Freshman year. Stepping onto the soil of Bob Jones University University with bags full of clothes and heart full of hopes and a sign across the front of my shirt: THRIVE.

Soon Brody the Bear no longer seemed like the mascot of my happy new home. Schoolfield, the dining common, dorm life, a freshman fifteen, and speech class seemed like the theme of the next four years of my life.

When I look back on freshman year, all I can hear is an anthem song.

When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad.

Sound of Music and my hero, Julie Andrews—the adventurous governess and disobedient nun who sings her way through the lessons of life.

I’m convinced Julie Andrews would make the best Freshman Seminar peer leader. Why? Because of her song, “My Favorite Things.” Life in an abbey must have resembled college life a whole lot.

The college life version of Sound of Music may look like this:

  • “The dog bites” whenever your early-rising roommate opens each drawer in order to practice kick-boxing. Or waking up for your 8 am by the class bell instead of your alarm clock. Having three trash bags hidden in your closet because you didn’t have time to take them to the dumpster outside. Losing your mind is losing your water bottle twice in one week. The one day you are running late to class is the one day the printers decide to conspire against you.
  • “The bee stings” when your know-it-all seat buddy raises his hand to ask a question one minute before the bell rings. That’s when the food server refuses to give you a third chicken tender in the “buffet line.” What to do when you get assigned to the gold section for the fifth time in a row (Solution: bring your teddy bear). Wondering why the grab n’ go is so slow today? Meet sloth the ID swiper; don’t be late to class.
  • “Feeling sad.” Walking from chapel to the DC in the rain without covered walkways. You might be interested in someone but don’t worry—the whole campus will know you are “talking”! Whose idea was it to give the girls only three stalls in the bathroom? Now a colony of female ants block the hallways to class. A nearby ancient church bell chimes like a haunted house with its minor key songs.

But, as the song of eternal wisdom says, “I simply remember a few of my favorite things.” Yes, even college students have a few things. Forget the half-empty glass. Be glad you at least have your water bottle.

  • “Raindrops on roses” Oh yes! That’s Miss Kathy remembering my name in the DC line.
  • “Whiskers on kittens” That’s curling up for a three hour nap on Sunday.
  • “Bright copper kettles” That’s the dazzling sight of ushers, like Captain Americas with golden shields, running down the aisle to take the offering.
  • “And warm woolen mittens” Wrapping up in warm blankets on the frozen bleachers to watch the Turkey Bowl.
  • “Brown paper packages tied up with strings” Those were the packages we used to get from our sympathetic mom freshman year.

So whenever the dog bites—remember life is more than dogs and bees—remember a few of your favorite things. Now go drink your half full water bottle! Hydrate or ‘die’drate.