3 Things To Prioritize In College, Other Than Books And Homework

3 Things To Prioritize In College, Other Than Books And Homework

Believing in yourself is half the battle.

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Go back in time to when you were twelve-years-old. Almost every day you were either playing baseball in the street or trying to help your mom cook dinner. The most you had to worry about was remembering to pack your lunch for school the next day. Life was great back when we did not have thousands of things to worry about and millions of people to impress on the daily, but that's life. One day you wake up, and everything and everyone has changed. No one can actually pin an exact date on when this happens, but I wish life had prepared us all for it.

Luckily, I am here to tell you all some secrets I have learned from being in college. Your family, yourself, and your attitude are the three main keys to going in and out of college a stronger and overall, happier person.

I kid you not, you learn more about yourself through these four years than you will your entire life.

Just because you might be having a bad day, week, month etc. does not mean that the universe is trying to tell you to give up. No, the universe is preparing you for something much greater than what you may be expecting, and that is what makes life worth living!

1. Your family

Most of us have played at least one sport in our lives, and some may have played even more. At every game, no matter where or what time it was at, our families were always there. Families do not just teach one another how to walk and talk, and then run away. No, these are the people who will love you unconditionally, no matter what the circumstance. These are the people you WILL need when in college.

College gives us the freedom we have been waiting for our entire lives, but it also gives us time to think about things. There will be many days that are very lonely, and you are going to wish that you were back in your loud and crazy household. These are the moments that make us feel weak but will mentally grow us stronger.

All of us will eventually miss those stupid fights, the embarrassing moments, and the long, deep talks we got from our mom. She honestly becomes your best friend, or a better word for it, your long distance pen pal, in college. Use it to your own advantage and thank your family, call your mom, and tell them you love them as often as possible.

2. Yourself

I know most of us has probably seen the movie, "Narnia." Think back to the scene when the little girl is walking through all the clothes in the closest, and she crosses over into Narnia for the very first time. The expression on her face tells us how surprised and confused she was. Well, this is exactly what being in college for the first time is like.

A lot of times, people think that college is all about the parties and drinking whenever you want, but that cannot be farther from the actual truth. College is a very unique time in our lives when we finally realize what our purpose is.

Sometimes you will find yourself drifting off the path, and this is when we get a reality check. I got this after my first semester, and decided to get involved with more things around campus, make it a priority to go to church every Sunday, and put school first. By the end of my second semester, I was getting better grades, meeting the right people, and overall happier.

3. Your attitude

Have you ever gone to a festival or a concert really upset? Obviously, if you have done this, I can probably guess that you did not have the greatest time. You cannot have the time of your life if your attitude is always negative. You can try and try telling yourself you will be fine eventually, but until you change your perspective on things and yourself, you will start to become a broken record, every day is the same dull outcome.

The best way to meet new people is to put yourself out there and try something new every day. However, when doing this, you must go about it in a positive way. No one wants to be friends, or go up and talk to someone who looks like they have something better to do with their time. Having a positive attitude helps people to see the real you, and good things start to head your direction.

This goes in saying, we all are going to have our bad days, weeks, and even sometimes years, but that does not mean that this is our time to give up on everything we have worked so hard for up until now. You have to remember that you got that acceptance letter into college, and you graduated the four years of high school. Remembering that your family, yourself, and your attitude are the three key secrets in furthering your success in life. You have made it this far, why stop now?

My dad used to always say to me, "Everything in life happens for a reason. We may not know what that reason is right now, but everyone has a specific purpose in life, and we are all on our journey to find it." This world was not made for everyone to just get everything handed to them. We were taught that we must work hard for what we want in life.

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An Open Pat On The Back To Full-Time Students Who Also Work

You really deserve an award, but this article will have to do.
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It's pretty freaking hard.

“I can work nights and weekends, I'm a student," you told the manager during your interview.

So, what does he do? He schedules you most nights and weekends. This is OK. This is, after all, what you asked for. So you start working.

Class, class, work. Class, work. Class, no work tonight, you sleep and it feels like the first time in years. Class, homework, homework, homework. Class, class, work.

Before you know it, it's the weekend. There's a party. Your friend wants to see you. Your mom is calling you to see how you are.

But you are working all weekend.

You call your mom on your half hour break. She tells you are doing too much. She tells you that you should work less. Ask for less hours. Sleep more. Eat more. You will get sick.

You get out of work Friday night around 11 p.m. There is still so much night left!! You try to hit up that party. Sure, you will show up a little late, but at least you will make an appearance. At least you will get to see some of your friends. At least you will be able to relax and enjoy yourself. At least you will be able to have some fun. By the time you get ready and get there, people begin leaving. You begin to wonder why you came out in the first place.

“I'm sorry, I've been at work" becomes an all-too-familiar phrase.

But, but, but.

You really deserve a pat on the back, so here it is.

You've given up a lot. And you work crazy hard. Those long nights and hours are hard. A lot of kids your age don't work and rely solely on your parents. But you, you have taken it upon yourself to earn some money for yourself. You are a full-time student, and most of your free time goes toward working and supporting yourself.

You truly do not get the appreciation that you deserve.

But when you do get some time to go out, when you request a weekend off, you have some money to spend. You are never the guy who can't go out because they don't have enough money.

And of course, you will start saving. This is huge. You're going to graduate in debt (probably), and because you busted your butt during school and saved up, putting a crack in that debt will be a little easier for you.

You are a forward thinker, whether you realize it or not.

You are building responsibility, money management, and self-reliance skills, whether you realize it or not.

You are quite mature for your age, whether you realize it or not.

AND YOU deserve a pat on the back. So here it is.

You're incredible. You're amazing. Go get 'em.

Seriously, take a second to congratulate yourself for all your hard work.

And whatever you do, get some sleep, kid. And remember, don't work yourself too hard. Just hard enough so that you feel good, and rewarded, and happy.

You're the man. Keep killin' it, dude. Keep killin' it.

Cover Image Credit: Peter Bernik/123rf Stock Photo

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Dear Moms, Stop Body-Shaming Your Daughters

Your voice matters the most.

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Maybe I am just really lucky. Maybe I won the jackpot of all mothers, but I didn't know it was that crazy for a mother to never make her daughter feel insecure.

It wasn't until I came to college that I realized that mothers body-shaming their daughters was even a thing. As I became closer with other young women I would often hear them saying how their moms told them what they could and couldn't wear, or they would make vicious remarks.

"You disgust me."

"That dress makes you look like a pig."

"I can't believe you would go out like that."

"Girls like you can't eat whatever they want."

"You're embarrassing the family."

No matter what I say to my friends, no matter how much I insist they are beautiful, your voice will always be in the back of their minds. Every single time they go shopping, every time they go out for dinner or post a picture on social media, they think about how you wouldn't approve.

This isn't to say that discussing a healthy lifestyle is off the table, but how you say things matters way more than you realize. Being a woman in college is hard enough. It is difficult to consistently manage all aspects of your life when you have 3 papers due by the end of the week and 2 tests on the same day. So maybe she puts on a few pounds, do you think mentioning that is going to make her less stressed?

As young women, we are constantly told that we are not good enough. We are shown what the ideal body and woman should look like. We are unbelievably aware of what our bodies look like and what is wrong with them. The last thing we need is for our role models to reinforce those unrealistic expectations.

I have heard the argument that you only "do this out of love", but love should never hurt. Is it really worth your daughter starving herself? Is it worth her throwing up after meals then binge eating? Is it really worth her starting to self-harm? Love is supporting somebody through the good and bad parts of their lives.

What you say not only impacts the way your daughter is viewing herself physically but makes her doubt other areas of her life. What you aren't seeing is that she is staying in that shitty relationship because you've made her feel like she'll never get or deserve better. She will quit studying because she thinks she will never be good enough anyway. She will let others walk all over her because that's what you've told her love is.

I am telling this because she never will- you are hurting her way more than you will ever help her.

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