College is all about learning: having new experiences, meeting new people, and studying new topics. That being said, in my first month I have learned many things in the classroom, but even more outside of class. Here are some examples:
- People are nicer and more approachable than you might think. I’m totally guilty of getting scared to say hi to people and meeting others through people I already know. But on this campus people are incredibly kind and accepting. If you want to say hi to someone, just do it. Compliment their outfit or ask them about their major. They will more than likely be welcoming and nonjudgmental. And if not, well, you pushed yourself outside of your comfort zone and grew as a person.
- You cannot say “yes” to everything. There are way too many interesting clubs, fun people, and exciting opportunities for you to do everything and still take care of yourself and your academics. But that’s okay. Learning to prioritize is an important part of life and by balancing your “yes” and “no” ratio you learn what you value enough to invest your time and energy into.
- Branching out can be scary and amazing. You don’t have to stay in your comfort zone—in fact it’s best if you don’t. Go to a club, even if it has nothing to do with your major or life goals. I’m interested in studying environmental science and psychology. But going to the Synergy Fashion Club has been a fun, horizon-widening experience for me and now it’s one of my favorite clubs. Going to the Twin Poets event wasn’t something I thought I would enjoy, but the presentation was incredibly insightful and entertaining. So, in that case, I’m glad I said “yes”.
- Balance is subjective. Sometimes balance might mean that last night you stayed up until 3 a.m. so tonight you’re going to bed at 9:30 p.m. Sometimes it means that you had a piece of broccoli at lunch and so you allow yourself to eat 6 Oreos in a row with no regret. It’s all about balance.
- No one is going to force you to take care of yourself, but you should still take care of yourself. Try your best to eat well, limit the amount of sodas you get in the dining halls, do yoga, take a Zumba class or hit up the Lil’ Bob, try to eat fruit at least once a day, take your multivitamin, get enough sleep, and please take your Emergen-C as soon as your roommate tells you they are getting sick.
- Minimalizing and decluttering your room can bring you peace of mind. Dorm rooms are pretty small and trying to cram an insane amount of stuff in them is only going to stress you out. Fumbling around, trying to find things in a mess of random items is stressful. Having no clear space is stressful. So, while you don’t need to become a minimalist, getting rid of stuff you don’t need and organizing the stuff you do need can clear up your mind in ways you couldn’t imagine.
- The points that come with your dining plan should be coveted like gold. If you’re not careful, you will spend all of your points at the Pod before midterms. It’s so tempting to go there all the time and buy a bunch of yummy snacks, but your wallet will thank you if you limit your spending and instead wait for meals in the dining halls or ask your parents to send you food care packages.
- When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a second to just breathe and remember that everything is going to be okay. It’s easy to become stressed and emotional in college. You’re probably tired, hungry, and have a million things on your plate. Take a break and come back to these things after reminding yourself that everything will work out, you are an amazing human being, and you’ve got this!