University is about more than a formal education. The lessons I learned in these formative years can’t compare to anything I have learned before or after them.
You don’t have to know who you are going to be or what you’re going to do. I changed my major five times, and I became five different people at least. I have friends who stuck with one passion and finished, but not many. I went from a degree in ballet, to business, international studies, international business, ending finally in English. In my graduation I accidentally walked with the communication majors instead of my own class. Whoops. Who cares! I wouldn’t change my path because I learned from all of my classes and met a variety of people. You either learn what you love, or what doesn’t work for you, which leads you back to more things for you to love.
Your inner self if your new guide, not your parents. The time begins for you to decide things for yourself. I’ve seen so many people living someone else’s life. Life is too short to live for anyone else’s expectations. The world needs people who are passionate and creative in every field. Having a “good” job or degree doesn’t make a good life. You’re ability to work with your heart open and interests piqued will lead to better success and greater happiness and health long-term.
Choose your relationships wisely. I spent many of my college years in an unhealthy relationship. It drained my energy and lowered my confidence. Without holding onto him out of fear, I would have had more time and opportunities to pursue new activities, make more new friends, and hone and perfect more skills in my hobbies. Man, I really wish I worried about my painting and dance skills, not my worrying about a boyfriend skills!
Save, say yes, and travel. Save the money you would spend on objects impressing others with experiences. Research how to split your finances each month and save for a rainy day and your later years. But, also save for travel and experiences you can have while you are not weighed down with as many obligations to your own family and careers. Some students may have families and steady jobs already (good for you!) but many don’t, and it’s a perfect time to take the leap and expand your curiosity and question your views and lifestyle.
All together, college is about taking time for yourself. It’s about being quiet with yourself, away from the demands and expectations of your little world of the past, and asking yourself how you want to grow and expand your new world.