Top 10 lies someone told me about second year
1. “Fraternity parties are so much better when you’re older.”
I’d be lying if I said that being able to walk past a line of anxious first-years waiting to get into a fraternity and straight through the door wasn’t the most invigorating thing since realizing Dunkin Donuts delivered. It’s the getting inside part that I wish I had been warned about — you’re surrounded by about one million first years, all dancing with each other as if they’d never seen a member of the opposite sex before. You smile to your friend, throw them the knowing ‘I’m too old and mature for that’ look, until you realize that up until a few months ago, that was you too. Oh my God, did I really look like that? Oh my God.
2. “Cooking for yourself and going to the grocery store regularly are doable.”
Let me tell you, it is near impossible to feed yourself. Shout-out to my parents for cooking for me for 18 years. I don’t know how you did it. The other day, it took me and my roommate an hour to make a smoothie — don’t you just blend ice and random frozen fruit? Apparently not. I set off the smoke alarm making sweet potato fries. I burnt frozen waffles in the toaster oven. I wish someone had told me that my meal plan this year would be to snack and to snack and to snack and then to just give up and order Basil.
3. “You’ve been through this before, you’ll be used to the workload.”
Being a second-year, you’d think you’d be a little more okay with the workload and the realistic amount of time one needs to spend in the library here. Newsflash: Clemons still sucks. Clark still sucks. Alderman still sucks and Greenberry’s will never be open when you want it to be. Why did I think being a year older would have changed that? Things I need to work on: not thinking Sundays provide ample amount of time to read 120 pages in a textbook, complete a WebAssign, and write a seven-page paper.
4. “It is so convenient and easy to have a car.”
As a New Yorker, I drive a constant 45 mph and don’t stop for pedestrians. We go through yellow lights and don’t let anyone through. But people don’t do this here. It takes me about 20 minutes to drive the quarter-mile stretch down the Corner. Don’t get me wrong, being able to drive to the grocery store and places beyond Grounds is a blessing. I know I’m lucky to be able to do so. But, so far, the biggest use of my car has been driving to the gym. Counterproductive, but what’s the point in going to the gym if you’re already out of breath once you get there?
5. “You’re totally prepared to start figuring out a life plan.”
Picking a major? Doing meaningful extracurriculars? What do you mean withstanding Bilt Survivor Hour and joining the clicker club aren’t going to look good on my resume? I just turned 19 years old: I’m overwhelmed by first years in fraternity parties and not being able to drive quickly. This task is too daunting for me, especially when everyone around me seems to be going places so much farther than I am. It’s the best and the worst thing about the University: everyone is so involved and so driven. Someone teach me how to get it all figured out.
6. “Classes are such a close walk from apartments on the Corner.”
One day last week, I used a fancy little iPhone app to map how far my walk was to class. 20 minutes, .88 miles and 67 calories later, I rationalized not going to the gym ever again. Maybe dorms didn’t have air conditioning, and maybe they hadn’t been properly cleaned since 1950, but at least I could wake up five minutes before my class in the Chemistry Building and still be on time. Now I’m surrounded by unforeseen obstacles getting to class, such as the train running on the tracks behind the Corner — who knew those tracks were in actual operation — and the hills of 14th Street.
7. “You’re older, and therefore wiser.”
I can confidently tell you that an avocado-feta slice at Christian’s is $3.75 and Campus Cookies will indeed deliver to Clemons, but I’m still convinced that Ruffner Bridge never closed. I’ll still tell you to go out on a Tuesday even when you have a test on Wednesday. I’ll tell you that getting an omelet at O’Hill brunch takes less than 45 minutes, and that eating two peanut butter cookies at every meal won’t make you gain any weight. Maybe because it’s only been a month and I’m still convinced it’s the summer, but I’m definitely at a place less wise than I thought I would be entering my second year.
8. “You’ll have so much more time to explore Charlottesville.”
Here’s my go-to fun fact and my most embarrassing admission: I’ve never been to Chipotle. Does making the trip to the one in Barracks count as exploring Charlottesville? Because between class and work and Clemons and life, I have yet to make it to Carter’s Mountain or Humpback Rock. I’m not proud of it, and I wish I had more time this year to do things past our University bubble.
9. “You’ve been here before so you’ll know your way around.”
This is an open letter to Thornton Hall: Why do you have so many buildings? Why are none of them connected? I’m not in the Engineering school, so why do I have a class in here? Where do I get in? Can I ever leave? Help? Also, I’ve already managed to give about 12 first-years directions to wrong places — you literally can’t get into New Cabell anywhere anymore. I thought I had a pretty good grasp on how to walk around Grounds, but apparently not. Maybe by fourth year I’ll be able to get from place to place without being completely confused.
10. “You know what you’re doing, you’ll be more organized and on top of things.”
Between my phone calendar, my planner, the stack of to-do lists on my desk and the purple post-its stuck everywhere around my room, I need to figure out a way to better get my life together. First year I thought I would have it all figured out — how best to organize my life so I wouldn’t forget anything. Nope. With a new year and new activities, my old ways just aren’t doing it for me. Starting from scratch means my life is literally everywhere, all of the time. It’s a miracle I haven’t missed anything yet.