Sadly, my college career is coming to an end in less than one month, an experience that many of us are going through right now. The past four years have been some of the best, worst, and most memorable times of my life. Being in college has allowed me to grow as a person, learn from my mistakes, and be the best I can be. As a graduating senior, I’d like to share my best advice to underclassmen who still have the privilege of enjoying a few more years.
We all know that college comes with tons of distractions, but what we’re really here for is an education. Take advantage of the opportunity that so many people would be honored to have. Spending a few hours in the library may seem like torture in the moment, but it’ll pay off in the long run. You’ll appreciate your hard work when your GPA soars and it opens doors for you.
This is the only time in your life when you get to pick class times and arrange your schedule to your liking. When you enter the real world, you won’t be able to tell work you’re too hung over to start at 9 am. Take advantage of your freedom now! There may be those nights when you feel like catching up on sleep or Netflix, but that can all be done later. Enjoy the night out with your friends, make memories you might forget, drink too much and dance like a fool to your favorite songs.
You may find yourself feeling overwhelmed with school, work, and other activities, but don’t lose sight of the people who have always had your back. It may be hard to stay connected, especially if you go to separate schools, but try. Reach out to your BFF through text, plan weekend adventures, and Snapchat them often so they don’t forget how many ugly faces you can make. This will let them know that even though you’re busy, you still care, which is important as we get older.
This rule probably goes against everything your parents taught you when you were younger. But, you’re an adult now, which means you’re in complete control of every dumb thing you choose to do. Go to Wawa at 2 am, dance around your dorm room to 90s Pandora, and catch rays once the nice weather hits instead of doing your homework right away. These are the moments you’ll end up remembering in the long run and talking about with your friends years down the road.
It’s hard not to escape to your dorm room immediately after class, but there’s so much more that you can explore. When is the next time that you’ll have a mini-city right outside your window? If your campus is anything like mine, there’s beautiful landscape, tons of buildings, and plenty of resources right at your disposal. When you buy your own home one day, you won’t be able to walk over to the student center or play Frisbee in the residential quad. It’s a great place to relax, interact, and get the full college experience. So, don’t take it for granted.
College seems like stress central, but learn to cope with the stress instead of working yourself up even more. Things will always fall into place as they need to, and it’ll be even easier if you don’t go crazy about them. Plus, will that B really matter ten years down the road?
One of the most monumental college moments is turning 21. But, most college kids don’t have the funds to party like Jay Z. Happy hour deals are awesome and usually attract a lot of college students, which can turn into a lot of fun. Plus, who wouldn’t want to get a buzz on at 5 pm? It’s the pregame to the main event, so take full advantage. Bottoms up.
Don’t be afraid to join a club or talk to a new group of people. College is the time to become a social butterfly, it’s a new beginning that is full of possibilities. You never know where an opportunity may lead you. Plus, there’s always tons to do on campus - usually for free. Concerts, guest speakers, visiting writers, social events, and info sessions are always happening. Show up, you might learn something, get free stuff, or just have a good time. Go on random trips to unfamiliar places. Try new food. Change up your style. You may like the results. If not, it doesn’t hurt to say you tried.
College may allow you to feel super cool, super adult-like, and downright awesome. But, don’t forget where you came from. Thank your parents for all they do for you. Keep in touch with family members. Be nice to everyone you meet (unless they aren’t nice to you). Don’t let a new environment change who you are or damage your integrity. It may seem hard at times to stay true to yourself, but don’t become something you’re not. In the end, you’ll be searching for the old you that you left behind.
These days are some of the best times you’ll have, even if you don’t realize it yet. Stop worrying about the future and do what you feel is best now. You’ll never regret what once made you happy, so go with what you feel is right. Be spontaneous. Be adventurous. Everything is up to you, so take advantage of it.