i recently graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in public relations. i still live in tallahassee and work at a marketing firm to save money before moving to Thailand. since graduation, my life changed completely. i wake up at 7:30 am for work every morning and going out consists of grabbing a beer or two before cuddling in bed with netflix. i am living a semi-adult life in a college apartment. i live with three 20 year-olds who are in the prime of their college experience. here are my seven attempts at advice, as an alum:
— you are beautiful. College, and Florida State University especially, is filled with 100’s of beautiful women. it is natural to compare yourself to others, but it can become unhealthy. i have never judged and compared myself to others more than when i was in college. every time I got ready with friends, i couldn’t help but think, i wish i had her legs, her butt, her hair, etc. comparing myself to others cut down my confidence little by little. it takes practice, but you have to teach yourself to not compare yourself to another. appreciate what you have. look in the mirror everyday and tell yourself that you are beautiful, because you are.
— now on the flip side, i think a lot of people hide behind their own insecurities by judging others. we sit and judge a woman’s outfit, but secretly wish we had her body. we all do it. next time you think something negative about someone just take a moment to think, why am i saying these things? instead, focus on yourself. everyone has their own internal struggles. everyone is different and everyone is just trying to be themselves.
–wear whatever you want. don’t base your appearance or your style on others. don’t wear what your friends want you to wear, what will look good on instagram or what you think guys want you to wear. wear what you feel comfortable in and what makes you happy. dress for you. because when you dress for you, you will be confident and confidence is everything.
— adults reading this… sorry, but this needs to be spoken about. STD/STI’s are very prevalent in tallahassee. if you choose to have sex, make sure your partner is wearing a condom. a guy may try and give you every excuse in the book as to why they don’t need to wear one.
he will say, “I’m clean” (should you really trust this guy?) or, “it’s not enjoyable with a condom” (i wouldn’t know if this is true, but it’s definitely more enjoyable than not having sex). if he refuses to wear a condom then don’t have sex with him. i have seen too many of my friends’ lives altered because they were not confident enough to stand up for themselves. if the guy is not going to respect the one thing you ask of him, how do you expect him to respect you at all?
— now that we are on the topic of sex… there have been times when we have felt pressured to have sex. but if you don’t want to have sex, say “no” and walk away. it’s as simple as that. don’t say “maybe”, because to some guys “maybe” is an invitation for them to try harder.
don’t feel pressured to have sex because you think he will judge you. he won’t. most guys will respect your decision, and if he doesn’t, then you don’t want to be with him anyway.
— if you decide to get in a relationship in college, don’t let your partner control your decisions. relationships are emotional rollercoasters, especially when you bring alcohol into the mix. as someone that has been in a serious long-distance relationship, short-fun relationships, and semi-serious college relationships, i can see where my relationships went wrong.
trust is a necessity. if you want to go out with your friends, by all means, do it. don’t let your partner make you feel guilty for wanting to do what you want to do. don’t change your plan for them. because if you do, you may look back and see all the memories you missed with your friends.
— work hard, play hard is a lifestyle. go out whenever you want, make friends with whoever you want, and dance on as many tables as you want.
but before going out, work just as hard. get your sh*t done, and go have fun.
my last piece of semi-wisdom is, don’t lose sight of who you are because you think you have to fit a mold. break that mold and be you. because i promise, your friends will love you even more for it.