Once you start your college career, you'll learn just as much outside of class as you do inside. These are 10 valuable things I learned in my first year at Miami University.
1. Don't force friendships out of fear of having no friends.
The relationships you make throughout college are the most significant and special friendships you will have. You will find your people by getting involved in organizations that you are passionate about. Don't cling to people out of fear; connect out of love.
2. Say yes to every opportunity, even if it feels super scary and intimidating.
If someone asks you to get coffee, say yes. If someone asks to go study at the library till the wee hours of the night, definitely say yes (cause you probably need it). It is never a bad thing to have the ability to make even the slightest impact on someone's college career and life.
3. Establish good study habits early on.
This is a BIG one. You are in an extraordinary circumstance in which you get to receive an education. Take that with heart, and work hard on your studies. Your professors, whether you know it or not, take note of the work you put in, and they remember it. This could lead to some big work opportunities in the future. Remember that.
4. Don't succumb to peer pressure.
If they are your true friend, they will not force or convince you to do something that you are uncomfortable with.
5. Try to avoid using debit and credit cards.
This was rough. I spent so much money first semester that my dad had to come to campus and have a talk with me. Only spend money on things that you have to, and try not to shop online out of boredom.
6. Take time to carve out your values because if not, someone will establish those for you.
If you like to go out, great. If you don't, that's also great. Don't let people sway you one way or the other. You don't have to have certain values to be cool or to fit in.
7. Academic opportunities are fleeting, take every one while you can.
It's not every day that you have the chance to pitch a company in front of a panel of judges and investors. It's pretty rare to be able to have networking events going on every week. Go to those events now. Your future self will thank you.
8. You're not the only one who has nothing figured out.
Take a deep breath. There are hundreds of thousands of other students in the same boat as you right now. They have nothing figured out either. Sit with your uncertainty and invite it in. Once you know where it's coming from, you can start there. Not knowing what's going to happen is the most exciting part of life.
9. Be a good friend and help other people.
People may not always remember what you say, but they always remember the way you treat them. Even if it's extremely inconvenient for you, go the extra mile.
10. You will never be in this space and in this place of life again, so EMBRACE it.
Dorm life is dorm life. Dining hall food may not be the best sometimes. But you'll only be a college freshman once. Embrace every change and welcome development into your new life. You are going to grow so much more than you know, and I am so thrilled for you.
While what you learn in the lecture hall will help you with your career, these 10 things will help you with life in general.