Do you remember growing up and hearing "I'll tell you when you're older" or "You'll understand in a couple of years?" There are certain things that don't make sense until you experience them for yourself. For many of us, we turn 19 during our freshman year of college and turn 20 as sophomores. While it's only one year, there's so much that changes. We're still getting used to the idea of being in college, and as the year goes on, we begin to get our bearings and grow as a person. So while it is just a year, we discover so much in that time frame: about the world, about ourselves and about others.
1. There's only so much you can do about what people think of you.
In high school, it seems like everyone was concerned with the opinion of their peers. Come college, you begin to realize that someone's opinion of you says more of them than it does of you.
2. Quality really does prevail over quantity.
Friendships, extracurriculars, relationships, food. In (mostly) all cases, this holds to be true.
3. There are so many more kinds of people than you ever expected.
If you've stayed in the same town your whole life, you get used to the way things are. In reality, there are so many unique perspectives and backgrounds that you come into contact with in college. Take advantage of them.
4. You reap what you sow.
If you put in the effort to make things happen, they usually do. It just depends on how badly you want it.
5. You should be your number one priority.
Too often, we're caught up worrying about other people who are making themselves their number one priority, too. At such a pivotal time in our lives, we need to focus on better ourselves for the future.
6. Making time to create a schedule for the week makes all the difference.
Whether it's as a note on your phone, computer or a handwritten list, it's much easier to accomplish things when you check off one task at a time.
7. Sometimes, it's just easier to go with the flow.
Sometimes, it's simply not that important to win the fight. Having the last word isn't all it's cracked up to be, especially if it means adding unnecessary stress to your already-stressful life.
8. However, it is completely necessary to fight for what you believe in.
If you're passionate about something, there is a reason. Use your passion to make a difference.
9. You don't need toxic people in your life.
It's completely okay to distance yourself from people in your life that threaten your happiness.
10. Choosing to stay in and do homework or watch Netflix is necessary at times.
Do what you need to do to stay focused and stress-free, because in the end, your mental health and academic success is more important than a night out.
11. Just because you missed one assignment or got a less than exemplary grade doesn't mean you're a horrible student.
You pick yourself back up and do better next time.
12. Learn from your mistakes.
One of the most irresponsible things you can do in college is keep making the same mistake over and over. Sh*t happens, but it should never happen more than once.
13. It gets easier doing things and going places on your own.
Whether you're joining a club, eating alone in the dining courts or going to office hours to speak with your professor, you're forced to do a couple things without your friends or family by your side. But this improves your confidence in yourself and your ability to function as an almost-adult.
14. At the end of a week with no meals left at the dining courts, there is always a way to eat.
Give me a packet of Ramen, some peanut butter and a bottle of hot sauce, and I can make you a mean Pad Thai.
15. Having good friends is way more important than being in a relationship.
Boyfriends and girlfriends come and go, but friends will always have your back.
16. On some days, sleep trumps all.
There's something to be said for a good night's sleep, and if that means giving up on studying a bit early or sacrificing your appearance the next day, then that's a risk you're willing to take.
17. You can never drink too much water.
Water keeps you energized, curbs hunger and promotes healthy skin, a healthy body and a healthy mind. Water is your best friend.
18. People usually aren't having as good of a time as social media lends you to believe.
The really good times are the times you were too busy laughing with your best friends to even think about Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter.
19. College really is the experience of a lifetime.
Some people will claim it's the best four years of your life. Whether they're right or not is different for everyone, but you'll surely have memories that you could have never gotten anywhere else.
You learn so much more in college than academic disciplines. Keep this in mind as you continue through the year. Your success isn't only measured by your GPA or your transcript. Part of college is discovering who you are, your priorities, and realizing just how to make it into adulthood.