Things I Wish I'd Known Before College, For My Sanity's Sake
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Student Life

8 Things I'd Tell My 18-Year-Old Self About College To Keep Her Sanity In Check

You're an adult who can make adult decisions, so just do it.

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woman leaving for college

When I was 18, I felt the need to have life figured out from the word go. That did not work out so well, and life in college taught me many things about what I should have done.

If I could give my 18-year-old self some advice, there are eight things I would say. And all eight of them would have helped me stay sane during that transition into college.

You can major in basket weaving.

When you're deciding to go to college or university, you're so worried about where you're going to go and what you want to do with your life. You are then saddled with figuring out what major will be best suited for a career that is more than likely 10 years away.

Do not stress about your major — or even your minor, honestly. They will not make a significant difference in your future, unless you are willing to bet a million dollars that you will pursue what you intend by the end of college.

Whose education is it?

Do not pick a school based on which one gives you the most financial aid. You are going to be up to your eyeballs in debt by the time you actually have money to spend, so what difference does it really make? Remember, it's just money.

Do not let your parents talk you out of going to a big school just because they cannot afford it. They are not going to pay for your schooling anyway. They will try to talk you out of driving across the country to go to some strange city in some state you do not know. Just go.

College is no different than high school.

You will not escape the cliques, drama or gossip. Word just travels slower and gets twisted a lot more in college. Girls are still mean, and money is always everything. Some things will never change.

In college, people often forget the real reason you are there: to learn. They make it all about being the most popular and most involved for graduate school. Looking back now, most of the people you went to college with are not even doing the things they said they would.

Why are you a worrywart?

Life is going to happen, no matter what stage you are in. Just when you think you have control, something will go wrong. You have no control over that.

At this point, your job is to gain knowledge on how to work in a white-collar industry. That is the reason we go to college — in the hopes of getting a job where we get paid more to work less.

In case you are wondering, that will not happen by 26. So keep dreaming.

D's get degrees.

You read that correctly. They do get degrees.

One D is not going to make you fail out of college. Do not waste your time flipping out about an extremely hard class (Organic Chem II, to be exact).

Do not, I repeat, do not retake a class you get a bad grade in at a local school. It will be a disaster, and you will waste another $1,200 to still get a D.

Oh, and you'll waste your summer trying to understand something that is now even more foreign to you.

Study abroad? Just go!

Being the girl who just stares at the study abroad posters all the time is not a good look. Don't just stare. Apply and go!

Like I stated earlier, you'll be in debt anyway. Don't pass up a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Learning in a new country is an experience you will never forget. You need to lead your life and stop letting your life lead you. You are an adult who can make adult decisions, so just do it.

Don't be scared to get published.

When you have the opportunity to submit your research paper on Huntington's Disease and Leptin, just submit it. You will kick yourself in the butt for years to come if you do not. And years later, when you decide to do it and your flash drive is gone, you'll be out of luck.

This will be the biggest opportunity to change your future. Take it. Revise that paper to meet the requirements, and have it published for the world. You worked too hard to let that go to waste.

Lessen your load... momentarily.

Save yourself a semester of torture (come on, everyone knows that college work is not fun). Max out those credits every semester you can. You will be happy you did in the long run.

Life happens in mysterious ways. You might randomly meet the man of your dreams and get married a year later. You might welcome a child a year after that. If that does happen, you will be thankful for the shorter college career.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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