Since tomorrow is my last day of college, I decided to do a little post about ‘Lessons I’ve Learnt In College’. As someone who has been there for four years, transferred programs and changed my career goal like three times, I can definitely say that my experience at school wasn’t a straight line – is anyone’s though?
So without further ado..here are the lessons I learned at college!
Not everyone finds their major right away – and that’s okay
I learnt this one the hard way. I was pressured into choosing Professional Photography by a guidance counselor, who told me that if I wanted to be a photographer, I needed the degree. However if I wanted to write, a degree wasn’t important. At the time, in high school, I was really insecure with the idea that someone would pay me to write and so I decided to turn a hobby into a potential job. I stuck with the photography program for three semesters and though it wasn’t bad all the time (it was fun to be in a more hands on program and my classmates were great – I loved being in a class of less than 30 kids), I was pretty miserable. Studying a hobby I once enjoyed relentlessly sucked all the fun and beauty of the art out for me and it made me even hate taking photos for a while because all I could think when I picked up my camera was what made up a good picture according to our teachers, rather then enjoying capturing a moment. It made me feel panicked. Towards the end, I was failing a class and was putting everything into a journalism internship I’d snagged. That was the point when I realized that all this misery wasn’t worth it – it sucked leaving the familiarity of the photo wing and the friends I’d made but the change was so worth it! Changing into literature made me a much happier person where my creativity grew rather then getting snuffed out.
Don’t be afraid to get involved
In high school, I was into a bunch of sports like track, volleyball and soccer. When I got accepted at my college, I figured it was a given that I’d join the soccer team. However, when I heard that soccer practices were held at night and I lived an hour away from school, that made it kinda hard. At first, I was crushed because it felt weird not being the same active girl I was in high school who liked to join all the sports teams. Instead though, I decided to join in where I could. Even though taking up sports was hard, there were a ton of cool clubs and I ended up joining The Plant, our school newspaper. It was my first dip into the world of journalism and working for some sort of paper. Though I had been terrified to put my writing out there at first, it actually ended up being a lot of fun. Fun fact, my editor at the time ended up getting an internship at the same magazine I did and we ended up becoming friends after that!
Making friends doesn’t become impossible because the school is bigger
Leaving high school behind, I was completely terrified of being alone! I had my boyfriend but all my girl friends were going to their own college. I thought I was literally the shyest person on the planet and had no idea how I’d survive without my friends to unwind with over coffee and lunch. But I quickly learnt that making friends wasn’t all that hard. In photography, we were such a small group that getting close was a given – we spent hours upon hours sitting in the same computer lab or shooting in the same studio helping each other out. Then in literature, it was just a matter of sitting next to someone I thought I’d like and saying ‘hey’. I know, I know, easier said than done, but I promise that the results were way worth the embarrassment. If you think you’ll get along with the girl a few tables down, chances are you probably will. And maybe she’s just as quiet and shy as you are! All it takes is a tiny nudge to start a conversation and maybe even a friendship!
Planners and notes are your best friend
I wish I’d started using a planner way before my last semester started! I don’t know how many times I walked into class and was totally shocked when I realized something was due – ‘What!? That was for today? Really??’ Well..maybe if I’d started using a planner soon, that would have happened less. Using one in my final semester helped me keep up with presentations, exams, papers and even keeping a more organized blogging schedule! When it came to notes though, I was never lazy about it because A) it really helped when it came time to writing essays or studying for exams and B) because it kept me awake and listening!
Every teacher is different obviously and no, you’re probably not going to like every single one you get, but even if I wasn’t a fan of a particular teacher, things were definitely easier when I put in a little extra effort. Asking questions if something wasn’t clear and meeting them at office hours to ask their opinion on whatever I’d been working on so far really helped my grades! Also…don’t always trust ratemyteacher. It might be fun to look up what other students think but more than once, it hasn’t exactly been a fair description, which kinda sucks when you base those results on whether you take a class or not.
Work to get the schedule you want
One thing that really changed my experience at college was working harder to pick classes that I actually wanted. Instead of simply trying to get as many days off as I could or the easiest sounding ones, I was way happier when I made the effort to look at all my options! I was able to take a class on video game design, two creative writing classes and a few weight training gym classes.
Just enjoy it!
There were so many days spent worrying, stressing and panicking at college that sometimes I forgot to just relax and have fun. When our schedules panned out, I was able to make lunch dates with my best friend who was also studying downtown which totally kept me sane some days! Tomorrow I volunteered to participate at an open mic event and though the idea totally terrifies me – I figured why the hell not! It’s my last day of college, ever and when am I ever going to work the nerve up again? Don’t just consider college a stepping stone to more studying, a place that’s only about grades and exams or some sort of jail. Obviously, it’s still school that’s why finding ways to make it worth wild is so important! So even if it’s just for 30 minutes or an hour during your day, find a way to make college something fun!
There is what I’ve got for today! Are you in college? What are you studying and what’s your experience been like? Let me know in the comments down below! 🙂
Until next time,