If you were to ask me right now if I am successful, I'd say yes. Sure my journey is not done but I am very proud as to how far I have come in life and all the amazing things that I can't wait to share with the world.
I always get the question "Valerie how do you do it?"
I'd be lying if I told you it was easy because it's not. I'd be lying if I told you I knew coming into college what I wanted to do. In fact, if you had told me 4 years ago what I will be doing and pursuing, I'd laugh.
I knew coming into college that it was going to feel like everything was against me. Considering I was the very first to go to college in my family, I was under an immense amount of pressure and stress my first semester that I didn't really have fun.
Sure I was a good student, but having the grades does not guarantee success, It's only a small portion of it.
Over the years I gained new skills that will help me be successful, and here I am sharing them with you. So here are 20 things I did during my four years of college to be successful and what I would be continuing doing throughout my college career.
1. Learn how to manage time.
This is the skill that most college students struggle with. Managing your time is crucial for success. I made sure to always have either a planner or a sticky note feature on my Laptop to record everything. This way I was able to physically see what was due. Between your social, academic and personal life, things can get crazy and it's going to feel like you don't have enough time in the day. This is why planning out all the important stuff is imperative.
2. Cut out toxic people.
We are often a reflection of who we surround ourselves by, so this is huge. In order to be successful, you do not need people who are going to drag you down or question your goals. By cutting these people out of your life I can guarantee you will be so much happier. Not to mention, finding a group of people who also want success for themselves and you is the most rewarding.
3. Get things done early…. and I mean early .
We all love to procrastinate the last minute for a paper or quiz. But I found this to be harmful, in the 'real world' you have hard deadlines to meet so it's imperative to get this done early. Life can throw you so many obstacles, so by getting things done early, you can set yourself up for success and perhaps a free weekend.
4. Join organizations.
If it's one or five organizations join them! Organizations are a great way to network with other people and immerse yourself in school relations.
5. Get on the Eboard for those organizations.
It's one thing to a member of an organization, it's another to be on the board. Not to mention these positions looking amazing on your applications because it shows that you are able to fulfill a leadership position. Being a leader is a great way to naturally grow and gain skills you may not find anywhere else.
6. Get an on campus job.
Campus jobs are a great way to meet alumni and get those professional recommendations from your bosses. It's also a way for you to develop a new perspective of the school depending on the area of work. Not to mention it is a great way to build your experiences and why not get a little money out of it?
7. Build relationships with professors.
I can not stress how important this one thing is. The relationships with your professors are crucial to your success. I aimed to bond with at least two of my professors each semester. If you plan to pursue more education or career you're going to need at least two academic professors who can truly talk about your achievements and growth. Professors can also give you advice because they have been in your shoes before.
8. Don't compare yourself to other people’s success.
Face it there is always going to be someone more successful than you. The trick is to not feel bad that you have not met that point in your life. It simply isn't your time yet. But if you feel like you're slacking push yourself to where you want to be. Your success is going to be different from someone else's and that's perfectly okay.
9. Realize that not all your goals have a deadline.
Yes, some goals have deadlines and others don't Realize that nothing can happen overnight and sometimes it's just a long process you have to endure.
10. Reach out to alumni all over the world.
Emailing professors and alumni all over the world put your name out there. Yes, it takes hours to do this but it's worth it. Not to mention, if you are going to pursue a Masters or Ph.D. it's going to make you stand out if you know alumni from that school.
11. Have a quote to live by.
Yes, this is beyond cheesy but trust me it works. The quote I most live by is that "success is my destination because it's not a matter of if, but when". Have this quote somewhere you can see at least once a week, it allows for you to be constantly inspired. Realize that quotes could have easily been someone's reality.
12. It’s okay to cry it all out.
Stress is going to cause you to cry. There's nothing wrong with breaking down, just as long as you wipe those tears away. It's okay to be emotionally vulnerable, just don't make it a habit.
13. Talk a lot in class.
We all have something to say, so don't feel that your opinion does not matter. By talking a lot in class, you're going to get the recognition and it's going to cause your mind to expand. Not to mention public speaking is crucial in almost all careers.
14. Walk it off.
Feel like quitting today? I find that when I'm walking or going to the gym I get less stress. Find something that is going to put your mind at ease. Don't walk away from your problem, just walk it off and try again.
15. Volunteer in anyway that you can.
There are many volunteering opportunities you can grasp onto. That's both beneficial to your community and yourself. Volunteering can also help you find your interest.
16. Constantly remind yourself as to why you are here.
We all tend to overthink at some point in our lives. But we need to constantly remind ourselves 'why are we at college'? For some of us, it's a chance to make our lives better. To gain more knowledge, it's a chance many people do not get.
17. Build a support system with others.
Whether this is friends, family or co-workers, our support system is going to be crucial in maintaining our emotional health. But also it's a way to connect with people and help with easing your mind.
18. Take up opportunities even when you're scared.
Opportunities can be scary and you may be hesitant to take them head-on. But realize this is chance many people do not get in their life, and if it interests you in the slightest bit, DO IT!
19. Always get back up, even when you fail.
Rejection is going to happen in many forms. In order to be successful realize that there's going to be a lot of no's and that's normal. The most successful people found a way around these failures.
20. Always remember to have fun.
When all is said and done be sure to have fun. Success does not always have to be academically or professionally. Success has many forms. So be sure to treat yourself every once in a while!
College is for 4 years, ideally, how do you want to look back at it?