When I was in high school, I thought I would have everything together by the age of 20. I believed I would know exactly where I wanted to go after college, who I would hang out with and how I would look. As the years have passed, life has surprised me more than once. And that is not necessarily a bad thing! Now, at the cusp of a new year, I reflect back on what has worked in college and what hasn’t:
-DO: Keep an open mind and try new things. I was very averse to joining Greek life when I originally arrived at GW. However, when I rushed for Delta Epsilon Mu, the pre-health fraternity, I was elated by the number of doors joining could potentially open. Additionally, I met many of my current friends through my fraternity, giving me opportunity to form study groups with people I already know.
-DON’T: Force yourself to do something with which you are very uncomfortable. College is often a period of experimentation for young adults, but there is no reason to succumb to peer pressure that can result in a life-changing outcome. I’ve seen friends have to throw away all their opportunities due to drugs, drinking problems, and unplanned pregnancies. Please be wary of what you get yourself into and ask for help when necessary.
-DO: Eat healthy and exercise regularly. College is a stressful time and often, the first things sacrificed are healthy habits. It is a great idea to make meals when you have time and freeze them, when time is not of the essence. I personally try to always have salad for lunch so I know I get loads of greens and vegetables at least once a day. Additionally, I always have fruits and nuts for snacks.
-DON’T: Stop yourself from indulging time to time. Eating one slice of pizza or some chocolate won’t completely ruin your diet. It is all about moderation. There will be times your crew will want to go for late night crepes or ice cream. Just be wary of your intake and how much you are eating at one time.
-DO: Work hard in your classes. You only get to be in college once, so make the most of your education! One of my classmates from high school had a great TEDx Talk at University of Virginia of how to get the most out of your classes here. Grades are important, but focus on learning for life instead of just a semester.
-DON’T: Take school so seriously that you miss out on everything else. I remember a senior once told me, “You do not want to look back at the last four years and realize all you did was study.” College is an once-in-a-lifetime experience that will only give if you are willing to receive. Go out there, meet new people, join clubs, explore the city…the possibilities are endless! I am honestly guilty of taking myself too seriously and never getting out of my comfort zone. A huge part of “adulting” is waking up and doing something else even though there is a million other things you should be doing with your time because you know you are capable of doing it all (sometimes). Life is equally about reflection as it is about aspiration. Take these few days before classes begin to reflect and aspire for something new. You’ll never know what you stumble upon!
Photo taken by Krista Anna Lewis // Pinterest // Student Trends