As a recent college graduate, I decided to write a letter to myself of everything I wish someone had told me before starting university. Earnest, a student loan refinancing company, is encouraging recent graduates to reflect and share their lessons learned with others. Here is what I learned in my three years…
Dear College Morgan,
Congrats, you’re in college! You worked really hard to get here and in order to have a great time, there’s some things you should know. You’re going to be stressed, there’s going to be peer pressure, and you will call your mom crying a lot in the next three years. But because I love you (self-love is important) and university should be one of the best times of your life, here’s some tips to have a great time.
1. Spend time with friends.
While there are so many things like taking care of adult stresses and studying, spend time with friends making memories. You aren’t going to remember that English final, but you sure are going to remember that time you all almost got hit by a car crossing the street to Hirons at midnight in your pajamas.
2. Explore the city.
Even when your school is in the middle of nowhere there is something to be discovered. Take the time to know where you’re living. Find that hole-in-the-wall falafel place. Know where the best bowling is. Expand your college experience past the campus borders.
3. Don’t be in a serious relationship.
Take it from me, being in a serious relationship can definitely damage your experience. It can limit you socially and sometimes those important relationship milestones (and the drama) can take away from enjoying yourself.
4. Always know where free food is.
If you do this correctly, chances are you will be able to eat free for at least 3 days a week and meet lots of people from joining new clubs.
5. Professors care more about your passion than your talent.
That’s great that you got a 5 on your AP test because your high school teacher taught you how to best the system. Professors will care more about your passion for history and your interest in the Spanish Inquisition rather than how you learned to remember dates.
6. Go out of your comfort zone.
If it makes you feel slightly uncomfortable and is safe, go for it!
7. Spend time with people very different.
At college you meet people from all walks of life. Spend time talking with someone who has different political views. Have a potluck with friends and find out how everyone makes chicken dishes. Strike up a conversation with someone who dresses differently. Expand yourself by seeing more than just what you know.
8. Eat better.
Yes I know that pizza and dorm food is amazing, but try to get a few vegetables in.
9. Take morning classes.
You know what’s great? Taking classes from 8-11 and then having the rest of the day to do as you please. Sure, you’ll be tired, but so are your professors and they tend to be nicer for it.
10. Call your support.
Find someone (like a parent, sibling, close friend) who you can talk to when it all gets too much. When you fail a test you need someone who will remind you that you are doing your best and that you deserve a milkshake.
11. Stop wearing yoga pants.
Dress for success. We’ve all done the sweats and slippers look, but take pride in your appearance. Many professors go on to give references and recommendations for your future employers/their colleagues and no one is sending references to the kid wearing their old Snoopy pajamas and I <3 NYC sweatshirt.
12. Have dance parties.
Get some friends together and take turns dancing it out to those songs that bring rhythm to your soul. There’s truly no better way to get rid of finals stress. Bonus points for group routines!
13. Attend study groups.
I learned this late and I regret it. Find the study group for that class you struggle with and attend religiously. Not only will you receive the help you need, but there’s now a resource for when you don’t have the midnight homework done and it’s 11:15.
14. Don’t be afraid to drop classes.
There are times I should have dropped a class and ended up struggling the whole way (and possibly failing). You usually have about a week or so to drop, so go over the syllabus, listen to the professor and make a judgment call. It’s better to take this class with a different professor next term and take Intro to English now than to fail and have to retake anyway.
15. Speak with your advisor.
Advisors want to help you. Just make to ask questions and write down everything. And if some scheduling goes wrong contact them immediately!
16. Enjoy the experience, not stress over the studying.
College isn’t just about the grade. It’s about four years of your life setting you up for the next 40. Settle down for some studying, but also make time to enjoy yourself.
College is a lovely time and something I loved, and with these tips it’s something you’ll love too!
Want to stay up to date with all of my crazy shenanigans, what movies I’m watching, and how to live the best life ever? Add me on Snapchat: PotatoesHegarty
Stay classy, Internet,
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