1. When running do not ever, Ever, EVER, EVER take your eyes from the sidewalk. Not even if there is a fire. These sidewalks are not even, they are not kind, they are not sympathetic of your new "barefooting" shoes, nor do they care that you come from a very small, flat part of Ohio. You will trip, you will fall, you will get skinned up knees and hands, and the other runners will laugh and say, "Oh, she must be new."
2. When wanting to go out to your first college party, plan ahead. By "plan ahead," I mean do not wander aimlessly onto Pitt's campus at 9:30 with your two fellow freshman friends and hope for the best. You will have a conversation. It will go like this.
Boy with water bottle full of mysterious substance: You guys looking for a party?
Boy with water bottle full of mysterious substance: Follow me.
Us: *tentative glances and remembering things are mothers always told us not to do*
Boy with water bottle full of mysterious substance: Wait...are you guys trying to get onto Frat Row at 9:30?
Boy with water bottle full of mysterious substance: FRESHMAN!
3. "If someone smiles at you, just nod, do not smile back. You do not know why they are smiling."
4. "Wanna go to Razzy Fresh?" will be asked a lot. You should always say yes.
5. College professors are not mean, they are not unkind, they want you to succeed and do well, and they'll even help you out if you ask for it. But when they begin going on long rants about whatever it is that they choose to rant about it, it's called a lecture, and you're supposed to write things down from it.
6. Chatham girls don't dress like other college girls, we are usually the ones in dresses and sweaters/ blouses and appropriately hemmed skirts. We are classy.
7. The term, "chesbian" is sometimes thrown out referring to Chatham women...I'll let you take from that what you please.
8. Living with someone can be hard and a difficult adjustment, but at the end of the day, you know your roommate will always be there for you. Whether it is to zip your dress, tell your that your stomach looks fine in that high-waisted skirt, or just to make you laugh before you fall asleep--roommates don't have to be best friends, but they can be great friends if you let them.
9. Jaywalking is not a bad thing; it is accepted and encouraged. Everyone will do it, you should do it too if you ever want to be on time.
10. The Chatham cats are truly dependable, reliable friends. From what I've gleaned, they are not gossips at all.
11. Always have friends in your hall who are readily accessible and welcoming who will take you in if you come home to your roommate plus one...in bed.
12. Be on time to class. Be early for class. No one wants to be the awkward late kid, even on the first day.
13. Always, always, always have your student id and room key on you. ALWAYS. Even if that means running with both stuffed in your sports bra...not that I've done that or anything.
14. Get used to hills. Everything is on a hill, near a hill, down a hill, towards a hill, etc. Hills are totally normal to native Pennsylvanians, they don't know why your calves are so sore or why you are crawling.
15. Be where you are supposed to be and do what people tell you to do, even if it doesn't sound fun, even if it isn't where you presently want to be. In the end, it'll probably benefit you more than you expected and if it doesn't, at least you can say you did the right thing.
16. Signing up for every club at the Activity Resource Fair may seem like the right thing to do, especially if you are an overachiever, but in the end, this will only clutter your email and your brain.
17. Pay attention to street signs. If someone tells you that Walnut St. is just a little ways down Negley, they don't mean forty minutes down Negley and Walnut St. hasn't disappeared, you are just not observant at all.
18. Shared bathrooms are just as gross and unappealing as you thought they would be, you would be amazed at how much hair can dwell in a drain...vomit.
19. Coffee is even better in a place where you have to walk a few blocks to get it.
20. And last, but not least, however far away, your family is still probably the answer to most of your problems. Whether its advice, Skype dates, care packages full of money and pillows, or just texts throughout the day to remind you that they still love you and value your existence (even if few people in Pittsburgh are aware of it), they will find a way to make you feel better or to enhance the good that you're already feeling.