3 Pieces OF Advice My Brother Gave Me For College

3 Pieces OF Advice My Brother Gave Me For College

An article for incoming freshman or anyone else who hasn't quite figured it out
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Starting college is simultaneously the most intimidating and exciting time of a person's life. Something I think that it's important to learn on the way to college is that it's ok to ask for help and advice from those who have been there before you. You might not quite understand what they're trying to teach you until you've been through it at least seven times yourself, but it's nice to have a heads up.

My first day of college was intimidating. I was at the art school orientation. They put us with two girls who I believe were juniors. The idea behind this experience was good. We would have gotten the opportunity to ask questions about what was coming in the next four years and get enthusiastic, yet still realistic, responses followed by a pat on the head as we headed off for a pizza lunch. Instead of that, we got two art students who were also pursuing pre-med aspirations and were stressed out, tired, and unhappy with their choices. At the end of their self-directed lecture on how hard school was going to be, they let us out late and the pizza had all been eaten.

I left, reasonably nervous about the information I had gathered. It's important to preface now that their warnings have not been my experience at all. I have spent the semester working hard, for sure, but I've been having fun and learning every step of the way. I also have not had to pull one all-nighter and I owe that partially to my brother.

I went back to my dorm panicking and I got my brother on the phone. I told him my concerns about all-nighters, homework and failing. Within minutes of listening to his advice, I was calm and ready to take on the year. Now that we've reached the end of my freshman year, I can attest to the fact that for every day on which things seemed difficult, there was something from that phone call to get me through it. Here are some of the things he told me:

1. As long as you are staying on top of your work during the day, you are never going to have to pull an all nighter.

I guarantee even if you do all your homework as soon as you have time to do it, you will still be able to find time to watch Netflix and scroll through your university meme page. You will also be less stressed doing it.

2. Make sure you're doing things for yourself.

Work out a few times a week, go to bed on time and wake up for breakfast. The healthier you stay the better you can avoid the freshman influenza and the better you can stay on top of your classes. It's easy to acquire bad habits when you leave home for the first time but you'll thank yourself later for securing good ones early on.

3. The hierarchy of what to gain from college years:

Up first is experience. Experience can mean anything from improving social skills by making friends or joining clubs, taking on leadership opportunities in activities or class, improving yourself as a student, and understanding how to be yourself most effectively in general.

Second is learning. Learning is why you're in college. Don't make excuses (which is different from a reason) if you didn't do something right, learn from the correction your teacher is trying to give you. Pay attention in class and try to absorb material, that text from your friend about lunch on Friday will be there after class.

And finally, we have grades. Sometimes it can seem like grades are the end-all-be-all. While grades are indicators of how you're progressing in classes as long as you're doing all you can to secure your experiences and learn, good grades will follow.

(And if all else fails, remember this: C's get degrees.)

Cover Image Credit: Personal

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To The Girl Who Isn't Graduating On Time, It Won't Feel Any Less Amazing When You Do

Graduating is something to be proud of no matter how long it takes you.

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To the girl who isn't graduating college "on time,"

I promise, you will get there eventually, and you will walk across that graduation stage with the biggest smile on your face.

You may have a different journey than the people you grew up with, and that is OKAY. You may have some twists and turns along the way, a few too many major changes, a life change, you may have taken most of a semester off to try to figure your life out, and you're doing the best you can.

Your family and your friends don't think less of you or your accomplishments, they are proud of your determination to get your degree.

They are proud of the woman you are becoming. They don't think of you as a failure or as someone any less awesome than you are. You're getting your degree, you're making moves towards your dreams and the life that you have always wanted, so please stop beating yourself up while you see people graduating college on time and getting a job or buying a car.

Your time will come, you just keep doing what you need to do in order to get on that graduation stage.

Your path is set out for you, and you will get there with time but also with patience. The place you're at right now is where you are supposed to be. You are going to thrive and you are going to be the best version of you when you graduate and start looking for a company that you will be proud to work for. Don't look on social media and feel less than, because at least you're still working towards your degree that you are finally passionate about. You will be prepared. You will be ready once the time comes and you cross the stage, move away, and start your journey in whatever field you're going into.

Don't question yourself, and be confident in your abilities.

With love,

A girl who isn't graduating on time

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I'm Not The Person I Was In High School And I'm Not Sorry I Changed

I'm sorry, the old me can't come to the phone right now.

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If those who knew me in high school hung out with me now, they probably wouldn't recognize me. If my friends from college hung out with me around two years ago, they probably wouldn't recognize me. It's safe to say I've changed... a lot. I definitely find the change to be for the better and I couldn't be happier with the person I've become.

In high school, I would sit at home every night anxiously waiting to leave and go out. Now, honestly, going out is the last thing I want to do any night of the week. While everyone in college is at a fraternity party or at the bars, I prefer to sit at home on the couch, watching Netflix with my boyfriend. That's an ideal night for me and it is exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do a couple of years ago. There's nothing wrong with going out and partying, it's just not what I want to do anymore.

I craved attention in high school. I went to the parties and outings so I could be in Snapchats and photos, just so people would know I was there. I hung out with certain groups of people just so I could say I was "friends" with so-and-so who was so very popular. I wanted to be known and I wanted to be cool.

Now, I couldn't care less. I go to the bars or the parties if I really feel like it or if my friends make me feel bad enough for never going anywhere that I finally decide to show up. It's just not my scene anymore and I no longer worry about missing out.

If you could look back at me during my junior year of high school, you probably would've found me searching for the best-ranked party schools and colleges with the best nearby clubs or bars. Now, you can find me eating snacks on the couch on a Friday night watching the parties through other peoples' Snapchats.

Some may say that I'm boring now, and while I agree that my life is a little less adventurous now than it was in high school, I don't regret the lifestyle changes I've made. I feel happier, I feel like a better person, I feel much more complete. I'm not sorry that I've changed since high school and I'm not sorry that I'm not living the typical "college lifestyle." I don't see anything wrong with that life, it's just not what makes me happy and it's not what I want to do anymore.

I've become a different person since high school and I couldn't be happier about it. I have a lot that's contributed to the change, but my boyfriend definitely was the main factor as he showed me that staying in can be a million times better than a night out. My interests and my social cravings have completely transitioned into that of an 80-year-old grandma, but I don't regret it.

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can bring a lot more happiness and comfort. The transition from high school to college is drastic, but you can also use it as an opportunity to transition from one lifestyle to another. I don't regret the lifestyle flip I made and I couldn't be less apologetic about it.

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