facing your firsts

There is absolutely a first time for everything, since we’re not born with experiences but rather endure them throughout our lives. When it comes to university life, experiences differ from those in previous years.
Moving out of your parents’ place and (finally) living on your own is just one of these experiences. You leave the nest and try to find a place for yourself, either on residence or in a place you rent with your friends. Everything’s great, right? No parents to tell you what to do or when to come home.

It might be great for the first five minutes, but don’t be fooled by freedom. If you’ve never cooked or cleaned before, guess what? Now’s your chance. There are no parents around. Remember? It’s all up to you now.

So my suggestion is this: don’t rush to move out. You have the rest of your life to live on your own and experience freedom. University is stressful enough without the extra burden of feeding yourself and keeping your place somewhat tidy.

There’s always the chance that you choose a university far from home and staying home is not an option. I must warn you, living away from home means living away from everyone at home. This includes your girlfriend/boyfriend.

Sure, you’ve had relationships before, but have you ever had a long-distance relationship? Living apart means that you can’t see each other on a regular basis and unless you have an extreme amount of trust in your significant other, you can’t know what they’re doing while you’re not around.

Ever heard of the “turkey dump”? This may in fact happen to you. The first long break you have from school is the Thanksgiving (or turkey) break. You go home and see your significant other only to find out that they’ve fallen for your best friend. Why? Because you’re too far away and too busy with school to talk to them on the phone every night. Translation: you’re not giving them any. Which brings me to my next point.

Why is it that with university comes the idea that you can no longer be a virgin? As though it’s some sort of curse you’ve carried all this time and now need to get rid of your V-card. Somehow the only way to truly be a university student is to have slept with someone by the end of your first year, though preferably by the end of your first week at university.

Most people have an idea of a romantic first time with someone they truly love in a setting that’s absolutely perfect, like in a candlelit room or under the stars (probably not on a beach, though). Somehow that idea is lost once people enter university. Sex is no longer thought of a special moment between two people, but is now something you have to do because everyone else is doing it and you’re already eighteen (if not older)—so it’s about time, right?

I say, wrong. Having sex for the first time just because it seems like the thing to do is not something you’ll be proud of later in life. So don’t get drunk and sleep with Rodrigo, a Spanish guy you met at some dingy hole in the wall, but wait for someone you actually like. It may take some extra time, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.

Between living on your own, stressing about your boyfriend/girlfriend back home, and worrying about whether you should or shouldn’t sleep with that cute blonde in your psychology class, when are you going to find time to actually sleep (no, not with her)? The first few months of university are usually easy, but don’t think this will be the routine for the whole year. Once midterm season hits in October and again in February, sleep becomes a privilege for those who are masters at time management.

If you don’t like coffee, this is the time to put the hatred aside and chug cup after cup of hot black coffee. How else are you going to stay awake to finish that paper for your Shakespeare class? Lack of sleep is never a good thing, but don’t worry—you’ll have Christmas break and summer vacation to catch up on the Zs.

Here’s my advice: relax and enjoy your time in university. Don’t rush into something you’re not ready for—and get some recipes from your mom.

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