- The experience is what you make of it.
The "full college experience" is truly all on you. You can either have a memorable and great college career OR you can have an otherwise not so memorable one. I know a few people who are enrolled in college but manage to spend most of their time in their rooms or most of their time sleeping. I know more people who simply go to class and nothing else... maybe work too but that's it. Where is the experience in that!? There is so much more to college than just college courses.
- There is absolutely nothing wrong with exploring your options.
Some people know what they're meant to be in life. Others, like myself, are interested in too many things and have no idea what to major in. You would be surprised how many people also do not know what they want to do. Some people in their thirties STILL don't know what they want to do. Don't stress! It'll come to you eventually. You'll stumble upon a course that sways you or upon a person that intrigues you about their major. I must have explored at least six different majors. Yes. More than six. Now here I stand with a major in Global Studies and minors in French, Hip-hop, and Journalism and I am completely content. In fact, I look forward to going to class everyday. And this would not have happened if I hadn't explored so much.
- You might not necessarily meet your soul mate.
"They say you meet the love of your life your Sophomore year of college." We have all heard this (or something like this) before! Do not focus on finding this so called soul mate of yours that is roaming around somewhere on campus. Do your own thing! You will stumble upon many different kinds of relationships... sorts of relationships that you've never even heard of! lol Trust me. I don't believe I have met my soul mate yet and I am a Junior. But hey... who am I to say you absolutely don't meet your significant other in college, I still have one more year right?
- Your circle of friends will most likely change.
People change. Friends absolutely change. And there is nothing wrong with that! Do yourself a favor and accept it. How can you not change when you are immersed in this totally new environment? Meet new people, learn new things... it's prone to happen! Because of this change, certain friends come and other friends go! My circle of friends at this moment in particular is completely different than the one I had my Freshman year. Just make sure you keep a selective few that have genuinely known you and have been a big part of your life prior to entering college. Stick with your roots! But grow new branches.
- You learn A LOT about yourself.
People change. YOU change. Period. Be prepared to discover many things about yourself as you undergo many new experiences.
- Do what YOU love.
I cannot stress how much of a stress it was for me debating on whether to study something that I loved and enjoyed or to study something "that guarantees a career with good money". This is one of the main reasons why I jumped around so many majors. I focused on the money making majors and tried to find which one of those I'd be genuinely eager to study. INSTEAD, focus on pursuing what you love and then figuring out how you can make that good money off of your passion!
- There are so many opportunities available to you.
This is something I unfortunately didn't realize until the beginning of my Junior year. Attending school is one thing but what is more important is experience! You can graduate college with a paper stating you got a BA in whatever BUT can you back that paper up with experience? It is amazing how much opportunity is made available to you in college, you'd be surprised how willing some people are to help you advance and achieve. Just be eager to learn and to help! Go surf the net, network, and stand out!
- Be social.
Venture out! Explore the college scene! And most importantly... meet new people! I know so many graduates who have told me that they regret just focusing on their classes that they never made time to attend games, events on/off campus, and going out on the weekends every so often. Don't be afraid to make those memories! Plus it's a great opportunity to network, people are always open to benefit from each other.
- You choose to be educated.
You can literally attend college, all four years, and leave without having learned a thing. Without having retained any knowledge. But that outcome is entirely up to YOU! Do not just attend class because you have to and "get by" with your grades. This isn't high school! This is college! Here is your chance to pursue your interests and become highly educated in that field. Education is your best investment.
- School... really isn't for everybody. Embrace it if it is for you.
Yes. If you are willing to put in the work, anybody is able to get a higher education. But not everybody is willing. If YOU have this willpower, put your all into it. Your mind is hungry, feed it!