My name is Kirsten Jandrasitz and I am a senior at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. As I continue to work to complete my final semester of my college career, I find that I spend most of my time either looking back at all of the moments of this journey through college or taking the time to appreciate this exact time in my life. While I sit and reminisce of the moments of friendship, laughter, tears, stress, and unforgettable memories, I can honestly say that these will forever be the best four years of my life. I did not have to travel across the country, live on a huge campus on the beach, or follow high school friends to have this experience in my life and neither does any other student. I simply discovered who I was as a person, as everyone should during these years. While I can say that these will be the best years I will always remember, I hope that every student that goes through the ups and downs of college can say the same. My advice for all of those soon –to-be college students would be to follow these tips that I found to give me the best experience of my life.
1. Leave your high school “bubble.”
I am not going to tell you to move away from the past and your high school friends, but if you have the desire to try something new and see what else is out there, you will have a one-of-a-kind experience. Don’t be afraid to lose touch with people, your true friends will always be there whether you have talked in days, weeks, or months. Understand that this is a busy time of your life as well as your friends and losing touch at times does not mean that you have lost friendships. Going to a college where you do not have your friends attached to your side can be scary, but worth it. This will allow for you to step out of your comfort zone, interact with different people on a personal level, and allow for you to truly pick positive people to be your close knit of friends.
2. Meet and understand new people.
Keep an open-mind when meeting new people. This is the time in your life where you can get away from what you were in high school and all of the cliques that followed. Take the time to meet people you normally wouldn’t have and make connections with them. Although you may not continue to have a relationship with these people, you will find that meeting, interacting, and understanding others around you will allow for you to better find who you really are and what you want to be.
3. Be patient.
Moving away is scary and a major change. Be patient. You will not find your best friends the first week, month, or maybe event semester. This is the exciting part of the journey. Take the time to appreciate the moment and all of the people that are coming in and out of your life. While some may settle to the college life right away, others might take some time. It takes more than a few months for a college to feel like a home, but over time it will.
4. Study hard. But have fun.
This is not high school anymore, you must actually open and read your books while also attending class and taking efficient notes that could help you on your future exams. While the books are important, the .03 difference in your GPA will not make or break your future job interview. That being said, plan and organize your schedule so you have time to enjoy yourself. Though college is for learning, the social aspect is what will add to the amazing experience.
5. Get involved.
Add to your resume! Employers today are looking to see a student who has more of a balanced GPA and involvement in the community and/or campus rather than a 4.0 student with little to no extra-curricular activities at college. Whether it is working on campus, joining a club, Greek-life, or volunteering, it is enjoyable and another way to meet new people!
6. Worry less.
Focus on the important things in life, rather than the drama and negativity. In college you will be around most of the same people 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To be able to enjoy this type of environment, do not stress over the little things. It is easy to get caught up with little annoyances, but in the end they are not worth your struggle or stress.
7. Take care of yourself.
While college is a busy life, take the time to care for yourself. Spend some time alone to relax and recuperate. Exercise plus healthy eating will allow for you to be more efficient throughout the day of class and studying, while also feeling an all-around wellness.
8. Find your family.
And no I do not mean your husband/wife. This is the time in your life where you discover who you truly want to be, and in doing so you will find those that accept you and all of your flaws. Find your friends, and I mean true friends, that will be there for you no matter the miles or time that will pass by.
As I see the finish line of my college career so near, I am so appreciative of my time, experience, and amazing people that I have met. The journey has had its ups and downs, only making the days more of an amazing memory. While I regrettably cannot go back and relive these past 4 years, I hope to help all of you who look to have a positive experience, and make it the best four years of your life, as it was mine.