Your Tips For Surviving College (From The Girl Who Went To 3) - Tay Meets World

Your Tips For Surviving College (From The Girl Who Went To 3)

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Sometimes I look back at my past and get this overwhelmingly sense of regret. Regrets about friendships, family, grades, life choices, and school. I have learned that the more I "regret" the past, the less I am able to move forward into the future. I know for a lot of you, school has just started, whether you are in high school or college you are probably worried about some decision that you will make, or a decision you will not make. I am here to tell you, that whatever decision you do make, it will all turn out okay. How do I know this? I managed to graduate in 4 fours after attending 3 colleges, I went through major lows and not too many highs.

I don't say this to be boastful, I say it to be realistic. I made some poor choices, I didn't think things through, I am looking into a world of debt but, I managed to make it out on top. There are some things that I know I would do differently if I had the chance for a do-over. Things that would spare me some agony now that I am out of school, I only wished I knew them before I actually started college. I want to share what I learned, because I think it's extremely important for all those that are filled with worry, anxiety, and uncertainty of what to do or where to go. Think of it as, one man's mistakes another man's opportunity.
1. Before ANYTHING, figure out what you love to do. This is a challenge, especially if you are already in college. Take some time everyday to do something that you love to do. Figure out what makes your heart full and head happy. Make a list of everything that inspires you, motivates you, and goals that you want to reach. If you are starting with an empty list, start something! Anything! Try new things, start a blog, take a class that sounds interesting, or go do things that catch your attention. I found out what I really loved doing my senior year of college. Senior year. I couldn't have changed things my senior year, it was too late. I was already at my third school, four years in, thousands of dollars spent, and carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. Some people find it instantly, with others, it takes years.

Once you figure out what you are passionate about…do it! Don't feel pressured to decide on a certain major, please your parents, or follow the crowd. Be yourself, and do what you love. If you don't, you will be one miserable person. Trust me. Just as well, if you are already towards the end of your school career and aren't necessarily feeling satisfied with life, find your passion and start somewhere. For myself, all I needed to do was write and curate a blog post. One day, I decided to start a blog and I haven't looked back since.
2. Realize that YOU matter more than anything else. In school you will find that most people follow the movement of the crowd. They know if they don't there will be consequences, whether these be good or bad, most people would rather fit in than stand out. After my second year of school, I realized that I was important. I shouldn't let people belittle me, make me feel bad, or feel worthless if I did poorly on an exam or assignment. You need to live for you and college is not the place to "fit in." It's the place to determine how YOU want to spend the rest of your life.

3. Find People That Are Just Like You. I have had my share of failed friendships throughout the years. It saddens me to think of those friendships and how I felt like those women were like sisters to me. From college, I have found only a couple of people that I still see and talk to after graduation…because we are extremely similar. In school, I had friends that loved to party, I didn't. I had friends that had majors that seemed extremely easy to me, mine wasn't. I had friends that never studied, I had too. I had friends that wanted to fit in, I was perfectly content being by myself. I realized I was surrounding myself with the wrong people. I wanted friends so bad (who doesn't?), that I was willing to change myself and what I believed in for those friendships. It affected me so much during my second year that my grades slipped and I had to climb a steep mountain the rest of my college career to get my grade point average back to an "acceptable" number in my eyes.

Find people that believe in what you believe in, that like things that you do, that can make you laugh and help you de-stress. Find people that you can call lifelong friends, not short-term.

4. Focus On Your Studies. This may seem dumb but it's so important. The day I let my personal life effect my school was the day I started a 3 year marathon to get back on track. It took me two and half years to make up for ONE bad grade in college. One grade. These were the most stressful years of my life…and I was the cause of it. Buy a planner, go to the library, and study your butt off. It will pay off and the pay off will be sooooo worth it. Again, trust me.
5. Transfer If You Have To. Just don't go to three schools. I look back and can't believe I went to three. I was maxed out on credits every single semester. I was taking multiple hard classes every semester…I was filled with anxiety and stress, it was terrible. However, I wasn't happy. I wasn't happy my first year, so I left. I was miserable my second year but went back for another semester, then I just couldn't bear it anymore. That's when I ended up closer to home. I put my nose to the books and finished. I was determined to finish in 4 years, and I did. If you aren't happy, do not waste your time. Life is a roller coaster sure, but you need to do things that make you happy so the dips don't effect you as much.

6. When In Doubt, Call Home. When you are nose deep in situations that make you miserable and circumstances that are uncomfortable, call home. Whether it's your parents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, grandparents, mentors, pastor, or a neighbor, find someone who will help guide you. Someone who will help coach you and listen to every word. During my second year of school, I would go sit in my car and call my mom. It was the only place I could cry and talk without anyone hearing. It helped me get through the worst times. It was my safe haven. Find your safe haven, and keep it in your back pocket for all those times when life is just too much to bear.
7. Join A Group or Club. I joined a prayer group and I had a couple of societies that I joined where we participated in volunteer work. These were great distractions from school and also helped me meet people. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there a little and try something new…you could find out that it is your passion!

8. Eat Right, Drink Water, and Exercise! This is self explanatory. Take care of yourself. You will be in a better mental state-of-mind if you are nourishing and taking care of your body. I also recommend taking exercise classes, it's a great way to meet people and have fun while you workout! All of the colleges I went to had great classes (yes, all three).

9. Take Adventures. Last but not least, don't get so caught up in school that you forget to take adventures and have fun. Some of my best memories during school were from breaks and summer vacations. If I could go back, I would have studied abroad all four years (that's not very possible but let's pretend). The world has a lot to offer and now that I have graduated and I am working, I plan everyday how I will make enough to travel the world. Do it when you can, when you are still finding your passion, and figuring out who you are.

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