College is an exciting phase for kids finally growing up. It’s like a BIG step out of anybody’s comfort zone.
THIS IS IT.
A new environment, new people, a new beginning, and a whole new world! I can be a new person. I can show everybody how great I am.
That’s what I thought.
I’m 17 that time and few more months I’d turn in my legal age. Then, I can do whatever I want.
I wish I could tell the young me that I wasn’t totally right.
If you’re an incoming college student and you have the same thoughts as I did then I encourage you to continue reading and learn more from my mistakes.
I’ve come up with the lessons and things I wish I knew during college. I hope you get your favorite note-taking app and take good notes from this!
1. Everybody won’t be your friend
Don’t be like me. On the first day of school, I went in really early. Every person that enters the room received a loud ‘GOOD MORNING’ greeting from yours truly.
It was funny. My classmates were laughing whenever someone enters then I greet them. What was I thinking?
Everybody won’t be your friend so don’t try too hard to be someone you’re not. True friends will see your worth and they will be your new-found family.
2. It’s okay to be foolish (once in a while)
Just like what I did on the first day. I was really trying hard to be funny. But I’m making sure I’m not hurting anybody.
Maybe that’s why some people did find me witty. It’s better to be true to yourself and your intentions. Hence, your intentions must be good.
3. Comfort zone sucks
If you want friends, be a good friend first. Help them with something. Then make your friends laugh. And people would want to hear more from you.
Fear of rejection is normal. It’s what stops everybody from growing too. If you want to do something, start a great project, suggest a good theme, choose a place to eat, then just do it.
Nothing will stop you from doing what you want except for that fear. Experiencing failure is good to be able to learn well. To be able to grow. And to become better.
Don’t be that guy who goes with the flow. Be the flow.
I’m too guilty of this. I always feel like I’m no good for a leader, I’m more of a follower. Even proudly saying that “I go with the flow.” Ugh, it sucks!
Don’t go with the flow. GET OUT OF THAT COMFORT ZONE
Sorry for shouting.
4. It’s okay to fail your first practical quiz
After failing that first 10-pt. practical quiz in using the microscope, my best friend (who also failed) and I thought this wasn’t for us.
Call us overreacting but — Okay that’s true.
We were being dramatic. Reminiscing it after 3 years in college, we burst out laughing. That quiz didn’t define our future, we were still there.
Failing some more quizzes
Point is: failures make you stronger. IT SHOULD NEVER BRING YOU DOWN and if it did, you must not stay down there.
Rise up and try again. This time, with better weapons.
5. Never, ever, take the easiest road
If there’s just one thing I regret from all the bad things I did (sorry mom) in college, it’s being too much of a procrastinator.
I wish I could have been more disciplined. It was a perfect time to discipline myself but I didn’t do it. Although, procrastinating is natural — we all do it.
But if it can be prevented by other successful people, why won’t you try and prevent it yourself? Having self-discipline will not only benefit you but also the people you will come to work with.
You’ll also be influencing them to be better. It’s hard to do the right thing but it’s worth it.
People always choose the easiest road (cheating, procrastinating, being corrupt-minded, judging others) because they like to receive instant gratifications.
Be the bigger person and take the other road.
6. Study smart, not well or better or hard
You may very well know this by now. But I didn’t. I didn’t have a perfect study habit. Struggling from one habit to another and thinking about what should be done right.
This is the perfect time to experiment with your study habits. The school isn’t teaching us how to study. They are just giving us loads of information for us to encode by ourselves.
Google all about how to study. There are people who actually know and can definitely teach you how. I can also teach you (maybe some other article, if you wish) but I can suggest a book that did evidence-based research about studying smart.
It’s called Make It Stick. I heard a lot about it so I did read it as well (skimmed the last part). If you are feeling productive, you can check the notes and important highlights I got from MIS.
7. Peer pressure is very, very real
My friends are doing it, why not try it too? They are having fun and I don’t want to miss half of my life if I didn’t do it!
Well mister / miss, I welcome you to the world of peer pressure.
It is real and it will all depend on how strong your values are in life. If you have a strong foundation of your own values, you’re lucky because it will be easier for you to say no.
But if not and ‘you would not want to miss half of your life‘ then hop right in the wheel of fortune! See if you’re going to enjoy it or not. It’s just one try, isn’t it?
Nope. You know that it’s bad for your health, why would you try it for yourself?
Be true to your life values. Know what you want and be firm with your decisions. You will not miss anything in life except for future chronic illnesses or accidents.
But hey, others do it!
So be it. I did it.
Do I regret it? No, of course.
I’ll hurt my own ego if I say that I regret it. However, I did it because I didn’t know the things I value. The good thing is I learned from it!
8. Comparing yourself with others can break you
Here is a unique way to not follow Nike’s tagline. Just don’t do it.
Comparing won’t help you nor anyone else. No two persons are alike. Thus, comparing your life with others will just bring you negative thoughts and feelings.
It’s unhealthy. Be grateful for what you have now. If your classmate is getting high scores and you aren’t, then be genuinely happy for that person.
You also did a good job, didn’t you?
If not, now’s the time to stop thinking about other people’s “perfect life” (even if there’s no perfect life) and start doing better habits that will help you achieve your goals.
I did wish to have a better score in one of the hardest subjects in my program. I received a score of 18 out of 60 from a long exam. Others did receive low scores too but there’s one or two who didn’t.
I hoped for a better score so the next thing I did is to change my study habits. Good news? Yes, I performed better. Bad news? Others are still comparing their scores.
These are just some of the things I learned in college and I really wish I knew back in the days.
What are your life lessons in college?
If you’re an incoming college student — be well reminded of the things I said above! Lastly, enjoy your time. You’ll meet the best people in life, I promise.
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See you around!
PS I made a twitter account (ooh!). It would be nice to communicate with you there 😉