#TBT: What one graduate wished she knew as a college freshman


We were feeling nostalgic here at The Universe and have decided every Thursday to throw it back to an archived story from years past.

As a new batch of students graduates, we thought it would be fitting to pass on some advice from past graduates. This article was originally published on Sept. 11, 2009.

By Eden Rasmussen

For my little sister’s 18th birthday, I wrote a list of insights that would have made my own road to college much smoother if only i had paid better attention. I’m hoping she and others will learn from them.

Never, never take a 7 a.m. class

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 12.12.49 PMYou will never wake up for it and you will hate yourself all semester long for signing up for it. For that matter, don’t take an 8 a.m. class unless you’re a glutton for punishment. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Watch the class load your first semester

Don’t exceed more than 12 hours your first semester. There’s a learning curve, and it takes a while to adjust to the demands of college and you should keep the class load manageable your first year.

Learn how to make your bed — every day.

At some point you will leave college and enter the real  world. Learning to make your bed now will just lighten the load. If you learn to make your bed eery day then you will start picking up the cleanliness habit. If your bed is neat, you will pick up your clothes. If your clothes are picked up, then your bedroom will be clean and this habit can extend through your whole house. Now that you don’t have Mom around anymore, you may wish you could invet her robotic double to come and live with you forever because cleanliness will never be as easy as it was when you lived in her house. TRUST ME. So, start now.

You have to earn money in order to spend it.

No more is your money just spent on clothes or entertainment or fun. Now you have to buy things to make your little household run and pay tuition and buy really expensive books that you will cart around for the next 10 years before you marshal the guts to toss them. It is hard to adjust to the realities of living on your own and paying your own way and then to find that you spend most of your very small income on the basics will make you want to weep sometimes. So, get a job. And pray that this education thing will pay off because you never want to work for so little money ever again.

Sleeping is not optional.

The fun will be almost nonstop, as will the tests, papers and socializing, ad the one million other things that need to take place each day. Sleep is almost always the first thing to go with a packed schedule. Don’t succumb thought. Sleep will make a major difference in your mood, your outlook, your intellect and your energy level.

Learn how to pack your own lunch.

It will save you money, it will save you time, and it will save your health.

Saying “no” is often the nicest thing you can do.

The boys will be plentiful and good-looking but just because they are at BYU and LDS doesn’t mean they are great people. You will come across some stellar dudes. You may come across some scary ones. Never say “yes” just to be nice or because someone keeps asking you out. Learn to trust how you feel. Learning to say “no” is really the nicest thing you can do for yourself and him.

Talk to your professors

They are in the business of learning and they will help guide you through the labyrinth of academic life with great insight. Learn how to make friends with them and visit them during office hours.

Ask questions.

The only way to open your mind and heart to truth is to ask great questions and the only way to do that is learn how to ask some really bad questions in the process.

Expand your cultural horizons.

The BYU Planetarium, the Museum of Art, free recitals and concerts, the International Cinema, study abroad: You will never have so many free and discounted cultural activities right at your fingertips as you do in college. Take advantage.

Call your parents.

They love you and want to know what is happening in your life. They are also a wealth of information, common sense and life experience. You will start to see how truly wise they really are as they help you navigate these first years of adulthood. Say “I love you” every time and thank them often. They won’t ever tire of hearing it.


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