College is not easy. It will challenge you in ways you never expected. But because of that it will make you a better you and give you important skills that you can use your whole life. Here are a few of the valuable things I learned from my four years at college.
1. I can do whatever I set my mind to.
My violin teacher once told me this, that I can do anything I set my mind to. Those words stuck with me. I understood the meaning of those words as I went through college. Every little challenge, the assignments that seemed too big, the deadlines, the things I never thought I could do, when I set my mind to them and tried, I was successful, even when I thought it would be too hard. You can do more than you think you can. Remember that when you are studying for your next big assignment or taking that course, that seems impossible. You can do it.
2. Time management is the key to success.
Throw time at a project, and it will likely be successful. There is nothing worse than waiting until last minute and having to crunch on an assignment and not have the liberty to give it your full attention. In college, I had no choice but to learn to manage my assignments. I got a feel for how long each assignment would take me and made sure I would give them enough time. I feel much more equipped for any other deadlines in my life because nothing will be harder than managing all of college's deadlines.
3. Challenge yourself.
In college, I learned to challenge myself in many ways. Every semester you are continually learning new things you didn't know before. You get into this mindset of challenging yourself and learning. It's a constant process of growth and improvement.
4. Do what you love.
Use college to discover what you love to learn about and do and then become better at it. It's a chance to grow in the areas of what you love to do. College is a chance to make your choices, and no one can tell you no, go for it and give it a shot.
5. You improve with practice.
Starting at college, I was terrible at somethings and other things I had no clue how to do. College changed all of that; I had to learn. I learned how to research, how to cite sources in multiple styles. Previously I didn't even know what MLA and APA were. And it's okay if you have no idea what you are doing at first, keep trying, and you will get it, and slowly you will improve. Before you know it, you'll be a natural.
6. To believe in myself.
With any new thing, especially college and pursuing my career, I have faced a lot of self-doubt. I came into school not even feeling worthy to call myself a writer. In college I learned to be confident even when I didn't have it all figured out, to see myself as a writer even though I hadn't published anything yet. I think the hardest thing about pursuing our dreams is overcoming that self-doubt. But college required me to find my confidence and say who I was even when I didn't feel it.
7. To keep going one step at a time.
Throughout college, you face a lot of challenges, highs, and lows, you get burned out multiple times and wonder if you'll be able to make it. But you keep going, one assignment, one week, one class at a time until you reach the end and earn that diploma. It's okay if you're struggling, you can do it, and you will get to the end before you know it as you keep pressing forward.
Through all the ups and downs and everything I learned, I am glad I went for it. I am glad I challenged myself and pursued my dreams and discovered what I love. College was not easy, but I have grown so much and am thankful for the journey and everything I have learned along the way. These lessons will benefit me for the rest of my life. I will always remember that I can do anything I set my mind to.