College, to many people, means "the greatest four years" anyone will ever go through. Without a doubt, college is definitely an experience like no other. It provides people with the opportunity to not only discover more about themselves, but to also learn more about others. For some individuals, college also means learning some important life lessons (sometimes the hard way). These are some of the most important things real people learned from their own unique college experiences.
1. Never cave in.
Do you. Peer pressure kicks in hard when you don't have your parents to slap you back in place. You have freedom and with that comes the responsibility to know and set your own limits and boundaries when it comes to: school work vs playing, spending money, drinking responsibility, etc. I learned after some time that I was hanging out with the wrong people and it was causing me to act like someone I don't like...If you're not okay with it but going along anyway, you can have a lot of regrets." -Kelly Lee, Pratt University '10
2. Make friends that matter.
One of the biggest changes in college is having to be responsible for your own schoolwork, food, etc. and the friends you make in college will basically be your biggest/only source of motivation, reminders for important due dates, etc that you might have turned to your parents/teachers for...I think that spending so much time with friends in college helped me figure out what I really looked for in a friend...you basically have to start over and find a whole new set of friends, especially if you're like me and go out of state...Through interacting with people, you naturally come to more mature views and figure out those you'd really like to make the effort to maintain relationships with and others you can live without." -Kyungmin Shin, California Institute of Technology '19
3. Don't procrastinate.
It's probably the most common advice anyone will give to a student, but its importance still remains true. I hated studying for a test the night before and feeling like there was nothing more that could be done (which was true, but I tried to convince myself that I could learn all the material). Sometimes, you'll get lucky and end up doing pretty well on a test, but luck can only get you so far." -Madeline Puckett, University of Florida '16
4. Drink responsibly.
I never imagined myself drinking like I did in college. In the beginning, I was really careful about drinking and made sure to never exceed my limit. I also only drank like once or twice a month. After some time though, I gradually started to go to more parties (this happened after I made more friends) and I lost control of how much alcohol I was taking into my body. I went well over my limit and threw up multiple times. I never blacked out thankfully. Some other people did though. Basically, don't let others push your limits. If you can't drink anymore, just don't." -Alex Stevens, UCLA '18
5. Manage work and play.
Work hard, play harder. Make sure you always finish your work on time, but also don't forget to make friends and experience college to the fullest." -Ellison Pyon, UGA '19
6. FOMO shouldn't exist.
Don't be concerned about going to every party every weekend. You won't be missing out on too much. You should always set your priorities straight and make sure that you're being safe over everything else. And remember, you don't have to be drunk to have fun." -Joy Zhang, UGA '20
7. Get transportation down.
Figure out the bus schedule or else you'll be running from MLC to ECV* every morning. Don't be afraid to get yourself on a bus early on in the year because you're going to have to use the bus system eventually and it's better to get it down early on." -Ting Li, UGA '20
*This is roughly a 20 minute walk on UGA campus.
8. Always eat (at least two meals a day).
Once you get into college, you're pretty much on your own. Not only does this mean that you have to be able to manage your time and schoolwork, but it also means that you have to take care of your own body. I thought I would be able to easily eat three meals a day because I paid for a meal plan, but laziness and the occasional loss of appetite sometimes led me to eat nothing on a given day. Studying and having fun is important, but so is taking care of your meals. Never forget that your health always comes first. Also, drink plenty of water (not soda). -Sarah Park, Michigan State University '12
9. Just go with the flow.
In life (and especially in college), things are always going to be thrown at you. New responsibilities, new realizations, and new experiences may seem overwhelming at first, but it's important to tackle everything to the best of your ability. Don't be afraid of failure and don't worry if you feel like you don't have control over everything that's happening because that's just life. Make mistakes (and learn from them) and make accomplishments as well (and celebrate them). -My Dad, Some school in South Korea
10. Don't leave things behind.
As for me? I haven't been in college long enough to determine what the most important lesson I learned was, but one thing that I learned for sure was that you should never forget your towel when you go to take a shower in a communal bathroom. Oh, and don't forget to take off your shower shoes and put on appropriate shoes to go out in public either.
In the end, everyone is bound to fall a couple times during college. Just remember: "Fall seven times, stand up eight."
Lead Image Credit: Alex Jones via Unsplash