Matt Metzler,

My first year here at Miami University will be over in less than a month. I never knew time could pass by so quickly. I remember feeling antsy and impatient waiting for summer to come in high school, but now, in college, I couldn’t feel more differently. I’m not ready for the year to end; not ready to accept the fact that three weeks from today, I’ll be leaving my room in Tappan Hall forever. But even if the past seven months have passed quickly, I still learned a lot in that time and most of it was outside the classroom. 

For example:

– If you jump in the fountains behind the Shriver Center, make sure you stick your landing; the bottom is quite slippery.  Or at least, don’t jump in wearing jeans and a flannel shirt, because these items become very heavy when wet.

– Any sport you can imagine will become 10 times more fun when played in a dorm hallway.  Also, be careful with Sky Balls.  They really do bounce high and the ceiling tiles aren’t always as sturdy as they appear.

– If you have a dry-erase board on the outside of your door, inappropriate things will be written on it. But that’s mainly the reason why you should get one.

– If you have couches in the basement of your residence hall, pushing them together will create a makeshift bed. Blankets for forts are optional.

– Do whatever you can to avoid sleeping on a residence hall room floor — you’ll come close to breaking a hip when you try to sleep on your side.

– Sledding at Peffer Park is one of the best outdoor experiences you’ll have during the winter months, but be sure to avoid that spot in the middle of the hill with the rock.  It hurts.

– If you’re a guy and you’re too macho to wear a scarf, suck it up – they help.

– Go Uptown to Wild Berry and buy an Air-Zooka. They make a lot of noise and they shoot big blasts of air at people’s faces from far away. They add some diversity to the frequent Nerf gun shoot-outs.

– If midnight showings of a new movie are sold out, sometimes there are 3:15 a.m. showings.  These are not too late. If you need an excuse, just say you’re in college.

– If you see something round in the hallway, don’t kick it. It might be fruit.

– Don’t use duct tape to hang Christmas lights in your dorm room. It sticks, but you’ll probably be re-painting your wall at the end of the year.

– Shag carpet feels wonderful on your feet, but vomit is nearly impossible to clean out of it.

– Don’t be a man – rent broomball shoes.

– If you end up deciding to flip a coin to decide whether or not you’re going to skip class, just don’t bother – you’re not going to class.

– Even if you think your roommate is around, close your door when you leave – if you don’t, you might come back to your room several hours later to find half of your shoes missing, your bedding switched with your roommate’s and your roommate’s clothes in your closet.

Paulo Coelho said, “You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one; each day brings a miracle of its own.  It’s just a matter of paying attention to this miracle.” The pieces of advice I just listed are things I could’ve missed if I hadn’t been paying attention – are you paying attention?  What have you learned today?