The point of going to college is to further your education, to choose a path that hopefully will give you a jump start into your future. I’ve spent almost a year taking classes already and have learned a ton, but not all of that was done in the classroom. Although this year flew by quickly, it also wasn’t easy. Yet, through those hard times I learned a lot about not only myself but how the world works. Here are just a few things I’ve learned this year that I’d like to share with the world:
It’s okay to be alone.
Not everyone has the same schedule as you. There will be times where you have to eat alone or *gasp* show up to an event by yourself. Alone time is good for you. Just as it is important to nourish your relationships with friends and family, it’s important to nourish your relationship with yourself.
Your parents know basically everything.
They’ve been doing this whole adulting thing for years and have a lot more wisdom than you’d think. Or maybe you’re like me and already think your parents are the bomb.com and have the answers to everything. Either way, they probably do know it all.
Sad, but true. Especially when everyone is moving on and figuring out who they are and who they want to be, a lot of changes occur. The people you were best friends with a year ago may not be your friends at all anymore. It’s life, and if these people weren’t changing there would be something seriously wrong.
With that being said, stop hanging onto the person you used to be.
There’s nothing I want more than to forget about the person I was in high school. Quite frankly, I am a bit ashamed about how I behaved and some of the people I tried so desperately to impress. I definitely don’t want to forget the memories and experiences I had, but I feel that in the last year I have completely changed as a person. I truly believe that these changes occurred because I was willing to let go of the person I was in high school and was open to exploring who I truly am and what kind of person I would like to be.
Sometimes you need to take care of yourself above anything else.
This is something I struggle with and will probably struggle with 30 years in the future. I’m always trying to make sure that everyone else is okay and rarely checking in with how I feel. However, if I’ve learned one thing this year is that you can’t take care of others if you can’t take care of yourself first.
Junk food is good for the soul.
Yeah, yeah, and kale is good for the body. Who gives a f*ck about the calories. Eat three slices of pizza. But not every night, which leads me to my next point…
At some point your metabolism slows down.
And it hits you like a train. Like one day you wake up and realize your old habits are not going to cut it anymore. True story. So make sure you’re taking care of yourself physically and nourishing your body with the best (at least most of the time). I’m hoping that by starting good habits now I’ll be thanking myself later in life.
Society always wants to put people into boxes.
Everyone is so uncomfortable with seeing people as individuals instead of just categories. Oh, you’re a sorority girl? You must be rich, white, and stuck up. You’re an art student? You must not be good at math and science. Where did these ideas ever come from?! I’ve met a variety of people this past year, and most of the stereotypes I’ve heard are generally not true. I think it’s important for us to remember that everyone is an individual. Everyone has a different story, and you can’t just put people into boxes because they identify as something that is stereotypically one way or another. Wow, maybe I should write another blog post on this.
Cherish the relationships that bring you joy, let go of the ones that only bring you down.
I cannot stress this point enough. Just because you’ve been friends with someone for years doesn’t mean that they’re a good friend. If someone is bringing you down, let go of them. On the contrary, if there’s someone you really enjoy spending time with, spend more time with them. If they truly like you as much as you like them (which they probably do), they will never be annoyed with you asking to spend time together.
Don’t let people take advantage of you because you’re young.
I feel like this is a problem that college students constantly face. Stand up for what you believe in. Don’t let people walk all over you because they assume you’re just too young to understand.
You can learn a lot through differences. Or you can be judgmental.
People that are different than you can offer an incredible perspective on life that you would have never heard otherwise. It’s so easy to sit back and judge, but when you’re open-minded and listen, you learn so much.
Do more of what you love.
Do whatever brings you joy. Not what makes you rich or what makes your parents happy or what your friends want to do. Take care of yourself and everything will turn out okay.
Nobody cares if you look silly because they’re too worried about what they look like.
I spend so much time in front of the mirror making sure I look good and then being conscious of my behavior in public in fear of what others will think of me. But quite frankly, nobody actually notices. Everyone else is just as insecure as I am and doesn’t have time to judge me because they’re too busy judging themselves.
I may have spent a good portion of my days here sitting in class, learning about Philosophy and Sociology and how to formulate an effective argument. But in the time I spent outside of class, I learned so much more in the past year than I ever have in past years. I am so grateful for my time here and cannot wait for the learning the next three years hold.