What I Learned During My First 2 Years of College
One week ago I packed up the last bits of my dorm and officially moved out of dorm life forever. My finals had ended, my entire life was in the backseat of my car and all I could think on the drive home was, “my sophomore year is over.”
I learned a lot in the past two years here at UMass, but what I’ve learned about life and who I am are things I’ll be taking with me long past graduation (in just two short years *crying*).
| It’s OK To Fail Sometimes|
In high school, you had to be perfect. And honestly, it wasn’t that hard. Just do the work, put in the time, and the grades, results, etc. will follow. I soon found out that’s not the case in college.
To quote my Junior Year of high school english teacher, “Just because you worked hard on something, doesn’t mean it’s good.” This statement IS college. 4.0 GPAs are not achieved just by putting the work in. Just because you spent the hours studying, did all your assignments to the best of your abilities, went to office hours, joined the right clubs, and did all the right things, doesn’t necessarily mean much.
You might not get an A on that exam, getting a C in a class sometimes becomes something so celebrate; that internship you thought you were guaranteed might be given to someone else; and that Executive Board position on the club you joined isn’t just yours because you tried.
Always do your best, and work hard, but don’t let not getting a perfect ending crush you. My first semester of college I failed a class I took specifically for an easy A. Failed meaning I got an F. My GPA was ruined and I hadn’t even been there for a full year. It killed me. I thought about transferring, I wouldn’t talk to my “Dean’s List” friends anymore and I felt like I had let my whole family down. But that F wasn’t the end of the world, or my GPA.
Whether you literally fail, like I did, or are let down by not achieving something you had set your mind on, don’t let it rule your life. Keep your head up high, move on, and keep working hard.
| Don’t Follow The Crowd ‘Just Because’ |
I’m not much of a partier, so when I showed up my freshman year at one of the biggest party schools in New England I was so worried I wouldn’t find any friends. I just love sleep more than anything! I would much rather be in bed with netflix and a pint of ice cream by 10pm then cold, roaming around looking for a half decent party I might be able to get into.
At first when I told people I didn’t want to go out, it was awkward and strange, but you know what, they didn’t care. I get some looks from time to time when I roll up to my friends pre-games in PJs (but I know secretly their jealous)
The point of this rant, is I didn’t follow the crowd and I’m much happier because I’m doing what I want to do when I want to do it. If there’s something that you want to do, try, a club you want to join, but it’s not what your friends or everybody is doing, who cares? You’ll only spend your time wondering if you would have liked it, or what it would be like.
So go take that 7AM spin class, go to the art club meeting, rush a sorority, go out for the rowing team, do whatever you want to do! You only have four years here, make the most of them.
| Find Your People and Make Time for Your People |
The best and worst thing about going to college is being away from your family. That huge support system that you definitely took for granted your whole life is now not there everyday. Find your people. People who you can spend hours with at the library and not want to rip your hair out at the end of the day. People who will answer your call at 2 AM to go get McDonalds, people who will be there for you when life just gets hard.
Finding your people takes time, but once you find them, make time for them. Don’t get caught up doing you everyday. I love alone time. I love being by myself, and sometimes I get really caught up in that. I realized that I had my people in high school and because I would be so caught up in doing my own thing everyday I never made time for our friendships. Make sure you set some time aside in your hectic day for your people, even if it’s just going out of your way to study in a different spot for a few hours or sacrificing a few episodes of Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix to hang out with them.
| Go to the Gym |
Just do it. You’ll just feel better about everything.
The past two years have been full of ups and downs, incredible memories, regrettable classes, and wonderful friends. As much as I wish I could go back to freshman year and do it all again, I’m so excited to be back on campus in the fall in my wonderful new apartment!
What's the best thing you've learned so far? If you're a senior in high school who just graduated what are you looking forward too most?!