College teaches you a lot. Yeah, I go to classes and yeah, I learn from those classes. But, the things I learned OUTSIDE of the classroom is more than anything I could have imagined.
1. Make yourself comfortably uncomfortable. This could be applied to almost everything. Step outside of your comfort zone. Go talk to someone. Or maybe just smile at them. Maybe this person wanted to talk to you, but they were just too nervous to do so. You never know what doors this could open for you.
2. Buy a planner and fill it up. I know this sounds like the headline of a freshmen orientation brochure, but it's so true on so many levels. On the most literal level, it keeps you organized. Organization is absolutely key in college and in life. On the next level, making yourself busy each day teaches you tons. Time management is a skill many people do not have, but is something that is SO crucial. Master it.
3. Work Hard, Play Hard. Go to class. Duh. Go to work. Duh. Do homework, go to meetings, blah blah blah. BUT - HAVE FUN! Spend time with friends. Although college is predominantly about getting a degree, some of the people you meet in college are going to be in your life forever. I've met my bridesmaids in college, and if I didn't purposefully make time to spend with them, I would be walking down an aisle with no girls in cheesy dresses next to me. Laugh with your friends. Go out with them. Create memories.
4. Sleep. At night. Refer to #2. You'll need it. Stay away from naps. Typically, you'll wake up sleepy and confused thinking it's 6am, not knowing what day it is.
5. Say "YES". Some of the most beneficial things I'm involved in at Rowan are the things I had NO idea what they were. Example - my graduate school thing. If I didn't blindly go into this organization, I would not be going to grad school. Say "yes" when you're unsure, when you think you might not have enough time, when you're nervous. You won't regret it.
6. Say "NO". Sometimes, we need to learn when to say "no" too. This is actually something I'm STILL, as an almost-23-year-old, working on. Although helping people is awesome and getting involved is important, don't completely overload yourself.
7. Find an outlet. This is something else I'm still working on. Stress happens. People get overwhelmed. It's natural. What's important is to find a way to deal with that stress. Sometimes, it might unfortunately mean crying on my boyfriend's shoulder as I pathetically utter words he can barely understand. I'm trying to steer away from doing this. His shirts get wet and booger-y. It's gross. I'm learning that writing is actually very helpful. Or working out. Maybe your outlet for stress isn't writing or exercise. Whatever it is, find it, and use it.
8. Treat yourself. You deserve it. If this means treating yourself to an ice cream cone on the way out of the Cafe, do it. Maybe it's just having a relaxing night in. A bath. A manicure. A new outfit.
9. Call your parents. My mom always tells me that I'm always allowed to complain and brag to them. Take full advantage of it. You can't complain and brag to most people; they'll stop talking to you. On top of the complaining and bragging, make sure you also THANK them. They're part of the reason why you're where you are right now. They deserve to know how grateful you are for them.
10. Remember your family. My family, for example, is all over the US. I have people in Jersey, but a lot are in Colorado, Florida, and Nevada. We don't see each other a lot, so remember to call them to say "hi". Family is forever. On that note, family doesn't have to be blood. In my case, family is also my roommates, my co-workers, and my team. I'm blessed to have this many people that I love. Whoever your "family" is, remember to love them.
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