The excitement is sometimes overwhelming. I can hardly believe that I am almost done. I can practically see the finish line. When all is said and done, I can say the journey has been amazing. Looking back on the past four years, a number of specific things come to mind that I would like to share with you.
My college years have so far been the best and most memorable years of my life. The change I have been through, the challenges, and high points, all have culminated to become the most transformative years of my life. Although it might sound cliché, you do really get to know yourself better.
You get a newfound freedom, and you learn to control it
When you first taste the exquisite elixir that is freedom, there is nothing like it. You can stay up all night or sleep all day. You get to decide when to eat, when to watch your favorite shows, and when to hang out with friends. You quickly find out however, that ‘study-time’ disappears into the background and at times can be non-existent. This is where you learn how to prioritize and understand the importance of time management. The freedom you experience in college can be your best friend or your worst enemy, and it all comes down to finding a good and solid balance.
Some coursework can be overwhelming
Let’s face it. We are good at some courses and not so good at others. However, we cannot ignore the courses we dislike. Although I loved economics, I dreaded my mathematics courses. There were times where I just wanted to drop the course, and ‘worry about it next quarter’. But I am so glad I stuck to it. Once you find yourself in a situation where certain courses are overwhelming, stick to it. Study more and ask for help from tutors or friends who know the material. The worst thing you can do is ignore the material, pretend it doesn’t exist, or that it will fade away by itself.
Your time in college is when you make your life-long friends
When you first start college, you are entering into a new world. Once you have settled on a major, you will find many familiar faces each quarter. Going though the same challenges together helps create a strong friendship bond that starts to extend beyond the college campus. While this might not happen overnight, it will eventually happen – give it time.
Money can stress you out if not properly managed
It’s a classic attribute of many college students – frugality. Sometimes, being frugal can go a long way. Most college students starting out, including myself, either depend on the parents or on a part-time job that pays minimum wage. Making sure you have sufficient money in your bank account can alleviate a lot of unnecessary stress. When buying books, look for deals online and when going out, avoid buying the most expensive outfit. Not worrying about money means you can focus more on your studies and learning opportunities.
Insecurity is normal
When you first start out, it is easy to start feeling insecure about your abilities, especially when you realize how many intelligent and talented students there are. While a healthy level of competition is always recommended, avoid letting your insecurities get the best of you. You are not in college to supersede every student and to excel at every skill or subject. You are there to learn more about your own capabilities, improve them, build on them, and become your own person. Try to learn as much as you can from other students, and build yourself independently.