When I started college I thought I had it all figured out – as far as the next four years of my life we’re concerned. But looking back, there are so many things I wish I knew before I started college that would have helped me, and I’m hoping they can help you.
1. You Are More Than A Number
One thing I wish I knew before I started college is that we are all more than a number. It can be hard when you’re coming out of high school to not let your GPA, ECT or SAT score, or your grades define you. When you are applying to colleges, those scores are what tell colleges whether or not you are able to be there. That’s not fair, but that’s how the system works. It’s important to know that you are more than the scores, you don’t have to let them define you. Just because the school looks at you a certain way for your score doesn’t mean you have to look at yourself that way.
2. Don’t Dull Yourself Down To Make Others Feel Good
I want to give props to gossip girl for really driving this point home for me. This is something that I have always struggled with, whether it was with my friendships or my relationships. I wish I knew this before I started college because I spent the first year and third year feeling dull, to say the least. During these years I was trying to do what I could do to make sure that the people around me were happy and satisfied, but I wasn’t really doing this for myself. And I wish I knew before I started college that it was okay to let myself shine and be myself because the people that were meant to be in my life would love me for it.
3. Timing Is Everything – and You Can’t Force It
You can’t force things to happen that aren’t meant to happen. You can’t force people to be who you want them to be. Everything that is meant to be, will be in its own time. This is something I really wish I knew before college because it would have saved me a lot of heartaches. You cannot force things, because if you force them then they aren’t happening naturally, and they aren’t going to be as amazing as they could’ve been. And sometimes, if something is falling apart right now, it may just be that it’s not the time for it to grow, and maybe it will be a part of your future.
4. It’s Okay To Change Your Mind
We are never done growing or learning. It would be foolish to think that you are not allowed to change your mind because in order to grow you have to. Whether it’s changing your major, changing your mind on what your style is, changing your mind on what you want to do with your life, anything, you can change your mind. It’s okay. It’s your prerogative.
5. You Don’t Have To Tolerate Other People’s Bullsh*t
This can be hard to do, especially when they are people that mean a lot to you or to someone you care deeply for. But you don’t have to tolerate people miss treating you, disrespecting you, ignoring you, dismissing you. You can walk away. If someone in your life is making you feel less then, is making you lose sight of your values, morals, self-worth, identity, anything, you don’t half to stay there. You can walk away. It might be hard, but your future self will thank you for it.
6. You Are More Than What Has Happened To You
When you struggle with anxiety and or depression, this can be very hard for you to remember. My freshman year was awful because of this. It took so long for me to realize that just because something happened in my life doesn’t mean that it has to influence my future. You are more than your past, you are more than your downfalls, you can get through anything and be better.
7. It’s Okay If You Don’t Have Everything Together
You’re going to feel like you’re failing at life at least once when you’re in college. It’s totally normal. It’s totally normal as an adult to think that you’re not an adult because you don’t have your sh*t together – but here’s a secret, it’s not really a secret, no one has their stuff together. I’m pretty sure if you ask anyone if they feel like they’ve got their life figured out and everything together they will tell you they don’t. Everyone is just trying to figure things out as they go along, it’s normal to not have it all together.
8. You’re Strong and Can Get Through Anything
This is something that I not only wish I knew before but also believed – especially as certain points throughout college. There were times in college that I had completely fallen apart and didn’t know how I was going to get back on track. So if you experience these things in college, try to remember that your Brazilian, you’re strong, and you will get through it as long as you work to get through it. Things don’t just change on their own for the better, you have to work to change them. And you can.
9. Make Sure You Always Know What’s Going On With Your Financial Aid
I hated filling out the FASFA. Every year something went wrong with the login, twice they lost the record of me having an account with them, it was a nightmare. Make sure you write down your login information and stay on top of it. Trust me, the last thing you want is to miss out on a scholarship because you submitted your fast for two days late. And stay on top of your financial aid package. Sometimes things change, and it’s important to know what’s changing and why. Don’t be afraid to talk to your financial aid advisor, they’ll actually help you out.
10. Spend Time Getting To Know Yourself
This is something I kind of knew before college because I have always wanted to be super self-aware, but I spent a lot of time not getting to know myself because I thought I knew exactly who I was. No matter how old we are, we are constantly changing and constantly growing as people so it’s important to check-in and we get to know yourself. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ve changed in the past year, five years, even in the past month.