It was 7:30 a.m. Even though I woke up late, I figured that 30 minutes would give me enough time to shower, pick out a great first day of college outfit and get to my very first 8 a.m. college class.
What I didn’t expect was to face a locked door leading to the bathroom; one of my roommates was smarter than me and woke up earlier to dominate the shower. As I jogged in place like a nervous chihuahua with a bladder control problem, I frantically counted the minutes that passed.
At 7:50 a.m., I knew the dream of showering was dead, so I did the only thing a sane person would do — I ripped my desk drawer open, took out three face wipes and gave myself a roadie shower. Grabbing the first pants and shirt my hands landed on, I was out the door and arrived across campus. I arrived at my first class with one minute to spare, desperately trying to take in air, which is definitely not my best look.
Looking back on my first year of college there are definitely many things I wish I knew before arriving at Gonzaga.
There are simple things like remembering to wake up early enough on the first day of classes in order to have enough time to actually take a shower, instead of taking a roadie shower. Three face wipes and some spray on deodorant was definitely not enough to cover the pre-college anxiety attack because, as we all know from every deodorant commercial ever made, stress sweat smells worse than regular sweat.
There are also more serious things, such as wishing that I knew choosing a major because other people thought it would be a good fit for me, even though I hated the subject, was a very bad decision. Hindsight is always 20-20.
Looking at college life as a whole, I wish I knew that virtually every movie about college is wrong. We don’t get drunk all day and then murdered by some deranged psycho with a machete — at least some of us don’t. And when we do, we know how to cover it up.
I remember thinking that everyone else was so much better than I was because they knew where they were headed in life — or they at least knew the right staircase to take in College Hall.
Contrary to what I tell myself at night, I do not know it all.
However, what I do know is that even though you change a lot during your first year of college, you do not change that much. You simply become a more concentrated version of the person you have always been.
That, in fact, college is not too different from high school. I may know the quickest routes to different buildings on campus, however, I am still the same clumsy person who spills coffee on himself taking these shortcuts.
There might be better clothes and fewer rules in college, but other than that, we are still basically the same. We still spend most of our time either doing homework or, more likely, procrastinating the homework we should be doing.
The one thing we all have to keep in mind, even those who are about to graduate, is we all have at least two things in common. We all hate when someone asks us about our future career plans and, at least once, each of us has woken up 10 minutes before class with a Pringles can stuck to our arm. The important thing is we lie about being in both situations.
What my one year in college, specifically at GU, has taught me is there is power in not knowing exactly where you are headed. If you embrace the unknown, you find yourself in situations in which you unexpectedly thrive the most.
The best thing about college is being impulsive, and while joining clubs focusing on topics you knew nothing about might seem scary, it is truly the way to have the most fun — or at least to get the best stories to tell about weird people.
Everyone is weird and slightly sweaty when they move to a new place. And if they aren’t, I would argue there’s something worse than stress sweat going on with them. What college has really taught me is no one has it together and no one person is better than another. We are all just trying to make it through school and life in general without screwing ourselves over too much.
Spencer Brown is a staff writer.