College involves many transitions. You go from the most exciting time of your life to monotonous routine. It’s easy to take this time of your life for granted. Of course, for the first week, everything seems new and your eyes are peeled at all times to avoid missing out on even one thing. However, as time goes on, predictable days tend to take over and when you’ve made your group of friends, college can almost start to feel like high school. You are given more liberty to spend your time as you wish, you are bombarded with different ideas, and the friends you make are purely your choice, and well, quite frankly, they are probably the friends you will never get tired of as they are often the ones you make for life.
The Chosen Ones
Your friends are your chosen family members. In college, you are exposed to a variety of people, and in a place where nobody knows you, you are free to do as you wish and choose the people you want to be surrounded by. It is an amazing thing to become the best of yourself when surrounded by those who have the power to do just that. Do not take this chosen family for granted! They will serve as your support system, your body guards, your moral guides, your constructive criticizers, your educators, your motivators, and your inspiration. Treasure these people, as they are likely to stick around for life.
Memories, pictures, and journaling are all great ways to record moments. However, a moment will forever just be a blip in your life, no matter how many pictures or stories you keep and tell. A moment will be just that – a moment in time – so prize them because they are what make life worth living. College is also the place where these special moments are prone to occur. It is the first place (for many) where one is away from their parents, free to do as they wish, and studying what (hopefully) their passion is. College is a place of realization, self-discovery, and exploration. It is a place inviting you to constantly try new things, and saying “yes” to new opportunities is encouraged. Moments that will be remembered until your last hour will occur. Make the best of them!
Sometimes professors serve as more than just an academic instructor, but you must seek it out. Visit your professors during their office hours, make conversation before or after class, ask questions – these are all great ways to get to know your professors a little more. “Why would I want to do that?,” you may ask. Professors can be a great guide to your academic success as they provide many connections, can guide you in the school system as they have been in the institution longer than you have, and they can even give you a few life tips! Who would want to miss out on that?
Excuses are the simple result of college. For example, ordering 2:00 a.m. pizza seems to be the customary post-dinner norm. You have the excuse to say “hi” to anyone on campus with the goal of socializing, you have the excuse to find yourself and be totally strange in that process, you have the excuse to impulsively decide to take a road trip with friends, you have the excuse to go to sleep at 4:00 a.m. and wake at 12:00 p.m. or worse, peel those eyes open for that 8:30 class. You even have the excuse to try extra hard to understand Toni Morrison or analyze Camus to the very core. Either way, college gives you the excuse to do things you don’t get a chance to do once you get into “the real world.” Embrace these fabulous little things and bring them with you (hopefully the good healthy habits) into your life after college.
You may have been in your college town or city for four years or one month, either way, I can almost guarantee you that you do not know every square inch of your college town. Do not take the shortcut to class. Do not take the road most traveled. Do take the long way. Do take the so-called “sketchy” route. Do walk for two hours instead of driving for one. Do make endless turns without a GPS. Cover the ins-and-outs of your location. Observe the people around you, enter shops that you might not be interested in, and do whatever it takes to absorb every little bit of your location. Just last week, I took a walk down a road across my university and ended up in the depths of a forest trail. Over 500 pictures were taken.
“I’m in college” is one of the most fortunate sentences one can say. Don’t miss out on everything that can come with that. This means you must take full advantage of the opportunity to meet people, make connections and do things that might seem bizarre. College has a lot to offer. Don’t miss out on these experiences!
Image: Paola Sierra