The best advice I got before starting college was to say yes to everything. It's been almost three years since then.
You don't think about it much when you start school. You're so nervous about transitioning into that next stage of life that you let some things pass you by. That entire first semester is about figuring out classes, friends, and that newfound sense of independence.
It wasn't until I got out of the blur that was my freshman year that I realized I hadn't let myself have a chance to explore all these opportunities around me. I remember being in high school and just getting involved in everything that sounded interesting to me. I took every chance I got and was so much happier for it. So why did I spend a year letting so many things pass me by?
Something flipped when I got back to campus for my sophomore year. I decided to say why not. Why not start working for the wrestling team, or join a "Survivor"-based organization, or use university funds to go on a service trip to Oklahoma? I could do all these things that I would end up loving and there was no one to stop me.
As a freshman four years of college sounds long and daunting. I'm now nearing the end of my junior year and it keeps hitting me how short this all feels. We get a four year buffer between living with our parents and having to be a full-fledged adult. That's four years to take opportunities and do things I probably won't have the chance to do after I graduate.
I've gotten to continue working for a sport I love and be a part of a student organization which both have nothing to do with my future career plans. But these two things have brought me people that I know won't be out of my life anytime soon. I'm not going to get the chance to go learn about culture and build ramps in the Cherokee Nation again. I'm so lucky to have gotten to do it twice now.
Everything that I've ended up loving in college has come from just saying yes to that blind leap of faith. I've had all these amazing experiences and met some of my favorite people through this one simple word.
There's so many opportunities being thrown at you in four years. Stop giving yourself reasons to say no.
Just say yes.