Monday, May 23, 2011

To the Class of 2011 (of which we are all members!)

I don't know what's gotten into me, really. Why I've become nostalgic, grasping for carefree-er times.

Maybe it's something about this year's spring. The flowering trees, the torrential downpours -- the sweet and the terrifying, mixed together. Maybe it's because my little bebbe of a sister is shedding her high-school skin and enrolling in Northwestern's Class of 2015. (Remember, back in the 90s, when 2015 sounded like the most futuristic date ever? Aaaah my sister is an old alien what is happening...)

Maybe it's because we all just narrowly dodged the wrath of the End of Days (I don't know about you, but my risen, bodiless spirit is typing this from heaven right now. I'm assuming you've all made it as well? Of course you did. My readers are nothing if not virtuous.)

Maybe it's because every day is a graduation. Be it college or high school, when you stride across the stage, and proudly clutch your diploma, a part of you may think, "Hey, I've made it." But it is has only just begun! -- the first of daily endings slash beginnings that comprise your strange and undulating life.

On that uber-saptastic note, here are my five tips for the High School Class of 2011, which is excerpted from a larger piece I'm writing as a graduation present to my little sister, the Young Ricci, entitled "What Nobody Told Me Before I Went to College: A Ballertastic Manual for Ballertastic Individuals." Or something like that.

  Five Tips for College Freshman

1. Invest in powerful laundry detergent. No matter what you think, someone will vomit on your bed.

2. When you first arrive, it will seem like everyone knows more than you. They won't. Or, even if they do, it'll be okay, because it won't matter! Honestly? Who cares about the coursebook, the protocol for dropping courses, applying for pass/fail, or other nuts and bolts of academia? Follow your heart! The rest will follow! Or you'll just get suspended or whatever.

3. You will probably start doing one or several of the following things: drinking coffee and/or alcohol, thinking about and/or having sex, reading boring publications like "The Economist," getting no sleep, eating 5,000 calories a day, pretending to know what a U.S. Senator does, acting like you speak French when really you don't. In all cases, be safe, my friend! Don't do anything I wouldn't do. Er--don't do anything you wouldn't want printed in your personal newspaper of life. Because even if an action seems like a liner note, it could turn out to be a headline.
4. Get some exercise! When I first came to college the idea of freely and willingly going to the gym when it wasn't a direct punishment for some terrible offense was the most foreign and perplexing concept I had ever encountered. But by my junior year, 15 or some odd pounds convinced me it was time to take the plunge. And I'm glad I did!

5. DO NOT BRING TOO MUCH STUFF. Repeat: DO NOT BRING TOO MUCH STUFF. If you do, move-out day will be a bitch and a half, and you'll say, "I wish I'd listened to Felicia." I get it, though. You'll obviously want to impress your new classmates, and so will have grand schemes of adorning your dorm room with shabby chic decor, and of looking fabulous day in and day out, even at your 8AM class. But, believe me: after, like, a week of school, you will not care! Also, your roommate will directly sabotage any and all of your attempts to make your environment liveable. But it will be alright! Because you will mostly be wearing sweatpants! And everything feels great in sweatpants! For these reasons, I advise you to pack, like, one pair of pants, and three shirts. Everything else you'll buy at the campus bookstore, or you'll find on the streets when wandering home at 4AM.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Shoot me a comment!


  1. Where was this last May?? Could have definitely used it.
    PS- The vomit thing? So true. Ho hum.

  2. Just wanted you to know that my equally bodiless spirit just heartily laughed out loud!!!

  3. I also completely agree on the vomit thing - and not just on your bed, NOWHERE is safe. I had a flatmate who once vomited in the middle of a lecture all over the row in front of him...

  4. So proud to have survived my undergrad years without wearing someone else's vom. Speaking of messy things, young matriculators-to-be, clean up after yourself. Nobody likes the jerk that trashes the hallway

    Like it or not, you're going to hear "Don't Stop Believing" at least twice a weekend. Learn it, love it, or get some earplugs

    Above all, be nice to people. Courtesy never goes out of style.

  5. I am not a college student anymore, but I really admire the way you give your readers this resource to your wisdom. Tessa is very lucky to have you as her sister. your blog is not just funny, it is very useful in a very relatable way! thank you for this and everything.

    -a grateful fan

  6. Thanks so much for the comments, my friends! Glad my tired ramblings could be of use (and amusement). --FR

  7. Oh, college. I had a roomie named Gretchen (an opera major) who was 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide. She used to sit on my pillow, fart, then say, "oops poops!" ...What?

    And yes, all you will wear is sweatpants. And under the sweatpants you might have a leotard and tights on. And sometimes... you might just pull a sweatshirt on top of said leo/tights put on sneakers and walk to dance class with your butt all just hanging out there. Honestly, after a breakfast of oreo-os, yoohoo, and cherry bomb jolt cola-- can we REALLY be bothered with fashion. No, we can't.

  8. Thank you so much Felicia! I'm leaving for my first year in college come September and I'm really nervous, so this helps a lot!