Dear Cute College Freshmen Girl:
Let me be the first one to tell you (even if you don’t believe me), you’ve got it good, sister. I mean, seriously. Sure, you’ve got to do a little studying, maybe decide what you want to do for the rest of you life, perhaps try to find a husband in a sea of belligerent frat boys who think they make great cocktails but actually need about 10 more years of practice, blah, blah, blah. We’ve all been there – it’s nothing new. The difference is you get to do it in style.
I’m sure you don’t want to hear this old lady talk about what it was like in her day, but that doesn’t matter. You’re gonna listen. I bet you’re emailing with your future roommate right now trying to figure out how you’re going to decorate your dorm room. Who’s bringing the fridge? What Vera Bradley pattern is your bed going to be decorated in? Which MacBook Pro did you get?
First of all, the sheer fact that you’re emailing with your future roomie is groundbreaking. Our email was like Morse code – there was no Facebook stalking and definitely no texting – we had no idea what the other looked like until you arrived on a blistery hot August day with your parents and a car full of crap that I can guarantee did not coordinate at all because stores hadn’t figured out the marketing genius behind selling to college kids.
Yes, I got lucky – my BFF and I went to the same college and decided to room together so we at least had a clue that the other wasn’t a serial killer. That doesn’t mean we didn’t encounter a few the night we drove to the opposite end of Charlotte to shop at the Super Kmart to get our dorm room essentials. Don’t get me wrong – I have nothing against Super Kmart – it’s the fact we had no choices.
You see, Charlotte was much different in 1995. There was no Target as we know it, darling. No “Room it Up,” no Ikea, no Pottery Barn Teen, no Vera Bradley (although she did start getting popular my freshmen year but hadn’t exploded into housewares), and certainly no Lily Pulitzer shop to make us all cute and sassy. There was no Container Store to organize ourselves – I’m pretty sure we did all of that at Office Depot – SNOOZE!
You are SO lucky.
I visited my alma mater recently. I saw you girls looking all sporty with your designer jeans and designer handbags. You know what? Yep, you guessed it – no designer jeans in my day. Guess was about as designer as it got, and Gap was about all I could afford (even with my discount as a loyal Gap employee!).
Speaking of money, how are you affording all of these awesome jeans, shoes, and purses? Because back in my day, I got $10 out of the ATM on a Thursday afternoon, prayed I had sufficient funds, then made it last from Penny Draft Night all the way to a Bruegger’s run on Sunday (girls, Bruegger’s had just recently opened in North Carolina – I had no idea carbs were so delish and my thighs and butt have never been the same).
I mean, I know babysitting rates have gone up considering my babysitters make about three times what I made, [pause: if you are reading this AND you are one of my babysitters, please know I would actually pay you $100/hr to let me get out of the house on a Saturday night! Worth. every. penny. Love you girls! OK…resume] but that’s a whole of lot of babysitting for one pair of jeans. But who cares? You look good, girls, and that’s all that matters right?
Did I mention how lucky you are?
Sure, it was probably harder for you to get in to school because competition is something fierce. But that’s all behind you – you’re IN. Now all you need to do is stay there…as long as possible. You’re in a dream world – I know, I didn’t see it either when I was there, but trust me. This is the only time in your life where all you have to worry about is YOU. Your grades, your major, your friends, your schedule, and your choices. You’re so….free. No husband who needs dinner. No kids who need a bath. No PTO meeting to attend. No one else’s future is at stake but yours. I know it doesn’t feel like it, but that’s freedom, sister. Savor it.
So get to it, girls. Yes, study hard and maybe figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life. Enjoy the crazy nights strutting those young buns through town in your designer jeans. Take my word for it and Just Say No to the third “cocktail” the cute frat boy is pushing on you (one thing that makes you so NOT lucky – digital pictures and the Internet – remember that girls!). Savor the nights spent with your roomie (hopefully not a psycho) curled up in your coordinating Vera Bradley quilts watching…wait, what TV show do you girls watch now? It was the “original” 90210 and Melrose Place for us. Whatever, just have fun and know I’m so proud of how far you’ve come.
One Jealous Smarty Sister