I apologize for being a little absent as of late, but as many of you know, I’ve just begun my first semester of college at U.C. Berkeley, and life is a little hectic. So, I figured since many of you have been along for the ride since the very start of my time on YouTube and have, subsequently, grown up with me in many ways, I will continue to share some the more personal parts of my life.
College, so far, is awesome! I was honestly terrified of leaving for university. My dad came with me to Berkeley, CA (near San Francisco if that gives a better idea of the location), but that didn’t stop me from sobbing in the airport after saying ‘goodbye’ temporarily to my little brother, friends, and boyfriend. It broke my heart, and I spent a lot of time feeling that pain as I waited for the plane to touch down.
That lessened as the days passed and phone calls and texts and Facebook posts from my loved ones streamed in. I talk to my dad every day, my brother a few times a week, and my boyfriend pretty much constantly (he’s coming to see me tomorrow)! I can’t begin to describe how overwhelming the entire experience of being uprooted and plopped down, alone, in a brand new place surrounded by 30,000 people feels, though I suppose I could argue it’s akin to drowning.
But I’m settled in now. I’ve been here a few weeks and for the most part, I kind of know where I am (ish) most of the time, my roommate is wonderful, I have good friends, and I love my classes (it’s a lot of psychology and neuroscience if you were curious). I am a little surprised at how well I slid into a routine of school work, socializing, and taking care of myself. I walk everywhere, which is nice because I get great exercise, but awful because somehow every single direction you go in this bloody school, you are somehow going uphill. I start my day with a cup of tea and some fruit or oatmeal from my little mini fridge. I grab a cup of coffee here and there, enjoy the cool weather and the fresh air. I make a habit of staying on top of my homework so it doesn’t pile up, I dropped the class I wasn’t clicking with and swapped it for something else, I make a point to hang out with friends and have plans often so that I don’t get lonely, I get tons of fresh air… I think the best way to sum it up is that I’ve made my personal happiness and health a priority for the first time in my life.
Somehow, as a girl with a lot of responsibilities and a lot of struggles in her life and her past, I think the enormous responsibility of college somehow feels like a break to me. I still work nearly full time while being a full-time student, but I’m making that work too. Life is good right now. I am also a little surprised at how well I’ve embraced minimalism in college. I came to school with one bag of clothes and ordered my stuff for my dorm off Amazon Prime, and to be frank, I don’t have much extra crap just lying around. I have my little shoulder bag of a few notebooks and my laptop, and I stick to keeping things somewhat clutter-free, and I think that’s helped keep my head clear too.
I just wanted to offer up a bit of my advice for college based off of my short time here so far.
- Prioritize yourself. This may be one of the last opportunities you get to define, shape, and change your life.
- Take care of yourself. Eat decently (it’s college – you’re not gonna be perfect) and get some exercise. It’s good for your brain and your body!
- Drink water. It sounds weird, but take a refillable bottle with you everywhere because it is easy to forget to stay hydrated between classes, work, parties, and plans.
- Take classes you love. If there isn’t a really solid reason (e.g.: prerequisite for something you adore, etc.) for you taking a course you don’t enjoy, don’t take it. Drop it. Take something you’ll be excited about! It’s a much better use of your time, effort, and money.
- Make friends. Try to find a few awesome people (they’re out there!) in your first couple weeks at school and start to build a friend base that you can bond with and rely on when life is great or suckish.
- Call home. Your parents miss you and want to hear from you. Trust me. My dad is 100x happier when he hears from me every day.
- Don’t forget where you came from. Keep in touch with your friends, family, and classmates from before (or at least the ones you are closest to) because it’s important to cherish those relationships.
- Be open to new experiences. It doesn’t have to be anything too wild, but do something different. Avoid ruts at all costs. You’re young on a college campus, so there’s no excuse for that!
- Trust your instincts. If a situation is uncomfortable or doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t the best place for you to be. Listen to your gut!
- Be aware. The world is a big, scary place. And it’s also a wonderful one. So make sure that you’re cautious and know what’s happening around you in order to be informed and protect yourself.
I hope this helps! I can’t wait to tell you more.
Lots of love from Berkeley,