Towards the end of my college student experience, I’ve realized that so many things have changed, and I have changed a lot during these three years. And even though I haven’t come to terms with myself yet about it ending very soon, there are some things I’ve learned. College is not only the place where you go to study but the place where you go to study yourself. But don’t panic! Here are some things I wish I knew before going to college, that might help you figure it out.
You are going to change and that’s ok
Whatever label you might have given in high school, it will make no difference when you get to college. Here everybody starts with a clean sheet and no one cares whether you were “the prom queen”, “the nerd” or ‘the rebel”. So it’s your turn to start fresh and show the world your true self. It is very likely that you’d like to reinvent yourself. You’ll get inspired by all the new places and people that you encounter, especially if you move to another city. Take advantage of that! Gather everything that is good and that inspires you and build up your personality just as you like. You are going to change a lot, but that’s ok.
Sometimes it can be overwhelming
You move to a new city, make a tone new friends, party every weekend, life seems so easy. But not every day will feel the same. There will be sleepless nights in which you’d have to study. You have to take care of yourself, clean, cook, pay the bills, adult stuff. Your mom won’t be there anymore to nurse you when you have a fever in the middle of the night. Sometimes you may feel homesick. Other times you may wish for a warm hug when you come home after a long day full of classes. Speaking of which, expect to have a chaotic timetable, at least at the beginning.
Take everything with a pinch of salt
In a big city and surrounded by so many temptations, it can get easy to lose yourself. The one piece of advice that I always get is “be careful”. My parents and my close friends are always telling me to be careful when going to new places and don’t trust anyone too much. The only person that you have to take care of you is yourself, no matter how hard it may sound. So don’t let yourself be fooled by the mirage of a glamorous city.
Take advantage of the opportunity that you have
Think about the fact that not everyone is lucky enough to have the opportunity of going to college. Engage in any activity that you encounter. Be a volunteer, go to the theater, to the opera, to any other local event that might not take place in your home town. But, remember why you went there in the first place. To study! Take good advantage of that and the fact that there are people that want to teach and help you at all costs.
You are not alone
Even though at a first sight, it might seem like that, you are not alone. There is always a teacher, a friend, a roommate, or a parent only one call away. Don’t be scared to ask for help or for advice whenever you feel. What I’ve learned is that you are not a bother to anybody and people are more than happy to help you, but you have to ask them to. And even though there can be no one physically beside you, you have to find peace within yourself. Remember, the only one that can help you in hard times is yourself. And the less you need people around you, the more powerful and independent you become.
The only advice I can give is to enjoy the whole experience, because it is going to pass in the blink of an eye. There are always going to be ups and downs in whatever you do, so you would better learn from your mistakes and create memories. College is that episode of your life that has the biggest impact, you might want to have good stories to tell to your grandchildren when you get old.