Hi, everyone! I hope that your Wednesday is going well so far! 🙂 Today, I want to talk about a topic that I’m pretty passionate about and that comes up a lot in conversations with friends. And that is the topic of…college. I’ve spoken about my life as a recent college grad so far on my blog but haven’t talked as much about my experiences in college. I was the first person in my family to go to a four year university and at times, it was extremely challenging.
Throughout my time in college, I definitely had my ups and down but learned a lot along the way. If I were speaking to a first year college student, this is the advice that I would give them. There are so many lessons that I learned while attending college–here are just a few! 🙂
1. Organize yourself for the week & don’t procrastinate.
College can be overwhelming, especially when you feel like there is so much to do and not enough time. You might have a paper due, a test coming up, that dreaded group project! Just take a deep breath…you’re going to get everything done!
Organization is key, as simple as that sounds. Consider buying a planner or a desk calendar and plot out the most important assignments for that week. Lay it out for yourself. Also, make sure to keep your goals for the week realistic and clear.
2. Maintain a healthy lifestyle by learning how to cook.
Maybe there’s a delicious taco place down the street from campus or your cafeteria doesn’t have the healthiest of options. Temptation to just Grubhub your food is very, very real. I experienced it. Try dining once or twice during the week, instead.
I wish I learned this lesson so much sooner, because maybe I wouldn’t have felt as lethargic in class. Cooking can be time consuming, so I recommend buying a 30 minute cookbook like this one.
3. Join a couple of extracurricular activities on campus!
The best way to meet new people and to make connections is through extracurricular activities. I was extremely shy and socially anxious, so I didn’t get as involved on campus as much as I should have. This has to personally be my biggest regret.
If you’re shy like me, try checking out your school’s RSO fair and bring a friend! It’ll be much easier to strike up a conversation with people that way.
4. Don’t feel pressured to marry your first college boyfriend/girlfriend.
I wish I could shout this at freshman year Nunzia. During my first semester of college, I dated a guy (we’ll call him Kyle). Although I was quite smitten by him, there were obvious signs he wasn’t ready to be in a relationship. The truth is I wasn’t either.
I know breakups are awful, but it’s okay if your first relationship in college doesn’t work out. Take it as an opportunity to get to know new people and date! 🙂 College is a place where you can find out more about yourself and what you’re really looking for in life!
5. Please reach out for help when you need it.
This is definitely something that I want to emphasize. The number one priority should always be your mental health and happiness.
If you’re struggling with something (whether it’s a family issue, something personal, feeling overwhelmed by a class, etc.) please talk to someone that you trust. This person could be a friend, your professor or work study supervisor, etc. There are always people around to help and you deserve to be happy.
6. Talk about the future & the hard stuff. Ask as many questions as possible!
I never wanted to talk about the future while I was in college because it absolutely terrified me. I personally wish that I would have visited the career center at my college sooner because it would have helped me a lot during my transition from college to the workforce. As soon as freshman year, but definitely by junior year, ask questions!
Talk to your professor, a career counselor, alumni, your fellow classmates. By no means do you have to have your entire future plotted out or even close to it, but asking questions is a great first step to combatting any fears about the future.
7. The last two years of college are tough but you’re going to be okay!
My senior year was particularly brutal. I took a senior seminar class and had to read postmodernists texts like The Golden Notebook and Gravity’s Rainbow. To be honest, I thought that I wasn’t going to pass the class but ended up getting an A in it!
Although those last two years can be tough because you’re taking 300 and 400 level classes while thinking about job applications, you are going to get through it! You’re going to achieve everything! Just surround yourself with as much positivity as possible and you’ll feel really accomplished once you walk across that stage 🙂
8. Take a moment to reflect. This is such an explorative part of your life 🙂
College is STRESSFUL. But it’s a unique, exciting part of your life. Some of my favorite memories of colleges are staying up all night with my friends watching movies, going to parties, and ordering pizza at 3 am. I met so many interesting people and learned to become a better writer because of my English classes. So, have fun and explore! 🙂
I hope that you enjoyed this college-themed post <3 I will see you all on Friday!! 🙂