to visit each other, take time away from your friends to have a phone conversation of skype time.

4. Make is fun – like any long distance relationship you need to keep in fresh and fun.  Send hand written letters or cards, send care packages, surprise each other, get to know their roommate so you can make surprise visits or ask politely ask for a night alone in the room.

5. Keep yourself busy – this is SO important.  You can’t make your entire day about your bf/gf.  If you don’t talk to them for a few hours, they will still love you at the end of the day and if they don’t or if they get mad because you didn’t text when you were walking from one class to the next, it’s time to dump their butt.  You need to enjoy college for yourself and if he/she is the one, they will fit in no matter what.

6. Finally, stay positive.  If if works, congratulations and if it doesn’t work, I promise it’s not the end of the world you will meet the love of your life when the time is right.

Hope you enjoyed Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom!

Much love,

G

No Parents

Difference #6 – There are no parents in college.  With freedom comes responsibility and this is something that is a challenge for most students.  Right now, in H.S. you may not realize how big of a role your parents play in the structure of your day.  Obviously for some this isn’t the case as there are a number of different living situations for students and parent presence does vary for every child… some parents are helicopter parents, they want total control of their child (FYI Mom and Dad, the children of helicopter parents usually go WILD in college) and then there are some parents who are never around (personal opinion here… if you neglect your child, especially for drugs, alcohol, or some low life significant other, you should have never been able to have children in the first place and I hope you drown in jealousy when your child grows up to be better than you ever were).  Anywho…. back to this no parents post.  Here are some things to think about and be aware of when you head off to college:

1.  Nobody tells you to come home at night.  Yes this is a great thing at first but I don’t know about you, there were some nights in college that I wished I could blame a parent for making go back to my dorm.  At 4am, when nobody wanted to leave the party and I wanted to go home I felt like I had to stick it out… balancing social and academic life is going to be a challenge but if you want to leave a party, just do it!  I promise, if you leave (make sure to leave with someone) that nobody at the party is going to care.  To be honest, at that point they probably won’t even notice that you left.

2. Nobody tells you to do your homework.  Professors will mention it but they really don’t care if you do it or don’t do it, they’re not paying for your education.  If you don’t do work for your classes it is MUCH harder to catch up in your classes in college than it is in H.S.  If you fail a class, and then maybe two or three classes you CAN get kicked out of college and they won’t give you your money back… have fun explaining that one to Mom or Dad.  It’s just not worth it because then if you want to transfer to another college you will have to show that college your transcripts from your previous college and it’s just not going to look good.

3. You will miss your parents.  Right now some of you are probably itching to get away from home because you hate being with your Mom or Dad.  When you get to college, there is nobody that will fill the position of your parents.  You will miss a hug from them, you will miss the stupid comments they make, you will probably even miss some of their advice because if you’re like me, you’ll never admit it but your Mom was probably right most of the time (I hate when that happens).

4. Your relationship gets better with your parent when you go to college.  You are becoming an adult so you obviously don’t want your parents down your neck but you do want them around occasionally.  Being at college is the perfect balance of parents and no parents in terms the social aspect of your relationship.  Also, you probably had to be cautious of drinking when you were in H.S. but now that you’re in college, your parents aren’t stupid, they know you drink so when you’re home visiting you’re way more carefree and you won’t hesitate to make yourself a drink when you’re all hanging out.  A glass of wine, a beer or two makes them even more fun to hang with.

Later friends!

G

P.S. Keep in mind that your parents are going through a tough transition too.  This is just as much a change for them as it is for you, they have to say goodbye to their baby… be considerate and if they’re home, give them a hug!  If your Mom is like my Mom she’ll probably start crying.

COLLEGE PHOTO: Thanksgiving break, Senior year – Love my Mom!…and wine 😉

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There is Life Outside Your Hometown

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It may be hard to believe but there is actually life outside your hometown.  Seeing the culture of college is an eye opening experience.  Right now, in your hometown people are generally the same.  Your friends shop at the same stores, you all use the same ‘lingo’ when you talk to each other, your parents are probably very similar, and come from similar socioeconomic backgrounds.  You all probably have a similar idea of what is fun to do during the week, after school, and on the weekends.  You drink similar drinks, you may even eat similar foods.  There are certain things that are cool and there are certain things that aren’t cool.  Life is normal for you right now.  When you go to college, the term ‘normal’ very quickly becomes your own personal preferences, there is no general ‘normalcy’ at college.  You will find that everyone comes from different backgrounds, and I don’t just mean someone from another country but people from different states within the U.S. are even different.  I grew up in NY, went to college in Connecticut and found that people from New Jersey and Massachusetts were even very different than me.  Take advantage of this!  The more types of people you meet, the more you venture out of your hometown bubble the more socially aware you will become.  This is important because the world is a small place and the better you can interact with different types of people, the better your communication skills will be.  Transitioning from your hometown to a world outside of your hometown, even if it’s just one or two states away will be pleasantly surprising.  You will learn that life outside your high school is actually exciting, not scary, maybe even a breath of fresh air.  It is also an amazing learning opportunity.  Once you come to this realization… keep growing, keep traveling.  Every day is a learning experience in college because you won’t be stuck in the monotony of a high school day and you won’t be surrounded by the same types of people all the time.  Embrace differences and more importantly be aware that people are different and that that’s okay.  Before you start judging the new people you meet, know that every person you meet has a story.  So yes… there is much more life outside of your hometown and outside of the walls of your high school and it is very different.  Be aware – be excited – be nice… because I said so.

 

Food – Freshman 15

Difference #4 – Your eating habits will change when you go to college.  In H.S. you probably don’t do the grocery shopping and you probably don’t cook all your meals during the day.  Most likely your Mom or Dad does that for you.  You have a structured schedule that keeps you busy throughout the day which hopefully keeps you away from constantly snacking.  In college, this usually all goes out the door, especially during your freshman year.  Have you heard of the ‘Freshman 15′?  It is  the idea that freshman in college typically gain about 15 pounds during their first year.  The reason behind this is the increased amount of alcohol students drink, the free for all food options (why would you eat fruit when you have donuts, eggs, bacon, bagels, and hash-browns for breakfast options?), the late night snacks (you’re up until 2 or 3am and the pizza place WILL deliver to you at this time), the free food at events, the free time you have to snack, and to add to that… nobody is making you go to the gym.  That my friends, is a recipe for love handles!

SO… i’m not telling you that you’re going to get fat but rather you need to be conscious of maintaining a healthy life style.  Here are some tips on how to do that:

1. Educate yourself.  A lot of schools allow students to take open elective courses, sign up for Nutrition101 and learn everything about being healthy.  This class may even count as a science credit!

2. There are just as many healthy options in the cafeteria that there are unhealthy options – you CAN make healthy choices.

3. Set time in your schedule to go to the gym and then actually make yourself go.  A lot of schools offer free classes like yoga, Pilate’s, kickboxing, and even spinning.  Go to them!

4. Buy healthy snacks for your dorm room… duh

5. Sign up for a 5k.  A lot of schools have 5k’s on their campus to raise money for an outside organization.  Sign up to run in it, it will give you something to work towards.  If your school doesn’t offer a 5k, why not start to organize one yourself?  Get friends together, talk to your athletic department, that would be a GREAT accomplishment!

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you are in life, there is no reason not to be aware of your choices and work to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Also, if you stay healthy think about how smokin’ you’re going to look on spring break.

 

Fun Fun Fun!

TOMORROW, Join my presentation!  What’s college orientation like?  Ready to leave your friends from home? I’ll tell you all about it, CollegeWeekLive!  Register here – bit.ly/IPYJnI , it’s gonna be a good time!