It’s official, I’ve finished my first year of college! While I was exposed to so much, these are the six most important things I took away from this year. Enjoy!
1. Bring a few of your favorite items from home.
For me, I did not have that much of a choice of what to bring, because my home was flooded just before school began. My family lost most of our belongings, so the few things I did salvage and bring to college were extra special. I encourage you to bring the silly little things that make you feel good (even though you think you are too old for them). That little piece of home will mean so much to you when you’re away.
2. Everyone finds friends, maybe just not right away.
Don’t stress if you don’t make hoards of friends during orientation. Most people don’t stay friends with their orientation buddies anyway. Not being a very outgoing person, I spent most of my time in the first few weeks of school alone – and that is OK. It was nice to get comfortable with my school and myself at my own pace. Once I got comfortable, my friends started to fall into place.
3. You can say no.
No, you do not have to party every weekend. No, getting drunk will not get you tons of friends. No, no one will judge you if you say “Nah, I’d rather stay in and watch Netflix tonight.” Trust me, most people will respect your decision. If they don’t, they probably aren’t worth your time anyway.
4. Take care of your mental health.
There were times where I tried to do everything: get 8+ hours of sleep, straight A’s, have a blooming social life, keep in touch with family, have a job, eat healthy, workout, the lot. While I’d like to think I am superwoman and can do everything, it wasn’t happening. You will have to compromise to keep your sanity. Sometimes that means missing out on a night with your friends to finish an important paper. Other times, that might mean letting a math assignment slide to get some much needed rest. Do not push yourself. Take advantage of the resources your school offers you (i.e., counseling center, free health workshops, etc) and encourage struggling friends to do the same.
5. Set goals
As mentioned, sometimes you will not be able to do everything. Planning and setting goals for your week will help you stay motivated and keep grades up and stress down.
6. Never Apologize for Your Performance
This tip is referring to all my peeps in my musical theatre classes. Not having much confidence, my classmates and I would either forewarn the class of our impending terrible performance or apologize and immediately hang our heads afterwards. Our professors, however, would not stand for this. “Never apologize for your performance. Ever.” They would say this sternly, and after a while, we started to get it. Even if I was sick or I felt like I just gave the worst performance of my life, I would not apologize. This applies to performers and non-performers alike. Having a good attitude, even when you are having a rough day, really speaks to your character. Everyone has bad days, bad performances, bad grades, but that shouldn’t discourage you.
Let’s chat! Leave a comment below describing some things you learned this year.