It's pretty insane to think that just a year ago, I was finishing my senior year of high school, getting ready for prom and graduation. Now, I'm concluding my first year at college, and I've never learned more from any other experience. There have been many tears, laughs, and memories that have taught me things that I'll never forget.

1. Always put family first.

The independence of college is nice, but never forget your family — they're the ones who will always love and be there for you.

2. Love yourself.

Be confident in who you are, and don't let anyone mistreat you or push you around.

3. Don't be someone you're not.

You don't have to impress other people — you just have to be yourself.

4. It's okay that you're changing.

It may freak you out that aspects of you are changing, but it's all part of growing up and finding who you are.

5. Make time to do the things you love.

Whether it's playing the guitar or painting, make time for your passions. Although you might have a busy schedule with school and work, doing things you enjoy is important.

6. Don't trust people so easily.

Just because you have a big heart doesn't mean that everyone else around you does. A lot of people are selfish and just look out for their best interest, so you have to keep your guard up.

7. Surround yourself with good people.

You don't need a million friends, just a few really good ones.

8. Stay in touch with your friends from home.

They have known you for a long time and will always have your back — don't forget about them.

9. Don't dwell on the mistakes you've made.

We all make them. We just have to move on and learn from them.

10. Don't lose sight of your goals.

It may seem impossible to achieve your goals at times, but you have to persevere. All of your hard work will pay off in the end.