My first semester here was quite a mess actually. I was homesick during the semester, sleeping at unusual times, struggling to remember everyone’s names (hey, it’s hard!), as well as trying to keep up with the course work. And then what happened was I left an apple out in my room before I left. I get a call nearing the end of my winter break from my roommate, who, in a very low and quiet voice, asks me when I’m going to be back. All the alarms go off in my head. What if she was hurt? Is she okay? Needless to say, I was one of those lucky people who got paired up with someone they actually got along with and liked. So, you know, I was freaking out. Then, she squeaks out “There’s a mouse in our room.” Deal is, everyone please remember to remove all food  and put it away, do not leave it out in the open where all the little Jerrys can get them and there are no Toms around. Santa Jerry left little brown deposits for me all over my desk in return for the apple. So considerate.

Clean your room before you leave, and remember (this wasn’t me)…the fridge…is an excellent place for stuff that should NOT be in your fridge to grow. Unless your fridge is actually an incubator and you grow yeast or bacteria cultures. Then throw the, away. I know, I know, all that hard work, but the cultures will overgrow. Otherwise, defrost, clean, dry, air out, and close. You’ll be glad you did.

I’m a junior now, and a lot of my friends are going abroad next semester. To them, I wish safe travels and amazing adventures. To you first to go to college, I hope you take my advice about the fridges and the food, and consider possibly studying abroad too. So many people will tell you, as they told me, about college and how to fill in your applications, but no one told me about actually LIVING in college. To you college students, develop those good studying habits NOW. That is EXACTLY what I think you need. The ability to focus and stay on task will be indispensable to you in college AND for the rest of your life.

My hopes and wishes go out to the children and families in Newtown, Connecticut. It is a very hard time for them right now, and I hope the best for them.