Silver Lining: Parking Stinks, or What I Learned In College

April 22, 2013

Parking Stinks, or What I Learned In College

Last week I got an email from one of my best friend's moms (hi Mary!) asking my advice for her young women's church group, who are graduating and going off to college in the next few months. "What's your advice?" she asked, and I immediately thought parking stinks. go ahead and plan your whole college career around the fact that you'll never have good parking.

Then, due to the fact that I generally try to sound like an intelligent person, I started thinking of something else to say. This morphed into a few hours of solid introspection, and the email became more about how to find yourself and develop as a person, and nothing to do with college at all. I wrote and wrote and wrote, and finally pared it down to three mostly related paragraphs, because, after all, who wants to read all about my personal conversion into whatweliketocalladulthood?

So here are my three pared down paragraphs. I could say 5,000 more things about 5,000 more things, about dating and marriage and marrying and how to recover when you bury your mother at 19 years old and ex-boyfriends and how to sleep when your roommate burns incense that gives you headaches. But I'll save those for 5,000 blog posts to be published later, or maybe never at all.

1. There's going to be a girl on your hall who gets asked out every Friday and Saturday night, and weeknights too. There will be a girl on your hall who has more cute clothes than you, more free time than you, more money than you, more ANYTHING than you. I spent a whole semester trying to be like THAT girl, and it got me nowhere. People don't like me-pretending-to-be-that-girl. People like me.

2. Do the optional stuff - the memories I cherish the most are the times in which I did the extra things. I went to the party, I did the service project, I attended the devotional, I took the weekend trip. It's easy to say to no something optional, especially because nobody's checking up on you like at home, but this is a time in your life to say yes! It's a time to explore new things, have new opportunities, and make new memories.

3. My first semester at college, someone told me "this campus can be as big or as small as you make it." It's true. If you go around saying hi to nobody, making no new friends, sitting by yourself in class and waiting for someone else to get things going, you'll feel lost and lonely among a gigantic campus. On the other hand, if you initiate social activities, get to know your professors, say hi to everyone, and go to your ward activities, you'll feel like the campus is a small, tight-knit family. You choose the type of experience you'll have.

4. Parking still stinks.

Oh, and if you're lucky, you'll meet your best friends

What advice would you give an incoming freshman?
One thing to remember above anything else?


  1. I love this! And absolutely agree with all of it!

  2. i love you.
    thats all.

    `1. meet people like brooke.
    because they inspire you.

    thats all i have to add:)

  3. Such an awesome post! I think you are just terrific. Those girls are lucky to get such great advice!

  4. Yes, I agree with Elisabeth...if you go to college, definitely meet a great girl like Brooke Wilson (Emery)! I remember meeting your parents and you, and thought, oh what a beautiful girl! Those eyes! Who could forget? I hope Olivia has great college experiences, she is only 8 and already talking about going to BYU!

  5. I totally agree! And I'm finishing up my first year at BYU & I live in Old Heritage! I think sometimes it's so hard to say yes to the optional things, but they always end up making the best memories.

  6. oh my goodness! Amanda was my next door neighbor last year. small world!

  7. This is great! College is where it starts. Where you learn to find yourself and realize that you can do things on your own. I'd love to hear the 5000 things on 5000 things! :) That'd be a great story for sure!

  8. way to sum it up in three paragraphs! haha i love it. and seriously that is THE cutest picture ever! was that freshman year or since??

  9. Having moved so far into "adulthood"--(some days feel farther than others), I'd have to say your advice applies to every stage of life. I like it. Thanks, Krysti

  10. Great advice--for any age in life! It seems no matter how old we get, parking still stinks!

  11. Love it and totally agree! A young lady definitely needs to be prepared before entering the BYU atmosphere, especially if they aren't originally from Utah. It was a huge shock for me! You gave great advice to those girls!

  12. Totally agree with do all the extra stuff. I did not do enough of it all!

  13. AnonymousMay 13, 2013

    Parking really stinks. Chris P


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