When you move through the seasons of life, the lessons learned will always remain. Each new beginning brings the chance for new lessons and memories to be made.

Here are the lessons Iowa State University has taught me as the beginning of a new adventure.

Always Smile

Ever heard the quote by Mother Teresa, "Let us meet each other with smile, for a smile is the beginning of love"? I truly believe flashing an elegant and shiny-toothed smile builds friendships almost instantly. I've received several comments throughout my lifetime that my smile makes others smile. You never, ever know what it's like to walk in the shoes of a stranger, and you definitely aren't aware of what they're going through. Flashing a smile can brighten their day and let them be aware that this pain will eventually end and remind them to keep on grinning themselves. Smiling is a genuine way to show gratitude and make new friends while you're at it!

Always Thank The CyRide Drivers (And Everyone Else, Too)

These drivers have been some of the kindest individuals I've ever met. Greeting me with a smile and a friendly hello, as well as a reminder to have a great day as I exit. These outgoing drivers have taken time out of their day, most likely away from their families, to serve you as a student and help you succeed throughout your time at Iowa State University. As I'm sure many are aware, groups of individuals on a college campus are in need of reassurance for the work they put in daily. For example, the work employees in the dining halls do to make sure food is available for the taking, the counters are sanitized, the dishes are washed, and so much more. Or the janitors some pass in the halls without a second glance, cleaning the bathrooms and taking care of the entire floor. How about the ones that swipe your card to get you to your favorite gym on campus? The least you can do is thank them.

Remember To Call The Important Ones In Your Life

I think it's fair to say that being a freshman in a new, very large university is a bit overwhelming. However, reaching out to the loved ones in your life helps dramatically. This doesn't just include Mom or Dad, although they definitely deserve a call after guiding you this far in life. A simple five minute phone call to your best friend from back home could not only ease the stress of a busy day of your own, but also theirs too. Two birds with one stone, right? Don't forget to reach out to the ones that have supported you as well, whether that be through a 'life update' on Facebook or as simple as a text. The ones who stay behind the scenes deserve to stay in touch with the ones they love and support!

It's Okay To Not Do As Well As You Thought You Would

As a student in high school with a 3.7 cumulative G.P.A., while competing in multiple sports, as well as balancing a job and having a social life at the same time, I've learned it is definitely okay to not do as well as you thought you would in college. The transition from high school to college is truly as tough as everyone says it will be. I remember thinking in high school that I'd be just fine if I stayed with my study routines, note-taking skills, sleep schedule, and more, but unfortunately, it isn't that easy. It's okay to admit you are struggling in a class, even if you think you shouldn't be. Nothing worth doing is easy; and although nothing about college is easy, it's definitely worth doing.

Never Forget Where You Came From

I came from a small town in Iowa, where we had multiple events going on during the summer breaks as well as beautiful parades and breath-taking decorations for holidays. I'm the middle child in a family of five, who has had her own struggles and overcame them. Moving to Ames to attend ISU, I knew instantly a change would occur. I had to be more careful driving around town, find my new favorite food shops and ice cream parlors, as well as find my new favorite study spots. There is nothing quite as satisfying as arriving home, taking the back roads you know so well, without a GPS. Nothing quite as satisfying as eating at your favorite one-of-a-kind restaurant that only your town provides. And to top it off, there is nothing more satisfying than coming home to arms wide open, to your family.