I’m sitting here reflecting on the last three years of my college career and realized just how much I’ve learned. It’s crazy how you go through years of high school and learn a few things but those four years in college take you and make you a entirely new person. You are put in so many different situations and are usually away from home for the first time. I thought since it’s going to be fall in a couple months with a brand new handful of students heading off to their first year of college, this blog post would be helpful. Here it goes!
1.Relationships are so dang important. The mostest important.
It’s funny because as I was writing this blog post I reached out to some of my college friends to see if they had any good suggestions to put in here and one of my favorite people I met in college replied “That authentic relationships are the most important and you should invest in people that help you get to the highest version of yourself, whatever that may be to you” and I couldn’t agree more because she is the prime example. (Thanks Eden!) I have met some of the most amazing people in college and I learned very quickly that you don’t have much time to keep up with a ton of “friends”. It’s most important to pick the few that you want to invest those spare minutes with and run with it. But be very careful who those few people are! Pick the ones that you feel close to, that make you feel safe, but challenge you in all the best ways. Enjoy this part. It’s one of my favorites!
2. Don’t compare yourself. Ever. I mean it. Never ever.
College is a place where everyone is doing different things, are in different situations, and are with different people. Seriously, there are SOOO many different ways that you could compare your life to another person’s in college. But don’t. If someone else is studying for a test earlier than you, don’t be down about it. If you fail the test, then maybe reevaluate your study preparations. If someone goes home every weekend and you don’t, don’t get down about it. If you are the one going home every weekend and your roommate doesn’t, don’t get down about it. If you can’t study at the library or a coffee shop but others can, don’t be down about it. It doesn’t matter what you can do or the person sitting next to you can do, every person is DIFFERENT.
3. Balance. BALANCE. B A L A N C E.
I kid you not. This is extremely important. My first year I studied. I studied almost every free second I had. I barely went out and did anything fun, no matter how good I did on a test or how much my friends begged me. But I know people who partied. I mean partied so much that they never showed up to class and took C’s on almost every assignment. Now, neither one of those are healthy or best for a college experience. So, go out, study, hang out with friends, eat healthy, indulge on dessert, workout regularly, laugh, cry, I mean do it all but make sure it’s an even amount of them all!
4. You don’t need to be the perfect student.
This was my biggest struggle when it came to college. I struggled with this almost every single day. Luckily, each year became a little easier but it definitely never went away. I wish wish wish that I knew that being an A+ student in high school does not mean the same thing in college. Getting B’s is kind of similar to getting A’s in high school. Even though I have achieved the 4.0 throughout college, I still think I would hand those back for a couple more fun nights with my friends in the dorm room. No lie. So, do not beat yourself up over a B in college. It will not matter in 4 years I can trust you that!
5. Your professors are very valuable people to you!
I have acquired some great relationships with some of my professors over the years and they have supplied me with knowledge, advice, guidance, and opportunities. I think we can come into college with this misconception that professors are there to make things difficult to you and they actually don’t even care about being there. Even though you might have some professors who fit that stereotype, there are way more that do not. Professors of my freshmen year are still people that I chat with and keep up with frequently. They remember my name, major, jobs, and family life and always ask me about it. Also, they can become major assets when it comes to job applications and references. If they like you, they’ll root for you!
6. Explore your school’s city.
No matter how big or how small the city your school is located, explore it. Don’t make it just your “school” town. Make it a place full of good memories and new experiences! Go shopping, attend events, go downtown, find new spas, new hair salons, nail salons! There is so much each town has to offer, you just have to make it your own. Share those experiences with your new friends or old friends too! The limit does not exist!
7. Keep in touch with high school friends and family.
There is something extremely special about high school friends. I was lucky enough to have multiple great high school friends that I keep in close contact with but I know not everyone has that. Even if you are close with just one single high school friend make sure to keep in contact! There is something about being able to talk to someone who understands where you came from and knows all of the memories from high school. Sometimes it’s just easier and there is so much comfort in it. With family, there is nothing like home and if you can’t get there, use a phone call or FaceTime! It usually works just the same for the time being. Keep them close! It helps.
8. You realize what you like & what you don’t like. & don’t be afraid to voice it.
College puts you in multiple different situations where you realize, “holy crap, that’s so dang annoying” or “that’s super cool, I like that!”. There might be things you don’t even realize you like or liked. You will find what studying environments you like, sleeping arrangements, night routines, morning routines, foods, coffee flavors, and much more. So, when you come to realize a lot of these things, don’t be afraid to voice them to others around you! I think college has really taught me how to stand up for myself and voice my interests.
9. Sleep is everything. I mean it. 7-8 hours.
Before college I went to bed super late and woke up early. It didn’t really effect me because school work wasn’t super hard and it just wasn’t as difficult as balancing everything with college life. I realized that my health and academic performance both excelled when I got at least 8 hours of sleep. It is so tempting to binge Netflix till 2 in the morning or party on a school night but I promise your future self will thank you. The night before a test when I had the choice to go to sleep or study more, I always chose sleep. If I didn’t know something then, I wouldn’t know it in 2 hours. So, get some sleep!
10. Get out there. Say yes.
There were so many times that I was too scared to go and do something because I didn’t know anyone, was insecure, or didn’t know if I would have any fun. Who cares? Even if you don’t enjoy each second fully it’s still an experience and you will still meet other people which is a win in my book. We learn from experiences and we learn from other people. You seriously never know what can happen if you just say YES. You never know what you might miss out on if you don’t just get out there! When will you ever be in a point in your life again where you have so many opportunities to go out and do different things with different people? Not often! SO DO IT!
I hope you liked this one. I have been reflecting a lot over my experiences through college as I am heading into my senior year. It’s been some of the most fun, challenging, and rewarding years of my life and I am so grateful for each experience I have had. Cherish it while you can!