Since graduating from Sarah Lawrence College in 2010, Hayden Seder has worked at and written for many magazines, including Edible Idaho South, InHue, US Weekly, and Chickpea as well as many online sites. She is currently the Assistant Editor at SVPN magazine in Ketchum, Idaho.
College is an amazing time of self-discovery, education, and learning through all kinds of avenues. But looking back on my college experience five years later, there are quite a few lessons that I wish I had learned early on in my college career. Hopefully, by sharing these now, I can save you the time it took me to learn them!
The first lesson is that your major does not dictate your life. I know many students struggle with what to declare and, while picking a major and fulfilling its requirements are important, know that once you leave college your interests might change and your major might not even play into your career! The beauty of picking a major is that it will let you explore a subject thoroughly and in doing so, you will learn even more about what interests you and whether its going to be something for your career to be in. For me, an environmental studies and geography major, I ended up writing for environmental websites after college which eventually led me to my current position as Assistant Editor of a magazine. But back in college, I was sure that I had to get a job in the field that I had so thoroughly studied. But fret not, whatever you pick will lead you to the right path.
Another lesson to be learned is that there is always time to make new friends. As a nervous freshman away from home for the first time, I clung to the friends that I made that first week of college. But as time went on and we grew apart, I found myself still clinging to our friendship since, after all, I had known them since freshman year. But it wasn’t until my senior year that I really let myself start branching out and meeting new people. The people I met were great and had more of my interests at heart and I wish I had been more open earlier on in school. Be open to new people!
No one cares about your G.P.A. after college. While this may be hard to read since G.P.A. is pretty much what every college student lives and dies by, it is true. Aside from getting into graduate school (in which case G.P.A. is very important), no one at any job interview, party, or get together, is going to ask what your G.P.A. is. I don’t say this to advocate slacking off or not caring, but know that the difference between a 3.75 and a 3.8 is not going to matter that much in the long run. Focus more on enjoying what you’re learning.
My final lesson to you is to enjoy college! For the most part, I enjoyed my college experience, but I also spent a good deal of time locked in my room or the library studying beyond what was necessary, being depressed that I didn’t have a boyfriend or more friends, and generally wanting it all to be over. Now that I’m a “real” adult in the “real” world with rent to pay, jobs to have, and limited time to just explore things that make me happy, I realize that my college experience could have been so much more if I had let myself really enjoy it. So take this special time in your life to meet new people, try new experiences, learn a new subject and enjoy every last bit!