To the college student who sees the light at the end of the tunnel,

College is great, but also hard. So hard. College is full of late nights and long projects and impossible exams. College is full of challenging people as well as great new friends. Sometimes semesters feel like the longest 15 weeks of your life. Sometimes college feels like the biggest waste of money. When you step back though, college is pretty great, and the time we have here flies by. If you're leaving this semester realizing that you have less time left than you think, here are some things you should consider.

First off, slow down. Everything in college seems to run at a mile a minute. Take a break. Take a walk. Leave your phone. Look around. There are so many things that a college campus has to offer that you ignore every single day. It can be so easy to run from class to class without paying attention to your surroundings. How many times are you going to walk past historic buildings or through a gorgeous quad every single day? Be a tourist. Take a picture. Read a plaque.

Second, make an effort to meet new people. Even if it feels unnecessary, remember that college is the ultimate time for networking and the people you'll meet in your four years will follow you through your career. While it may feel like your friend groups are set, you never know what impact a new friend may have on your life and on your future.

Third, take advantage of the many things offered to you. There are so many free events with food and entertainment offered on campus. Take advantage of these events. The real world really doesn't like the word "free." Go see the comedian or stand in line for a free lunch — these events are easy to take advantage of if you do your planning right.

Fourth, write thank you notes to as many people as you can think of. It may seem dumb or tedious but one note goes a long way. People remember the effort. Good professors spend countless hours pouring thought into their lectures and into their interactions with you, More often than not, this effort on their part is not compensated or appreciated. Take the 10 minutes and create a relationship with the leaders on your campus. They have worked in great jobs in the field you are hoping to go into. Showing gratitude to them will benefit you more than you know.

Finally, prioritize the things that are honestly important. Grades and internships obviously matter, but make sure that you are taking the time to participate in as much as you can on campus. Before you know it, you'll be walking across a stage in a cap and gown. Stay up late with your friends, go to the football game in the middle of the day — do whatever you can because as the saying goes, time flies when you're having fun.

Sincerely,

A student who feels like she started college just yesterday