Dear Future College Freshmen,
Congratulations! You have achieved the obstacles of high school and are eager to experience what college has in store for you. Obviously, you have watched plenty of movies depicting how university life is so your four years should be a breeze right? Wrong. And you know what? That is completely okay.
If only college had the simplicity of a movie script, right? We would all have a 4.0 GPA, an amazing social life, and plenty of free time. However, I am here to tell you, as a junior in college, that perfection does not exist in the lifestyle of a college student.
Many high school seniors enter the glamorized world of a university with the anticipation that classes should be easy and that study habits do not need to change, at least that's what I thought. This mentality gave me the rudest awakening I have ever experienced. I was always used to maintaining A's and B's in all of my high school courses, so I thought that my high school mentality would be sufficient enough to help me achieve those same grades in college. Again, wrong. Discouraging test grades and having to retake a couple classes made me realize that something in my lifestyle needed to change, but I had no idea where to start. I was confused, scared, and stressed. This is when the pressure hit me.
The pressure as an undergraduate can strongly affect an individual, especially if they are aiming to be accepted into any graduate, law, or medical school post-graduation. Graduate schools expect us to maintain an excelling GPA, be involved in extracurriculars, and have a wide variety of experience in the field of work we want to enter. However, we seem to forget that we were only high school students yesterday and that it should be normal for us to not get everything right the first time...
Here is my advice to you;
College Freshmen, you are not going to have a perfect college experience. If you receive a bad quiz grade, a bad test grade, or even end up having to retake a class (or two), THAT IS OKAY. Rather than staying upset, make progress to do better. Graduate schools applaud upward progress because they are noticing all of your hard work. Oh, and make sure to never compare yourself to your peers (this took me a while to stop doing). We all work on an individual basis and at different paces. Never be discouraged if someone is doing "better than you" or if you believe that they "have it all figured out", because chances are they don't. This the main thing I wish I would have realized prior to entering college. Striving to be perfect is exhausting and highly unnecessary.
A college is a place of growth, change, and asking A LOT of questions. Now is the time to find yourself, explore new options, and possibly find your passions in life. I promise it is perfectly acceptable to feel uncertain throughout this entire process. Because like I said, perfection in college does not exist; and that is okay.