I’m sure you have heard the all too familiar saying that college is the best four years, and for many these days, five years of your life. Post graduation, I couldn’t begin to stress how true this is. College. Four years you spend away from home, living with your friends, learning, creating memories and meeting lifelong friends. The place where you ultimately find yourself, find what truly interests you. Then after its over all you have is the memories and life lessons that’ll guide you along the way.
I still remember my freshman year of college. I will never forget how it felt. To be away from home, from all your old friends and family, you’re basically placed on a boat with thousands of other kids that are on that same boat. At first it seems crazy, a bit overwhelming even but as time passes you truly begin to grasp an understanding of how it all works. My first day of college was so different from high school; there was no mom to wake me up in the morning. The alarm clock had to do. I remember crawling out of bed and heading to my first class, a biology lecture with over 400 kids. Yes you read that correctly, 400 kids. Going from my 25 to 20 kid class sizes in high school this was a bit of a shock. Following this I went to my next class, and believe it or not Calculus in College is a lot harder than it was in high school. Feeling overwhelmed I wanted to go back to my dorm and cry. I missed home, my friends, being able to sail through my classes having to put minimal efforts and getting good grades. As I was walking back to my dorm with a dejected look on my face a group of the kids on my floor saw me and invited me to go have lunch with them. As we all sat there and talked about how our first day of college went I slowly realized that everyone was experiencing what I was. We were all being brought out of our comfort zones, but after all that is what college is. Finding yourself. I’m still friends with many of these friends I made that first eventful year.
Looking back on everything that I went through in college I realized that I learned a handful of things. One of the first things I learned in college is that time management
is key. Often times when you have so much freedom you go nuts with it. The key to doing well and leading a happy healthy life is balance and time management. College also made me a more organized person. I kept track of all of my assignments, commitments, meetings and various other things. I realized
how valuable the hours in a day truly are. Organization is key to success in all aspects of life. Balance out time spent studying and educating yourself with fun activities such as joining a club, going to various events or hanging out with your friends.
Join as many clubs as you can! If you are ever interested in anything, go out and pursue it. If playing flag football, or robotics, or choir or even stem cell research interests you, go join it you have nothing to lose. Take initiative; if you have always wanted to be a part of a cultural organization go check it out. If you’re interested in social fraternities and sororities go join one. There is a club or activity for each and every person in college. It took me a couple years to realize it but by senior year I was in so many different clubs and organizations that I was truly interested in, I didn’t know why I hadn’t looked into them earlier. I joined the Pre Law Fraternity, Pre Law club, and the Stem Cell Research club because those were three clubs I was extremely interested in. I found my passions. I met so many high profile attorneys and attorneys through this. I met world-renowned scientists that were the first to create a therapy for victims of spinal cord injuries that were told they were never able to walk again, but due to their hard work and research they helped these people walk again. When opportunity presents itself, take it. Thinking about study abroad? Do it. I will never forget the semester I studied abroad in Barcelona. I made friendships, I networked, I shared my story with others and I learned other people’s stories. All of these experiences made me the person I am today. They made me realize what I wanted to do in life, and who would be by my side when I accomplished my goals and dreams.
The best piece of advice I can give out of everything that I learned to have the best experience in college is to network. Go out and meet people. Don’t be afraid to talk to those around you. Get out of your comfort zone and talk to that student in class you sit next to. Ask your professors about their lives, ask them to share their stories with you. Whether you realize it or not, these people were in your shoes long ago and they are more than willing to guide you in the right direction. Network!
Go out and meet people! They will help you down the road. Go out and make those connections because after these four years it will be a lot harder. So go out there, make the most out of the best four years of your life. Make memories, make those life long friends, find your passions, find what you love and go pursue it and don’t ever hold back.