Not many people know this, but I will be soon quitting this blog, since my senior year of college has left me overwhelmed with thirty handfuls worth of things to do. Although my run on this site has been insightful, fun, and a great way to outstretch my writing skills with the local college community, I figured now was the time to call it to a close. I appreciate all the awesome feedback I have received from followers (and countries around the world!) so far, and I will continue writing my books in the future, I’m sure. But for now, a small hiatus from the writing world is what I need.
Of course, that leaves me with the task of writing one last blog– the blog to end all blogs in the universe of college blog-dom. With that being said, I decided that the topic of that blog should be a very general overview of what I’ve learned from my college experience and the things I wish I had known when I started out as a freshman. So without further ado, here’s my list of advice for you up-and-coming college kids.
1. Organization is key. When you first begin your college career, you will be given your first set of syllabi. These syllabi will be the reason why you probably won’t have much of a social life your first couple of weeks at the university; there’s so much work. So much work that there’s a good chance you will panic, like many of us former college freshman once did.
Being organized is the number one way to prepare yourself for all of this. Your smart phone, your calendar, and your notebooks will all become your best friends, as long as you keep them updated. If you know what assignment is coming so you can prepare for it, you should be okay.
2. Don’t try to plan out everything. When I first started out at age eighteen, I had my entire life planned out: I’d get my bachelor’s, then my master’s, I’d marry my then-boyfriend, get an apartment and a dog, gradually build my way up to getting a house, and then maybe have a few kids, whose names I had already chosen.
But after I thought about what I would achieve after I got all those things. It came with a terrifying question: Then what?
College, as I have said it many times before, is pretty much a training camp for adults. And despite popular belief, even though you are at the legal age of eighteen, you still aren’t finished growing. You will continue to develop as a person through your late teens and early twenties, and you’re still highly impressionable and your emotions can get pretty turbulent through those years. Give your life time to flourish and grow. Not everything has to happen so fast.
3. Dating in college is simple and also infinitely complicated. Let’s admit it: high school dating was kind of cut-and-dry. Chances are, a guy would write you a note to ask you out and you would circle either yes or no.
Because of the turbulent emotions I mentioned before, dating expands on a much wider scale. You are growing up and getting more mature. Yet at the same time, you are still struggling to figure everything out. So is everyone else in your age group. When I was nineteen, I found myself caught in this same spiderweb of confusion when it came to relationships in college. I thought that a guy’s motivations were simple; if he called you pretty, then he liked you. If he talked to you on a daily basis, you would probably date. The truth is, it isn’t that simple. There are multiple reasons behind why people say the things they say and do the things they do. Yours truly still doesn’t have it all figured out, but it’s one of the many mysteries of growing that everyone grasps onto eventually.
4. Know the balance between studying and fun. When I was a freshman, all I did was study. When I was a sophomore, all I did was go out and have fun. In the end, I wasn’t the happiest because I either had no friends or my grades tanked. This may seem like a tug-of-war between good grades and a social life, but it really isn’t. You can have both. You just have to estimate your limits and know when to call it quits on either end. It’s an instinct you will develop over time, but until then, it’s better safe than sorry.
5. Nobody knows exactly what they’re doing with their life. I can’t count how many times I laid in bed, staring at the ceiling, wracking my brain with nervousness and terror about what I was doing with my life. I had a general plan, sure, but would I still want that plan twenty years down the road?
I still don’t know. I may. I may not. Every person I know of between the ages of 18-30 is still hitting that brick wall with “What do I do with my life?” spray-painted on it. So has every generation before us.
But like I said before, a little chaos can be beneficial and even exciting. Maybe you don’t have everything planned. That’s okay. You’re still in this in-between phase of childhood and adulthood and you will figure things out. College is an amazing, scary, emotional, beautiful ride and my biggest advice to you is hang on and cherish every second. It could possibly be the best time of your life, but I’ll avoid that cliche, because honestly, the best time of your life is what you make of it.
Thank you for following and being amazing readers. I hope your experience is just as fun as mine was.