My four years of college will be over next week, and I’m still coming to terms with all the emotions and changes that come with this time of life. As I look back on my time in college, the following are some things I would tell the freshman version of myself and freshmen in general.
Cherish every minute you spend with your friends in college, even if it’s studying.
Even if it’s time spent in the library, don’t take it for granted. When I look back on my time in college, some of my fondest memories are of times spent gathered around a giant conglomeration of tables my friends and I have put together in the library during finals week. Finals week is when everyone bonds over stress, anxiety and, ultimately, delirium. As weird and unbelievable as it may sound, you will miss finals weeks. (Enjoy this picture of me with friends in the library from freshman year.)
Sleep is better for your grades than squeezing in a few more hours of studying.
I didn’t pull many all-nighters in college, but when I did, they didn’t really help. I have learned that staying up all night studying is not as effective as it may sound. We’re only human, and our brains need a few hours to rest and soak in all the information we’re trying to jam into them. Furthermore, when it comes to actually thinking during the test, our brains function much better with some sleep. When the clock hits 3 a.m., shut the books and catch some z’s.
Talk to your professors.
Looking back on my time at university, there are a few professors that stand out in my memory, and they’re the ones with whom I formed relationships. I am so thankful for my professors and the way they have helped shape the way I see the world. Don’t be afraid to get to know your professors and let them get to know you; they became professors for a reason, and it’s not money – it’s to invest in students like you.
Spend time on yourself.
Whether it’s reading books, learning new skills, making your faith your own or going to the gym, spend time in college bettering yourself. College is usually the first time you’re away from home and on your own; take charge of your own life and build yourself to be who you want to be. You’ll never have more freedom and less responsibility; do something productive with it.
Meet people who are different from you.
When you get outside your comfort zone and meet people with interests, views and backgrounds that differ from your own, you grow. Everyone won’t be like you, but most people are nice; talk to them. Get to know people with different views and from different cultures. Some of my closest friends are nothing like me.
This sounds vague, and it’s meant to be. Whether you’re ready for graduation or ready to find romance, be patient. Be thankful for the season of life that you’re in. Don’t be so busy hoping for your future that you forget to make the most of your present circumstances. Everything will work out.