Going into freshman year of college, I received a lot of advice, and over time, it became difficult to distinguish what was actually worth listening to and what wasn't. There are a few pieces of advice that can apply to most people, and I don't know who needs to hear it, but I'm sure someone does.
The People Who End Up Being Successful Are The People Who Finish Well, Not The People Who Party Well.
My stepmom wrote this in the front of one of the notebooks that she gave me before I started college, and I had to keep it in the back of my mind during the many nights filled with FOMO that I experienced last year. One of the most exciting parts about living in a college town is that someone is always throwing a party, regardless of what day of the week it is. The first few months, it seems almost impossible to avoid the temptation of going out with friends every night of the week. It feels like everyone is out all. the. time. Some people might go out every night, and that's okay; some people might go out once a month, and that's just as okay. At the end of the day, going out every night isn't the most important thing you're going to do in your four years on campus. You're going to meet awesome people and experience awesome opportunities and the parties will be there after it all. The parties will be there forever, and the bars aren't going anywhere soon. People are going to try to make you feel like you're missing out if you aren't willing to go out, but I can promise you that you aren't missing anything that you'll regret missing. Spend time doing what you want to do, and that may or may not include putting on a tube top and going out with your friends. Regardless of what you do on the weekends, make sure most of your time is spent setting yourself up for the life you want to create for your future self.
Close Out Of The Tab.Take The Shoes Out Of Your Shopping Cart. Thank Me Later.
Regardless of where you're getting the money for them, I promise that you don't need to spend $150 every other week on new shoes. Put the money in savings. Buy a plane ticket. Trust me, you are going to be much happier in your old converse in Italy than you will be sitting on the couch in your brand new Gucci sneakers during Spring Break. That being said, you can also wear the same outfit more than once!!! I promise you that nobody is going to notice that you wore the same pair of jeans twice in a week.
Social Media is a Highlight Reel
This is something that people have been saying since the advent of social media platforms. People are lying to you about how fun their lives are. Your favorite influencer spent thousands of dollars and probably shed a few tears in the months leading up to posting their thirst trap in the Bahamas. You're going to see the cute pictures of your friends all hanging out on Saturday nights; you're not going to see them spending all Sunday stressing because they have a test on Monday morning. The things people choose to show you on the internet are supposed to make you jealous. It's become trendy to post realness on Instagram, but even that can feel like a competition. As someone who lived in a small town, I can't tell you the number of times I've gotten dressed up, grabbed my camera, and drove 30 minutes to take pictures because there was nothing else to do on a Friday night. We weren't having more fun than everyone else; we honestly had more fun in the moments leading up to the pictures and at the coffee shops we visited after, but nobody saw those moments because we didn't document them. This isn't a testament to putting your phone down- some of the most genuinely fun nights were the ones I captured on my phone, and I'm thankful to have some of those moments saved forever. But it's also important to remember that life happens outside of Instagram, and if you live on social media, you're going to miss out on so many important things because you were too busy staging memories.
It Is What It Is!!
Seriously. it's such a simple concept, but it's so much harder to follow through than you might imagine. It's really not the end of the world if you get a less than perfect score or get denied the position or if your significant other breaks up with you after four years. You're probably going to feel really bad for a little while, and you will probably miss out on something that could've had potential-- but you're never going to miss out on what's intended for your life. Missed opportunities are just new doors opening!!