I am beginning my senior year in college! The time has passed so quickly, I'm not sure if I'm ready to be a "big girl", with a "big girl job." It seems like not too long ago I was refusing to take naps, getting on the school bus for my first day of kindergarten, and then, wearing the dreaded braces and glasses combination. Then I was in high school, dressing up for Friday night football games, caring too much about boys and clothes, and then graduating from high school. All of a sudden I was in college. I joined every organization possible and tackled the transition, and overcame the change.
Now, here I sit, in my new apartment, procrastinating, and thinking of my past four years of college. Everyone always says that the four years you spend in college goes way too fast. I believed them, but not to the full extent that I am finally realizing now. Starting my senior year has really got me thinking on what I did, or what I wish I could have done to help me take in the most of my college years. I recorded my top ten things I wish I would have known coming into college, and here they are:
10. Write it down: Journalize your four years of college. Each week I send my friends and family back home a "weekly update". I go through the past week; from my classes, to work, to hanging out and any new revelations I had. My mom prints them off and puts them into a notebook. Keep a daily journal or a weekly summary. One day you'll want to share it with your children or walk down memory lane with old friends.
9. Be active on campus: Join multiple organizations, but don't fill your plate up too much. Too many organizations can overwhelm you and cause you to loose focus of whats important. Become a member of a large organization and contribute as much as you can. Also join a small organization, and help it grow and develop.
8. Guy Friends: My freshman year, I hung out with the guys on the floor below me all the time. I loved every single minute! They even made me and my best friend "groupie" t-shirts for Christmas. To this day, I can go to any of their rooms and hang out, chat, relax, and be myself. I know that even after college I can count on those guys to be there for me.
7. Boyfriends: Don't force the boyfriend issue. I know girls who whine and complain about never having a boyfriend. Not everyone finds "the one" in college, and it is important to understand that it may happen to you. I liken the situation to shopping. You found an awesome shirt and now you need shoes to match! You search and you hunt, you shop and you bargain but you never find the perfect shoes. One day you are in the mall shopping for a birthday present for your friend when, "BAM!" there are the perfect shoes! Relationships are the same. When you search and force relationships, they won't last and they won't be what you need. Be patient and stop looking. Your perfect "shoes" will come along eventually.
6. Parties: College is not all about parties. I spend many weekends watching movies, going ice skating, spa nights, baking nights, and many other nights hanging out with my friends, guy friends, or my sisters. It was great knowing that I wasn't expected to go out every single weekend. I was happy with an occasional party or get-together. The best memories I have are the ones where we ordered pizza at 11pm and watched Disney movies all night.
5. Who am I?: Find yourself. College is the first time you are away from your parents and off on your own. Learn about your personal strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, and what you stand for as an individual. This is something you can continuously work on throughout your four years.
4. Bedtimes: Got a quiz tomorrow morning, but your roommate and friends are running to Wal-mart at 10 p.m.? Go with your friends. The late night randomness and silly stories always happen at the least expected times, and you can always cram in the morning. Make those memories, and don't stay locked away in your room studying all of the time.
3. Maid of Honor: Best friends are a plenty in high school, but in college it is important to have at least two really close girl friends. Find those girl friends who you can talk to about anything, who you can cry to, laugh uncontrollably with, and that will stay in contact with you no matter what. Those girls will be your bridesmaids in your wedding, and hopefully will remain in your life way after college.
2. Live in the moment: Take in every minute and don't take it for granted. Don't waste your four years counting down the days until Christmas break, or summer. You will look back and wonder what you did with your life.
1. Don't sweat the small stuff: One of my marketing mentors once told me, "Don't sweat the small stuff because it is all small stuff." That has resonated with me since. Don't stress, don't worry. Forgive and forget. And any other cliche you would like to insert. If you don't stress and don't worry, you will enjoy life and have a greater experience overall.
This is only my top ten. I'm sure I could have come up with 30 or more. College does go fast, but I know that I made the most of my years, and lived life to the fullest.
I'd love for you to share anything you wish you would have known about college :)