Kaya is a junior music major, Spanish minor at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. She takes every chance to express herself whether through music, acting, drawing, writing, or even community service. She is a bit of a health nut with an obsession with Pinterest. She hopes to become a singer-songwriter and start her own PR Firm.
Not what you were expecting to hear, right? Believe it or not it this is the BEST advice for a college freshman. Don’t listen to advice! Absolutely everyone suddenly has this wisdom to impart on you, in hopes you won’t make the same mistakes they did. But that’s what college is all about. It’s about making mistakes, learning from them, making more mistakes, and learning even more.
Take myself for example. I came into my freshman year of college a bright eyed, ignorant little thing convinced I could take on the whole world and then some. I made a TON of mistakes and did a number of things I should probably still regret. I let myself get distracted by a long distance relationship, I registered for the wrong classes, and I even gained the glorious freshman 15… well, actually in my case the freshman 50. And to top it off, I was completely blinded by the pressure to fit into the elite, strikingly beautiful young women that surrounded me daily. I admit, I was quite confused and out of my element.
And of course, the advice was rolling in faster than I could process it. The upperclassmen at my school were all too eager to tell me what to do, most of them inflated on their seniority. I lost count of how many times I was told where not to party, what type of guy not to date, what classes to take when and where, etc. I also lost count of how many times I didn’t listen. It wasn’t because I was out to be rebellious, but because half of the time I didn’t remember to value it. It’s similar to your mother telling you all the do’s and don’ts of life. Most likely you’ll to wind up doing a good amount of those don’t’s whether she knows it or not.
That’s why as a freshman it’s important to do what YOU want to do. Other people only have advice to give because they have experiences. Do not limit yourself from garnering as many experiences as you can. Having all of those mistakes under my belt as a freshman only helped me create my own standards and guidelines as I matriculated. I was able to understand the consequences of my actions, which ultimately kept me from making the same mistakes.
I can happily say that the choices I made when I first came to college have made me the determined, ambitious person I am today. And sure, there are some people out there who will give you meaningful advice that may actually help you. But there is no teacher like life experience. You’ll never have another opportunity to make as many mistakes, so take advantage of this time to fail!
Even now as a junior, I still make mistakes and I am still trying to figure out how to manage my life. But I have openly embraced this time as a trial-and-error period. I’ve also accepted that only I can carve my future, so it is up to me to truly live it!