I was talking to my little cousin today who is just starting her freshman year of college (how is she that old? ), so in honor of her first year (and my last one), I wanted to write this post to help/encourage any of you that may be starting their college career like her! Now, as a fifth year senior who has been to three colleges and had five majors (yeah, it’s been kind of a crazy ride) I feel like I have loads of information to share about how to make it through college, but I will cut it down to five major points. If you would like more or have any other questions, please message me! I would also love to hear any of your own experiences or advice, so leave them here as well!
- Get involved!!! Oh, how I wish I had listened to this advice when I went to college! (I probably wouldn’t have gone to three different colleges if I had lol) College is full of so many opportunities, so try and make the most of them. When I moved to the college I am at now, my friend convinced me to tryout for rowing with her (even though I had never rowed a day in my life or knew what it was), and we ended up making it! It was one of the best decisions of my college career because it brought me out of my shell and gave me some pretty awesome experiences I never would have had otherwise. Don’t let fear keep you from trying everything out! The worst that could happen is that it’s not for you. Even then just try something else out! I promise you won’t regret it!
- Go to class. Let me just go ahead and tell you now, it is REALLY easy to skip class in college. Most of my professors didn’t care if I was in class or not, and you don’t have parents there to make you go. Just don’t do it. Once you start skipping, it’s really hard to stop, and I promise you that your grade will be much better if you go. Without a doubt, every class where I skipped classes I ended up getting a grade that was worse than I could have gotten. Eventually, you’ll regret it.
- Be yourself and allow yourself to make new friends. I have to say this is the biggest regret I have about college. I was going through a lot at the time, and instead of allowing myself to make new friends, I desperately tried to hang on to the ones I already had. Now, there’s nothing wrong with keeping up with your high school friends, but you have to allow yourself room to grow. Most people change a lot in college, and before I knew it, I hardly recognized the old friendships I had. Unfortunately, by the time I recognized that we had grown apart, it was already my last year of college, and it was hard to start over.
- Recognize the signs of depression and anxiety. This one is a bit sadder than the rest, and hopefully you will never have to experience this, but the facts are that a lot of people become depressed in college. I know so many people who have gone through it, and it’s so important that you recognize the signs in yourself or your friends and get help. There’s no reason that anyone should have to go through college depressed when there are so many resources to help. Make sure you know the options that the school offers for dealing with depression (most have counselors available especially for this purpose), and above all do not feel ashamed about it. It’s something many people go through, so you are not alone. I promise getting help is better than trying to deal with it alone. 🙂
- Enjoy college!!! Above all, your college years are short, so have fun with them! You’ll learn and grow so much in these four years, and it’s so important that you try and make the most of them. There will most definitely be hard times, but you are not alone. The important thing is to keep getting back up!
All the best!! 🙂