As I have mentioned multiple times before, college is one big, never-ending WTF moment. Do I cry multiple times a day? At least twice. (JK, maybe once.) Do I laugh uncontrollably multiple times a day? Also true. (Probably because life in college can become such a mess that all you have left to do is laugh.) But I love it! It's a one-of-a-kind, crazy experience that no one can really actually ever prepare you for. And although college, like many other things in life, does not come with instructions, there are many things I wish I would have known before.
Balance is key
I know people who spend every second of their day in a library, doing homework, or talking about grades/classes (You know that one person that has NO other topic of conversation but school? Annoying.) I also know people that go out every.single.day. Both of these are wrong. College is about balance. You need to learn to manage your time so that you get your priorities done (homework, classwork, projects, work etc.) while still having time left over for yourself (reading a book for fun, going out, having lunch with friends, etc.) These are four years you are never getting back. You might as well make the best out of them in every aspect!
Your plans WILL change
Anyone that knows me knows I am a person that likes to plan ahead (like 10 years ahead.) Well, college quickly taught me to let go of this habit, to an extent of course. Plan daily, maybe even weekly, but be open-minded to change, because college is filled with a lot of it.
The Freshmen 15 are a real thing
So this was a very tough realization for me because I am the WORST eater and totally lack any motivation to be fit. I am probably the most anti-workout person ever, but you really should try to be as healthy as possible. I am not telling you to eat grass every day for lunch, but maybe making healthier meals throughout the week that will allow you to treat yourself a little extra during the weekend. Also, try your best to workout at least 30 minutes a day. Making your body a priority in college is probably one of the best things you can do for yourself!
Prepare to be stressed
Honestly, college can be overwhelming at times, but It's perfectly normal to be stressed. You have to go to class, work, cook food, do laundry, participate in extracurriculars, go to the gym, make time for yourself, and so on. I get it, it can be tough, but deal with the stress and move on. You are allowed ONE mental break down a day (this is an informal college rule...that I made up), use it as motivation to get sh*t done! Another thing, no one, no matter their major or the year they are in, really ever knows what they are doing. It's all about taking things day by day while you figure out how to adult!
Take advantage of school amenities
By this I mean clubs, advisors, school events, etc. Find an organization on campus you are truly passionate about and stick to it. School clubs are great for meeting friends with your same interests, networking, gaining experience, and more. If you have any doubts or questions about anything career-wise go to your advisor, they are there for a reason. If you didn't understand something in class, go to your professor's office hours. Going to office hours is also a way to get your professor to know who you are, and that might come in handy later on. You are paying for these services one way or another, you might as well take advantage of them!
I think this was even harder for me than finding out the Freshmen 15 wasn't a myth. I am terrible with money. If I see it, I spend it. Whether it is some type of allowance or a paycheck, learning to budget your money is extremely important. Try to not spend money on unnecessary things, but also leave room for treating yourself to that $20 wine instead of the $5 one once in a while, you feel me?
Whether you are already in college or about to be, I hope these insider secrets were helpful!
Valeria Laguna x