Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Dear Future Freshman

22 days from now I will be a college graduate....hold on, let me let that sink in for a second. I HAVE LESS THAN A MONTH AND I HAVE TO ADULT FULL TIME!!! To me, that is only slightly terrifying. The whole "what are you doing after graduation" question has been floating around for like a year, but now it is getting so much more real. And don't let them fool you into thinking job hunting is fun and really isn't. I don't have to go back to Troy in the fall for band camp or classes, I have student loans that start repayment in January and the rest of my life to think about.

Okay, mini panic attack under control.

Now that I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I will no longer be able to put on forms at the doctors office "student" or get the "student" discount at stores anymore, I have been doing some thinking, "What are things I want my brother to know when he starts college?" (which by the way, is in a year....that blows my mind more than the fact that I am graduating)

Advice to College Freshman from a Soon-to-be College Grad

The better prepared you are the better you will do: My college classes taught me a lot, like Who's on First, What's on Second and I don't Know is on Third...but I have to say, most of what I needed to know to succeed in my internship was taught from out of class experiences. I spent a lot of time in college doing extra circulars like our TV station and band and things like that have taught me more than my classes. Time spent outside of class is where you have more access to real-world learning. Don't just sit in front of your computer all day long and watch Netflix or play video games, go find a club to get involved in that is in your major. Do something productive with some of the free time you have. Not only is it a great resume booster, but it also helps you network with people who are going into the same field as you, and believe me, that goes a long way later.

Keep Track of Your Free Time: This is something that I have struggled with during my college days and I am just now getting the hang of it while I am interning. Enjoy your free time, but set limits on it. I can't tell you the number of times that I have sat down on the couch and told myself "I'll only watch an episode of 'Say Yes to the Dress' and then I'll go do x, y, and z." and guess what, three hours later, I realize that x, y, and z still haven't been done. Something I have found that makes this easier is just do the work before you sit down. That way you can enjoy your free time. Make a to-do list, have a planner, anything to help you see what needs to be done and helps you keep track of it is so helpful! Just be sure you actually use your planner, just having one isn't going to do you any good...

Be Sure to have "Me" Time: There are days that you sometimes just have to say "Today is for me" and not let anyone ruin it for you. Go read a book or shop a little bit, whatever it is that makes you feel better, because believe me, college will get stressful and hectic and you have to know how to handle it. Even if it is 10 minutes a day to just sit and read you Bible or a good book, do it. I promise it will do you a world of good.

Manage your Stress in a HEALTHY Way: This is sooooo important. I have seen people who don't know how to handle their stress in ways that are healthy and end up physically hurting their bodies. Too much food, lack of food, lack of sleep, alcohol; all of these things are ways to hurt yourself. Go to the gym, eat something healthy, take a nap, all things to help keep your stress levels down, and are pretty good for your body.

Have fun: When they say college is the best years of your life, they aren't joking. You have the freedom of being an adult (which means making some adult decisions) but you are still a kid in that you can go out at 2 in the morning and get McDonalds if you want and no one will really judge you (and if they do judge you, get rid of them, you don't need that kind of negative influence in your life haha). Just don't forget, college is only for a few years, so make the most out of the time you have there and make crazy memories that will give you stories to talk about for years to come.

So for all of you soon to be freshman, or anyone in college or really anyone in life, take some advice from me and learn from my mistakes.

What are some of your best tips to make it through college?

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