By Madeline Brady, Regular ContributorSeptember 6, 2015
I remember this time four years ago.
I was an incoming freshman in college, and I was nervous. I was worried I wouldn’t remember anyone’s name; I didn’t want people to see me as dumb or naïve just because I was new. I just wanted to skip ahead to Thanksgiving and forget the awkwardness of adjusting to a new place entirely. Everything from class registration to roommates to parties felt alien to me, and I really didn’t want to deal with it. But unfortunately, I didn’t major in physics and develop a time machine in college – I just jumped head first into the sprawl like everyone else.
image via maranathebaptistonline.org
And you know what? I lived. And I learned a few things along the way…
1. The transition is hard for everyone.
I remember coming home that Thanksgiving and hearing everyone talk about how hard their transition had been. I know that probably isn’t what you want to hear, but at least everyone is feeling it too! Don’t believe the people who say their college is “perfect” and it’s a “dream come true,” because they’re lying so you’ll stop asking. Don’t let it get you down.
2. You’re not in high school anymore.
Okay this is going to sound wrong, but no one cares what you do in college. I can’t tell you how many people have stories of running track for a month or starting a knitting club that was forgotten about or taking ECON 350 and totally blowing it. That’s the beauty of college: no one cares about every little thing you do like when you were in high school.
As long as you make your decisions with confidence and a strong sense of self, no one will think twice about it.
3. It’s okay if it’s not the best time of your life. (Better yet, it’s probably good if it isn’t.)
I remember feeling so jealous of my friends at other schools who went to more parties or won lots of awards or got lead roles in big university productions. But looking back, I’m so glad I never felt like college was perfect. There is so much more to life now that I’ve graduated and my sights are set so much higher, because I wasn’t satisfied with certain things in college. I don’t want to be one of those people who spends the rest of their life trying to get back what they had back then. I’d rather be a fine wine than an old box of Franzia, you know?
So, long story short - enjoy your time! Make the best of it! You can do it!
What words of wisdom do you have to survive college? What are you nervous about for this year? Tell us below!
Madeline Brady is a soon-to-be recent graduate of Bryn Mawr College where she majored in English and Theater. She is looking forward to joining the real world, learning how to cook more than cereal, and living abroad after graduation. Her passions include running, music, feminism, and spending way too much time on Instagram.
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