5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started College

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It’s hard to believe that I am finally, finally graduating college. While my actual ceremony is a few months off still, I only have a few more weeks of actual school and boy does it feel good. My college journey definitely wasn’t the most traditional one, but I learned a lot along the way. Today, I thought I’d share some things I wish I had known when I was first getting started.

  1. A name isn’t everything: I went to a very competitive high school and was dead set on getting into the best schools I possibly could, and that meant I put a lot more value on the brand recognition the schools had rather than how happy I’d be there. Looking back, I wish I’d chilled out just a bit.

  2. It’s okay if you get to school and hate it: I did my first year of college at NYU on their London campus and when I arrived in New York for my sophomore year it very quickly became obvious it wasn’t the place for me. It’s totally okay to transfer! You will make new friends and your credits will work out and it will all be fine! Don’t sacrifice your happiness just to stay in the same place.

  3. Put yourself out there: Talk to as many different people as you can! Make friends in unlikely places. Talk to and get to know your professors. Join clubs and organizations that you’re interested in. Nothing makes a campus feel more comfortable than having people to say hi to and you’ll be much more motivated to go to classes when you know people in them.

  4. You don’t have to graduate in four years: When I first started, I was actually set to graduate in three years - and here I am six years later. Of course, I have a year off, a transfer, and changing my major three times to thank for that (believe it or not I was once a Medieval and Renaissance Studies major!). It took me a long time to get over this, but hey, I made it, and that’s what really matters.

  5. Don’t get too caught up in planning: Yes, you do need to do some planning and yes, you need to stay on top of stuff, but planning years in advance is exhausting and often disappointing. Keep your goals in mind, do what you need to do to reach them, and don’t plan your life instead of living it.

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