Yesterday, I came acros this blog post from Girls Dreaming Big, which is a fairly new company started by a math teacher at my high school. Girls Dreaming Big is devoted to helping young women learn, grow and dream. The blog post is a compilation of women (some graduates and some current college students) describing the one thing they wished they knew before going to college. It was really helpful to read, especially since I know some of the women featured, and it inspired me to make a list of a few of the things I wish I knew before I came to Mizzou a little less than two years ago.
1. It is so important to get to know the people in your residence hall. I didn’t really do this my freshman year, and because of that, I was lost, unhappy and friendless for a while. I spent way too much time with my boyfriend, and our relationship actually suffered because of it. Looking back, I really wish I would have tried harder to make friends my first semester. Living in the residence halls is an experience you can only get from college, and I feel like I missed out.
2. Get involved early on, but don’t overcommit yourself. College is all about networking and meeting new people. Start attending events and going to club meetings; you never know what could come of it. And when you do go to things, introduce yourself to people! I’m really shy, so this was hard for me for a while, but I’m slowly getting better. However, I’ve learned not to get involved in too many things too quickly or at one time, because I did that and I ended up causing myself a lot of stress. So now, I make sure I’ll have time for it, along with everything else, before I dive in.
3. Exercise regularly. I got into an awesome exercise routine freshman year, I was eating healthy, and I actually lost a few pounds instead of gaining the infamous “Freshman 15” or “Mizzou 22.” Exercise is obviously important for people of all ages, but in college it’s so easy to eat way too much at the dining halls, which at Mizzou are usually the all-you-can-eat type, or snack on cookies, candy, etc. in your room. I have the biggest sweet tooth (ice cream is my biggest weakness), so limiting myself is probably one of the hardest things ever, but exercising regularly and getting adequate nutrients makes me look and feel so much better.
4. Don’t be afraid to live a little and have fun! I’ve always cared a lot about school and getting good grades, and I still do, but I’ve realized that my GPA doesn’t define me. I still work really hard and do the best I can, but college is about so much more than just the classes. It’s about meeting people, trying new things, being a little adventurous and crazy (but in a smart and tasteful way), getting to know yourself, and just living life. Enjoy it!
5. It goes by so quickly. High school was over in the blink of an eye, but college goes by even faster. I honestly still don’t believe that I’m almost done with my sophomore year and that I’m going to be an upperclassman next year. I’m learning to take each day as it comes and really appreciate Mizzou while I’m here as a student, because I know I’ll be graduating before I know it.