The college experience will be over before you know it, and here a little advice from a graduating senior about the things I learned outside of school, as well as the things I wish I did more of.
Cook your own meals!
Believe me, I know how time-consuming and how scary it can be trying to cook for yourself, but I promise you will save a lot more money that way. Not only should you cook your own dinners, but pack up leftovers and eat them for lunch the next day or even the day after. Not only will you save time and money in the long run, but you’ll also probably feel better. Learn to enjoy cooking, even if its only simple meals. Its something you will have to do for the rest of your life and I’m sorry, but pizza and frozen dinners do not count.
Go OUT on the Weekends!
I know it’s tempting after a busy week of school and work to just lounge around and have a lazy weekend, but before you know it that’s what you end up doing every weekend. Cedar may be a small town, but there still is plenty to do. Even if you’re just getting together and playing games with friends, you’ll regret the nights you stayed in binge-watching Netflix much more than the time you spent with people. And I know I don’t have to tell you about the parks but I’m going to anyways. One of my biggest regrets of my college career is that I didn’t spend more time there. We are perfectly positioned to have weekend trips to everywhere and yet I rarely ever did it. I’m as introverted as you can get, but I still wish I had done more.
Spend money on yourself:
Take yourself out for a date once a month, whether that means splurging on a nice dinner, going out to a movie or whatever, just do something fun just for yourself. College life is difficult and insanely stressful and if you don’t take care of yourself you will burn out. I found that by doing something special for myself once a month it was easier for me to remember that I am a human being with needs and not a robot whose only job was to attend class and work to pay the bills. Buy yourself a little gift and spend some time with just yourself, learn how to be happy on your own and you learn how to be happy with anyone’s company.
Allow yourself a night IN:
I know I just said to take your self out and spend time doing things with people but never feel bad about turning down plans or just having a chill night in with friends or roommates.
Do a face mask:
Yes, this one applies to boys too, you deserve soft, acne-free skin too. You can buy a single use or a bottle of masks at Walmart for a couple bucks. Take care of your face and you’ll feel more human.
Get dressed every day:
I am the biggest fan of pajamas and sweatpants you’ll ever meet but I promise you that you will find it easier to focus in class if you take the time to get ready. I spent much of my junior and senior years sleeping in until 15 minutes before class and telling myself that sleep was more important than looking like a real human being. I said that I was confident enough in myself to dress like nobody loved me, and I was, but that’s not the point. I tried an experiment this last month where I would take the time to do my hair and get dressed in real clothes, I even put a little makeup on most days and flat out I found that I was more likely to talk to people in my classes, and less likely to zone out during class. It made a difference, so please, do as I say rather than I did because it does change your perspective on the day. That being said, there is nothing wrong with an occasional grunge day.
Call your mom:
Make a weekly habit of calling your family rather than only calling them when you have a problem. It will help with homesickness and help remind you why you are putting yourself through college in the first place.
College is hard, but it doesn’t always have to be really hard. Enjoy this time because each stage of your life is different, so it will never be like this again. Have fun and study hard!
Story by: Alexis J. Taylor
Photo by: Alexis J. Taylor