It is said, that college will be the best four (or more) years of your life. While that may be true for some, I don't think that will be the case for me. I love college, but I also loved high school, and I'm sure I will love the “grown up world." I hope to love every part of my life as I go through it. I don't want to be in my 30s or 40s thinking that the best years of my life are behind me, nor do I want to get green with envy every time I see a pretty, young sorority girl frolicking by. I want to look at her and think of the fond memories I had during college, but also be happy with the life I am living.

In order to be able to look fondly on my college experience, but also be happy with my future life, there are so many things I need to do. It can be overwhelming and stressful to think about, but try to be optimistic. Time and time again, you will hear that college is a balancing act. It's true! You have to balance your social life, your studies, your “me time," and your health. We should try to get into a routine now, because these will be the things we need to balance for the rest of our life!

I will be the first to tell you, I am not a pro at college. I am still learning through trial and error. I have had quite a few errors, so I would like to share with you some tips to try and avoid what the mistakes I have made.

1. Keep a clean living area, working space.

My room has always been cluttered-clothes thrown everywhere. Once I got to college and got a roommate, I had to keep my clutter to myself. Now that I am in an apartment with a room all to myself, my clutter monster has come back. I have realized how difficult it is for me to concentrate when my room is messy. As difficult as it is for me to keep my room clean, I try to do it to maintain a sense of organization that is needed for success in college.

2. Do your homework right when you get it.

You may call me Queen of Procrastination, because I am. I am so bad about procrastinating, but it ends up killing me in the long run. It is such a nice feeling to know your homework is complete and you have the freedom to do anything you want to. If you finish your homework early, not only will it help your grades, but also it will keep you sane.

3. Have "me time."

My favorite tip! Take time everyday to just be with yourself and decompress. Watch Netflix, read a book, or just sit in the sun (unless it's winter -- then just go watch Netflix). It helps with the stress of life to take a minute just for yourself and forget about everything else you have going on.

4. Balance your diet.

I love pizza. There is a saying that “Skinny doesn't feel as good as pizza taste," (or something like that) and I agree. The tummy ache after not eating healthy enough doesn't feel great, though. Balance what you eat, but importantly splurge if you want to. Don't limit yourself, because YOLO. You only live once, so why not enjoy it!?

5. Exercise.

Not just because you want to be skinny, but also because it is important for your health. It will make you happier and you will feel better. I promise. Trust me, I have gone weeks without working out, and once I pushed myself to go to the gym, ran or walked consistently, I had more energy. It got me out of my bed, out of my lazy habits. I wasn't so tired all the time, and I could feel a difference. It's hard to explain, so just do it.

6. Go out when you want to.

Another college saying I hear a lot is, “You can retake a class, but you can never retake a party." Well, I disagree. Yes, you can retake a class, but that costs extra money, time, and effort. If you are in the mood to go out and party then you do that. Never let someone guilt trip or peer pressure you into going out. I have learned that all the times I didn't feel like going out, but I felt like I would miss something if I didn't, something bad has happened or I didn't have a good time. Never make yourself stay in (unless you have a huge test the next morning), but also never go out if you don't want to.

7. Make lots of friends.

Not just in your sorority, fraternity, or whatever clubs you may be part of. There are so many different, wonderful people at your university; don't limit yourself.

8. Remember your family.

These are the most important people in your life. They are the ones who helped you get to where you are. Call them every once in a while, especially your parents and grandparents. I try to go home for as many family events as I can, because I don't like missing out on anything. If you can't go home often, just remember to call and say you are thinking of them.

9. Your high school friends are your best friends.

This may not be true for everyone, but for me, I love my friends from high school more than anything. I love my college friends so much, don't get me wrong, but there is something special about the friends you grew up with in those short four years. Remember to stay in touch with them, too!

10. Study!

Please, please, if you take one thing from reading this, may it be the importance of studying. It's not always easy, it's never fun, but it's so important. In order to live the wonderful life you want to when you are older, you have to be successful in your classes, now. I am not a straight A student, and I never have been. School does not come easy to me, but I have learned the importance of getting good grades. It may have taken me a little while, but now that I know, I am really trying. Also, remember that it is never too late. If you have failed before, don't quit- try again. You're not the only one.

I hope these tips can help you in some way or another. I am still learning, and I have to remember to have fun and be happy while I'm doing it. If you aren't happy then why do it?

Live life to the fullest.

xo,

Claudia