Before I came to college I had no real expectations. I came only with a naive idea of how the next four years would be; easy, effortless and exciting. Although college is extremely exciting, the last thing it should be considered is easy and effortless; in any sense. Because it took me only one semester to come face to face with the struggle, I believe it's important for both old and new students to be aware of three of the most important concepts to understand during their time in college, to avoid the many scuffles that college may bring.
1. Failure is inevitable
We have to say it. You have to know it. Failure is inevitable, and there's no way to get around it. The concept that I wasn't familiar with came hard-hitting as I began to realize the difficulties of college. I struggled with class content, studying (which I didn't even know existed), and surely exams. As hard as I tried to believe that I could succeed without applying myself, I just couldn't. So I failed. I failed assignments, exams, projects. I failed with time management. I failed in so many different aspects. The common misconception in today's world is that failing insists your lack of knowledge or awareness, when in reality this is far from the truth. Failing shapes us as individuals and pushes us to refine our ways.
I used to believe that failing was the end all be all. "What will I do now?!" I would frantically ask myself. I told myself that I couldn't fail, it just wasn't part of the plan. But shortly I realized that failure will happen. Whether it be in the real world or right here on campus, failure is all part of the plan. How will you learn if you don't understand what you did wrong? How will you improve if you can't reflect back on your mistakes? Failure, in all aspects of college and life, is set to teach us how to find a new plan, make a new way and improve ourselves.
Understand that it's okay to fail. Failing forces us to pick ourselves up, try again and do better. Without it, could you imagine how many mediocrities we wold have in our lives? Probably much too many! But because millions of us tried again and made those improvements, we have a world filled with greatness. So, don't worry about the grade, the exam, the assignment, don't worry about any of it. All you can do is polish the mistakes the next time around.
2. People come and people go
One of the hardest pills for me to swallow has been the realization that people come and people go. In college, you realize that only a few stay around forever, many will come and some will go. Whether it be friendships or relationships, it's okay to welcome some, while letting others go. Sometimes it's by choice, other times it simply just happens. Either way, it's apart of your transition during these four crucial years.
The most exciting part though, is that when one door closes, another door opens. When one person goes, you're allowing space for a new person to come, which can be an exciting new chapter of your life. Getting to connect with others who have grown up in different places and in different ways is one of the greatest parts about college. You get to acclimate yourself with other pieces of the world you knew nothing about. What I didn't realize before I got to college was that people will always rotate in and out of your life. I, for unknown reasons, believed I would always have the same people around me. Fortunately though, this isn't and will never be the case. When I got to school I met so many new faces, all the while letting some go. But that's totally OK because it's life. People will always be around. Old and new, people will always come and people will always go.
3. Time is fleeting
You know what they say, "time flies when you're having fun." But I never truly believed this phrase until I jumped head first into the school year. One day I was packing up to move into the dorms, the next I was leaving for Christmas break. Before I knew it, I was packing again, except this time to close out the year. And now here I am again! Second year, barreling towards the end of 2018.
Time flew. I don't know where it went or how we got here so quickly but here we are. One thing we should all know is how quickly the days, months and years pass. One day you're here and the next you're doing all that you set out to do. Not only have I realized the fleetingness of time in life, but also when it comes to trying to accomplish my goals. Because it passes so quickly, I often find myself pressed to make something of myself before my time runs out. Although this isn't realistic with me being still so young and having my whole life ahead of me, I always like to keep in mind that time doesn't stop and it sure doesn't wait.
One of my biggest pieces of advise to give about college would be to realize that time management is key. You don't want your years to fly away without having accomplished all of your dreams. So be aware of the quickness of time and know how to manage your own.