As I creep closer and closer to graduation, I've started looking back at my college career with a wider lens. While there are a decent amount of things I would rather not relive, I don't regret those moments. However, I did learn a lot just from making friends, experiencing things by myself, and going out a weekend or two.
1. It's OK to procrastinate on that paper
Sometimes, things happen and our schedules get the best of us. I can't tell you how many times I have procrastinated on a paper until the genuine last minute. While that isn't necessarily a good habit to follow, it's never too frequent. As long as you get it done and don't half-ass your work entirely, you did your job better than you think. Also, sometimes people work better under pressure. I can definitely say that when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, I tend to perform better on assignments.
Just know that it's OK to procrastinate, but don't make it an every week kind of thing. That's when you'll start to feel like you're drowning.
2. You can't always make solid plans
Everyone has their own schedule. The more things you're involved with, the harder it gets to find the time to share with the people around you. Whether it be extra-curriculars or too much homework, sometimes plans fall through. I'm not saying that you shouldn't make plans, but you should learn to adjust accordingly. Flexibility is necessary in social life, as well as work life, too.
3. Don't drink heavily in the middle of the week
While midterms really took a toll on most of us, I can definitely say that you shouldn't spend your time booze-cruising your way through your assignments. I know it's... Really hard. There is a way to balance everything, but alcohol is never the answer. It's the reward you get when your work is all done and over with. Don't ever forget that.
4. Put someone in their place, if you have to
You can't get along with everyone. Not everyone is going to like you and you're not going to enjoy everyone you encounter. However, that doesn't give you the right to be unnecessarily petty and mean when things get heated. Sure, you can put someone in their place if need be, but use those moments wisely. Unless the situation calls for pointing fingers, it's better to stay out of arguments. Silence says a lot, too.
6. Make mistakes and take notes
This is real deep-boi hours talk, but it has to be said. The biggest part of life is making mistakes and learning from them to better yourself. This also means blatantly owning up to mistakes when you're wrong or when you've taken things too far. Being able to apologize and mean it can mend fences or get that pressure off your chest. Whether or not it fixes things, know that you took the time to let someone know that you care about your mistakes and how that person feels. You are trying to make things better. It's up to them to forgive you, but at least you tried.
6. Put down your cell phone
Sure, I say this a lot, but take a break!
Social media and cell phones have become things that help you get through your day. But if you think about it, you're missing out on a lot of things. Generations before you didn't have cell phones and got along just fine. Maybe you should turn off the screen, avoid your messages, and take a walk every once in a while. You'll be surprised at what you'll find in the non-digital world around you.
7. Change up your routine
This kind of goes with putting down your cell phone. Getting stuck in too strict of a routine can really take a toll on a person's overall happiness. Things can get monotonous. You start to wonder what you're really doing with your life and forgetting how to truly live it. Add a spontaneous adventure here and there. Treat yourself when you need the TLC. Don't be afraid to step out of the rut.
8. Go out, drink, and have a good time... Within reason
(Sorry, I was looking for an excuse to use a GIF of Brett from "Big Brother". He's very dreamy.)
Don't be fearful of the crowds or how people behave once alcohol takes over. It can seem kind of scary from a distance but, in the spirit of experiencing new things, you should take the time to go out and see what the social scene is like near you. While there is always the fear of danger–as there are a lot of dangerous people out there (especially these days)–don't let that stop you from fulfilling your dreams of going to a bar or club and returning unscathed. There are a lot of police officers and bouncers around to help you in case you get into a jam. Just be careful and know your limits.
9. Open your heart
While this is the hardest lesson for me to learn, it is definitely the lesson with the most benefits. As an example, I still can't tell anyone how I feel about them, but I am trying to be better at that. And just because I am terrible with opening up doesn't mean that you should be. Everyone has their character flaws, but developing your openness should be a constant work in progress. I'm not saying to unload all of your laundry on strangers, but definitely try to feel more comfortable telling people how you're really feeling instead of just saying "I'm fine" or refusing to admit to something that's been on your chest for weeks. Open your heart. You'll be surprised at how much lighter it'll feel.
While some of these things are hard to accomplish, everyone has their strong suits and their weak points. It's all about constantly learning and bettering yourself as the years go by. These are just a few of the things that I've learned. I'm definitely not done learning, either.
long story short, just be a little more fearless. Don't be so cautious or you'll live your life with regrets that you can never change.