10 Things I've Learned In College

10 Things I've Learned In College

College counselors, teachers and your parents will try their best to prepare you, but the only way to learn is to experience it for yourself.
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The more I think about it, the harder it is to believe that, two weeks from now, I will have finished my first year of college. The changes that I knew I was going to be facing in life were incredibly daunting, but I came to learn that taking a leap and making a huge change in your life can actually be a good thing in the long run. College counselors, teachers and your parents will try their best to prepare you, but the only way to learn is to experience it for yourself. That being said, here are a few things that I have learned in my first year of college:

1. If someone asks how you are, tell them the truth

Nobody will look at you any differently if you complain to them about how overwhelmed you are. In fact, they’ll probably admire your honesty and openness. I never wanted to rant about life for fear of making myself even more frustrated and stressed than I already was. Now, if someone asks me how I am, I don’t sugarcoat things because I realize that we’ve all been there. Venting makes you feel a thousand times better.

2. Naps

Twenty minutes. That’s all it takes. Any longer and you feel like a sloth for the rest of the day.

3. Keep in touch

Call your friends from home. Yes, CALL. Even if you’ve never heard their voice over a phone before, do it. There’s nothing like a long talk with a close friend that’s going through the exact same transition that you are.

4. Treat yourself

Whether it’s with a really good dessert from the dining hall, a movie marathon or a walk downtown (when you really should be studying), do something to relax once in a while. Self-care is one of the most important things to do during your busy college life.

5. It doesn't mean I'm lonely

Don’t be embarrassed when your roommate brings a few friends by the room late at night, and you’re curled up in bed watching TV on your computer. I’m all about new experiences and friendships, but taking time to yourself is important. Also, I'd much rather have a couple close friends that understand my need for space than have superficial relationships with a ton of people.

6. Independence is a good thing

Yes, I know everyone says that they become more independent in college. Of course you have to learn how to do things without your parents or anyone you know being there to explain it to you. But learning how not to rely on those around you is one of the most important and challenging elements of life at college.

7. Empathize

College is full of people who have life stories completely different from yours. Empathizing is an important way to create connections with people. I’ve learned that sometimes this is hard to do, but you become a more open-minded and accepting person for trying.

8. Find your peak time

If you have a ton of work to do, plan the rest of the day around the few hours when you’re most productive. DO NOT waste this precious time.

9. Home is a feeling

I keep saying that I’m ready to go home. What I’ve learned is that you miss the day to day life with those you love more than your physical house. Now that it’s almost summer, I am looking forward to spending time with family most of all.

10. Starting is the hardest part

It will take forever to build up that dedication to start a daunting essay or project. However, once you get started, you get in the flow, and it becomes natural. You just have to begin.

I know that I am not alone in having realized these things, and I hope that whoever reads this finds some comfort in knowing they're not alone either. College is the beginning of a new chapter in your life, and while it may be scary, the lessons you learn outside of the classroom will undoubtedly be some of the most important ones that you learn in your whole life.

Cover Image Credit: Glimpses of Charleston

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To The Coach That Showed Me The Kind Of Coach I’ll Never Be

Now when I'm sitting on the bench, it's because I'm the coach.
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Hey, Coach,

I remember the exact words you said to me when I handed in my jerseys and explained why I couldn't play for your anymore. "You're kind of making it sound like it's my fault," you said. It was your fault that me, and multiple other girls, decided to switch teams so they didn't have to play for you or stopped playing altogether.

You left a lot of us angry, hurt, and upset.

I can't speak for them, but I can say that I forgive you.

You taught me everything I didn't want to be when I became a coach.

I started coaching the day that I quit your team; it was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. Their playing time was not fixed, they had to work for their playing time every practice before the games. I made sure to celebrate the girls who I saw working the hardest and give everyone the same advantages and time to showcase their improvement. Something I did that was similar to you was that I had favorites: however, all my girls were my favorites and received equal treatment from me.

You taught me that life is unfair.

I'm going to have people in my life who don't believe in me and would rather work according to their own agenda; yet, I will thrive in spite of them, just as I did with you. I want you to know that I was captain of two of the other club teams I was on. I coached a team of beginners that received 2nd place in the finals, losing only by 1 point in the last match.

I was seen as a valuable player to every team I was on except yours; this is why I know that one person's opinion will never define me. You have made my skin thick and resistant to those who don't believe in me. I have seen my worth and I will never forget it, especially not over you.

One of the best lessons you taught me is that even though there are people who will hold me back, there are more people who will pull me forward.

My friends supported my decision to quit and never made me feel as if I made the wrong choice. My other coaches reached out to me to help keep me involved and continue to grow my love for the sport. My mom let me know how proud she was of my ability to handle such an unfortunate circumstance so maturely.

SEE ALSO: The Coach That Killed My Passion

I can't speak for all the other girls who decided to move on from you or how they decided to handle the situation, but I am thankful I ended up on your team and I'm even more thankful I didn't put up with it that last season.

Thanks for everything,

#13

Cover Image Credit: Madison Hilliard

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Making The Most Of My Limited Time

We tend to forget that we are all going through the same system, living life on earth, orbiting around the sun for 365 days each year.
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If there is one thing I have come to know, it is that we have a limited amount of time on this Earth and that we should spend those limited days doing things we love and doing things for others as well.

Lately, I have been thinking more deeply about the concept of mortality. I couldn't really tell you why, but it has been on my mind. Maybe it is because of the recent catastrophic world events or the senseless school shootings in the United States, or maybe it is because I am constantly reminded that our time on earth is merely temporary.

Mortality is hard to talk about; it can be a difficult pill to swallow when you think about time and that we can never gain that back again. However, that alone gives me motivation, the fear that I will not be here forever. It motivates me to be a good person during my existence on Earth. I realize that I want to leave a legacy behind that represents what I love: people.

While I am here, I want to help people throughout the challenges in their lives. I want to be an advocate for those who cannot speak up for themselves. I want to support those who feel like they have no one to support them. I want to spend my time dedicating it to others and for others. Leaving a meaningful legacy behind is already so important to me.

At one point, I was thinking about mortality, and I realized that I would want to look back on my time here and be able to say, "This is what I did for others." That the legacy I left behind is something that would impact so much more than myself. We are all merely trying to get through life in the best way possible. We each have our own set of challenges, unexpected life events, and our own triumphs too. We tend to forget that we are all going through the same system, living life on Earth, orbiting around the sun for 365 days each year.

We have a tendency to get caught up in the mundane day to day lifestyle that we forget what is actually important to us. There are many moments where I pause and reflect that in the midst of my hectic day, and I realize I have failed to call my mom back. (That's when you know you've messed up!)

Now that I have come to this realization, I try even harder to balance my life. There is a time and place for stress about schoolwork and studying for exams, but there is also a time to see and talk to people that matter to you. I cannot simply look at my college years just to brag about the incredible grades I got.. I want to brag about the people I met and the memories we created together. I want my limited time here to be memorable and purposeful.

So while I am here, I will be asking myself what I can do to help others. I hope you will find your personal mission to motivate you throughout all 365 days, 8760 hours, 525,600 minutes each year, and throughout the rest of your life.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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