You’ve probably heard it before: “I can’t wait to change up my image in college!”
It’s true that college is a fresh start: new school, new city/town, new people. You’re given a clean slate to correct any mistakes you may have made in high school. You may, however, not want to become a completely new person, and that’s absolutely fine. Be proud of the person you are today and how far you’ve come since beginning high school. Don’t force yourself to be someone you’re not for the sake of being “better.” Here are just a few ways you can continue to grow and change for the better in college while staying true to who you are.
1. Put yourself out there.
Join clubs, teams and organizations of all kinds, whether you’re continuing to pursue a passion/interest or trying something new for the first time. The only way to really maximize your college experience is to get involved and take advantage of opportunities while you have them. You should also reach out to as many new people as possible. Everybody’s in a new environment, so most people will be open to making new friends. The more connections you make, the better chance you have of forming quality friendships.
2. Devote yourself to your passions and interests.
Whether it’s picking a major that truly fascinates you or participating in an extracurricular that you really enjoy, spend time doing things that you love. A lot of people (myself included) wasted too much of their high school career worrying about college applications. Now that you’ve made it to college, you can focus more of your attention on the interests and passions that make you who you are. An added bonus? You’ll connect with others who share your interests and perhaps even discover potential career paths.
3. Take care of yourself.
With a variety of dining options and a more flexible schedule, you'll have the power and the resources to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Make some time to exercise and utilize the salad bar in the dining commons. You'll look and feel great.
4. Improve your study habits.
Make the Dean's List. Earn that internship. Regardless of the kind of student you were in high school, college is the time to step it up. The classes you take now will prepare you for a career or grad school, so you should do the best you can to absorb the information. Go to the library, participate in study groups and visit professors during office hours. A successful college career can set you up for life.
5. Make Connections
No matter your major or area of study, you'll eventually want a career that satisfies you financially and emotionally. The first step on the road to success is to connect with people in the field. Talk to professors, volunteer, apply for internships. If you make a good impression on a respected higher-up in your field, they may help you out when you're looking for a job. The experience in itself may even help you determine what you want (or don't want) to do if you're still unsure.
You don't have to chop all your hair off or listen to different bands, but setting new goals and keeping them is a great way to better yourself in college. You can stay true to who you are and still continue to learn and grow.
Lead Image Credit: Christopher Jolly via Unsplash