College has been one of the most life-changing and craziest experiences of my life. I didn't know what I was getting myself into when I started college at Michigan State University. I went from a bright-eyed eager freshman who knew nothing about Spartan nation or its sports teams and thought she knew what she wanted in life to a girl who changed her major six times sophomore year and wouldn't miss an MSU baseball game for the world.
There are so many things I wish I knew before starting college at MSU and so many things I wish I would have done differently, but everything happens for a reason I guess and I'm happy I got a chance to figure everything out as I worked my way up the grade scale, even if it was difficult and confusing at times.
Every MSU student has a different college experience and perception of Spartan nation; this is mine.
1. Graduating college on time is overrated, do it on your own time
2. The MSU Dairy Store has THE BEST ice cream around
3. Even when they have a losing season, you'll always cheer for the football team
4. It's okay if you don't meet your lifelong friends
5. You don't have to join Greek life to have an amazing college experience; there are plenty of clubs you can join where you'll meet people with similar interests
6. It's going to be the best and worst experience of your life
7. It's okay if you don't have everything figured out
8. Enjoy college because once it's over, adulthood sets in and there's no going back
9. Talk to your professors and get to know them; they'll write you a killer reference letter when you need it
10. Make friends in your classes; they'll come in handy when you can't make it to class
11. The dining halls rarely change their menus; the food is delicious but it gets old very quickly
12. Taking a picture with Sparty never gets old
13. Living off-campus isn't as cool as you think—cooking your own food SUCKS
14. Make an effort to keep in touch with people; campus is huge and if you don't make an effort, you may never see that person again (literally)
15. If you're looking for something to do, go to a sporting event; aside from football, basketball and hockey, they're all free!
16. You'll get so many free t-shirts you won't know where to store them
17. Say goodbye to the toxic people in your life and surround yourself with people who love you and make you happy
18. The Douglas J Aveda Institute on Grand River Ave. gives free blowouts; TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS
19. Frat parties get old, fast
20. Meeting your future husband is unlikely
21. You will lose contact with a majority of your high school best friends and that's okay; it means you're all growing up and figuring out who you want to be
22. You will change your mind, A LOT
23. Utilize the MSU Career Center in the Student Services building; from tips to writing a killer resume to internships you can apply for, they're there to help you
24. Utilize your advisor; they'll help you set up your schedule, keep you out of pointless classes and help you figure out your next move
25. No one cares what you wear to class; honestly, they don't even care if you show up
26. You're on your own now which means only you can hold yourself accountable
27. These next four (or five in my case) years may define your college years, but they won't define the rest of your life
28. Don't compare yourself to anyone else; doing this will destroy your confidence
29. Take time to relax and do something you enjoy; you'll have a mental breakdown if you don't
30. Guys are as immature as they were in high school
31. Rent your textbooks, never buy them
32. Don't get your textbooks until after the first day of class; you may not even need them
33. Skipping class seems like no big deal but it will only hurt your grade in the end; you're paying for it anyway so you might as well go
34. That being said, sometimes you need a "me" day so skipping class is appropriate, as long as it doesn't become a regular thing
35. Student discounts are EVERYWHERE; use them every chance you get
36. Laptop stickers and backpack pins are cool
37. Failing a test or a class isn't the end of the world, as long as it doesn't become a regular thing
38. For the last 18 years of your life, you haven't made a lot of decisions on your own; now that you're in college, your decisions are yours and your life is yours; live a life that makes you happy
39. Only you can make you happy; it's up to you to live a life you've always dreamed of
40. If you can afford it, study abroad, even if only for a week; the world is huge and it's waiting to be explored
41. Take care of yourself; limit the all-nighters, get enough sleep, eat healthy when you can, exercise even if it means just walking to class, take a "me day when you need it and don't be too harsh on yourself; you're doing the best you can
42. Buy a good pair of snow boots, an umbrella and a rain coat; Michigan weather is unpredictable
43. You'll bleed green and white for the rest of your life
44. Write it all down. I've never been a journal person myself, but I wish I had written about all of the crazy memories from freshmen year and everything I've learned since starting college, but maybe it's not too late and this is a good place to start?
These next four (or five in my case) years may be the best years of your life or they may totally suck, but they'll help you become the person you were always destined to be and hopefully help you figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life. These years are yours. Your life is yours. Do what makes you happy.
Good luck future and current Spartans!