As an only child, I look up to my older cousins for wisdom. My older cousin, who is now a doctor, passed on some valuable words of wisdom. He bestowed this upon me as I approached my first year of college. Now as a senior, I know that his words were absolutely true. He taught me about the three S’s. At a quick glance, it sounds ridiculous. The three S’s are school, social and sleep. Each of these aspects are truly vital to tackling college. Every freshman is enjoying their freedom and tend to forget about what they are really in college for.

The first S is school. When enrolling in your first semester of college, most freshmen are not thinking about their education. They tend to fall short of just being wrapped up in the freedom of not being with their parents. When in college, it is important that you remember that your education is the primary reason for being there. The second S is social. Every college student needs a social life. I had a point in my college career where I only focused on my social life. Then there was another point where I didn’t have one at all. Each end of the spectrum taught me so much. The last S is for sleep. Sleep is highly important in college, because without a well-rested/functioning body, you are not able to focus clearly and perform to the best of your ability.

While learning these from my cousin, I thought it was all a joke. Then he posed a statement, “You can’t do all of these at once -- pick the two that matter the most.” At first I thought he was joking that my aunt had set him up to tell me these things. However, as time passed and I got older, I realized he is right.

I was going to college to gain an education within a field. I just didn't treat it that way. I got wrapped up in the freedom of not living at home, which led to me focusing solely on my social life. While my social life was strong, my education lacked. At this point in life, I was only focusing on two of the S’s, social and sleep. This was the ultimate downfall of my education. I managed to turn it around and presently I'm on the way to graduating. As time passed and I got older and more mature, I realized that my education comes first. Following my education comes my health (sleep) and then if I have enough energy a social life. Going to college isn’t about having the most glamorous social life -- it is about gaining an education that can assist you in a future career, whether it be writing, teaching, or even being a nurse.

I am beyond grateful that I was able to experience the three S’s. Living life on campus and making the mistakes I did were all part of growing up. I do not regret any of them because it helped me grow to be the better woman I am today. For those who are struggling in college, or friends/family members going to college, my advice to you is that there are three S’s -- choose wisely. School, sleep and social is the recipe I have been using and it's definitely working for me. Overall, it's important to find the right balance for you.