The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday May 17th

COLUMN: 18 things I'd tell my 18-year-old self

Hannah Lang in her graduation robes for senior pictures compared to Lang at first-year orientation in 2016.
Buy Photos Hannah Lang in her graduation robes for senior pictures compared to Lang at first-year orientation in 2016.
  1. Repeat after me. Lenoir burrito bowl. Lenoir sushi. This is a dining hall meal combo made in heaven.
  2. You’re a basketball fan now. I know you’ve spent nearly two decades of your life hating sports and avoiding eye contact with your gym teacher, but let’s be honest with ourselves here: you love a good party, and everyone looks good in Carolina blue. And the way that campus buzzes on the day of the Duke game — that’ll touch the heart of even the most devoted sports cynic. 
  3. Maybe…don’t spend seven to 10 dollars on coffee every day. 
  4. Under no circumstances should you get romantically or physically involved with two boys who are a) roommates, b) close friends or c) both. This will not end well. Do not talk yourself into thinking it could possibly end well.
  5. You’re gonna think you can “easily” go to an 8 a.m. class since you “got up that early in high school.” Literally every freshman thinks this. You’re deluding yourself. Don’t be a clown.
  6. On the subject of things we can leave in high school, you can drop the obsession with getting a 4.0. Related to this: drinking from the Old Well on the first day of classes doesn’t work. Go figure.
  7. Also on the subject of things we can leave in high school, just go ahead and ditch your entire high school personality. She was insecure and awkward. Welcome to college. You’re insecure and hot now.
  8. Get a bike. Now you’re insecure, hot AND a bike girl™. Don’t run over any pedestrians.
  9. Do NOT, for Christ’s sake, take advanced Spanish grammar and introductory French at the same time because you thought it’d “be cool”! What are you thinking? Stop trying to impress him!
  10. Walk around campus alone in the summer, or during spring break, or on the last day of exam season. It’ll feel surreal and cool and like campus belongs to you. 
  11. When everyone else fails you, there is always a Cosmic Cantina burrito. Or an Al’s Kenny J with a large fry. Or Linda’s cheese tots. Or those enormous muffins they serve at Alpine that are best served with a large 11:00 p.m. coffee and a side of self-hatred. Essentially, I’m saying you have a lot of options when it comes to emotional eating.
  12. Take lots of pictures and videos.
  13. You’re gonna make a bajillion mistakes. You’re gonna feel like a mess sometimes. That’s okay.
  14. At some point in your undergraduate career, you will need a safe space where you can pull an all-nighter, guzzle a few Starbucks Double Shots and cry a little without anyone around you batting an eye at it. The basement of the Undergraduate Library is this safe space.  
  15. You’re gonna have a handful of existential crises in this basement. That’s okay too.
  16. You’re gonna meet so many people who are gonna change your life, in ways you can’t even imagine yet.
  17. You’re going to become a version of yourself you can’t even imagine yet.
  18. F--k Duke. (They rejected you, remember?)


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