What I wish I would have known about college

Hi!! I just finished my second to last semester of school OF MY LIFE and it’s blowing my mind. I’ve been doing a little reflecting and am actually quite humored by what I thought college would be like and what I’ve discovered it to be in the last 4 years.

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Before I moved to California, I had this sugar coated idea that college would be this perfect place, filled with only success, happy times and mature people who had the same morals and ideas as me. HAHAHA. Seriously this is funny. I wish I would have known these truths that I’m about to share with you before I came so I wasn’t so shocked.

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YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING. 

I decided to lead with this one because you all know I like to #DoStuff. As an eager college freshman I wanted to be involved in EVERYTHING. Chapman thankfully makes it really easy to get involved and I dove head first into everything I could get my hands on. After joining a sorority, the Disney Club, the Sodexo Student Board of Directors, the Ambassador Program and traveling to represent a national scholarship program, it wasn’t long before I was burnt out. You’d think I would learn to take a rest, but the next year I became an RA, had an internship both semesters and became a pastry chef. AH. It wasn’t until my Junior year that I finally figured out I needed to take a chill pill and REST. God literally picked me up and moved me half way around the world (lived in New Zealand for 5.5 months, it was really rad check out this video) for me to get the hint.

Take my advice, don’t wait until your junior year to take care of yourself! I suffered from many health related issues because I didn’t listen to my body when it was telling me to stop. You’re going to be faced with so many new and exciting opportunities when you go to college, but it’s important to decide what’s best for you and what you really want to invest in because you can’t do it all and that’s okay. At the end of the day, you are most important.

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This is me resting in NZ 😉

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YOU MOST LIKELY WON’T BE BEST FRIENDS WITH YOUR ROOMMATE.

I actually moved to college with a friend from my home state and although we didn’t know each other super well, I had this fantasy of us becoming the best of friends, attached to the hip, creating a youtube channel and changing the world. HAHAHA again. My two roommates and I got along, and we liked each other alright, but we all had different things going on so we weren’t as close as I imagined we would be. I actually wouldn’t recommend moving in with your best friend because chances are, you won’t be best friends with them at the end of the semester. Living with people is an extreme adjustment, so each time you go into your room, go in with extra grace for yourself and your roommates.

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COLLEGE IS NOT THE BACHELOR.

This one really makes me laugh. I felt like most of the events during orientation week were like speed dating and it was so overwhelming to feel like you had to perform for people and prove yourself superior to the person next to you. I think it’s normal to want to find an amazing guy (or girl) during college and go on adventures and take cute pictures blah blah blah, but I can count on one, maybe two hands people I know that that’s actually happened to them. College is a time where a lot of people are changing and transforming so sometimes getting into a serious relationship isn’t the best idea. (Side note for the girls: most guys are still really immature at this age. Don’t waste your time, you deserve the best. Let them chase you.) If you aren’t in a relationship when you go to college, use that time to focus on you!! Focus on learning, growing and developing yourself to your fullest potential so when you DO meet that right guy or girl, you are ready to be there for them at your 100%.

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YOU WILL GET A FEW BAD GRADES. 

Yikes! This one came as a shocker for me when it first happened. As a perfectionist and growing up in a household where academics were held as a high priority, I’ve always had this mindset that if I don’t get an A, I didn’t do well. In college, that’s just not true. Classes and curriculums are much harder and you won’t always get perfect grades. As shocking as this might seem, I actually don’t check my grades anymore. It started giving me so much anxiety that I had cut it out. Instead, I focus on making sure I’m learning in each class, actually understanding the material and growing as an individual. Very different mindset, but very freeing and very effective.

YOUR DREAMS MIGHT CHANGE.

WHAT?! Yup. This one’s probably scariest because if you’re like me, you’ve had your dreams for a long time and you’ve spent countless hours thinking about them, fantasizing what it’s going to be like when they come true. Well get ready because in college they all might change. AND THATS OKAY! I have a friend who changed her major 14 times. Literally. Although I didn’t change my major, my direction and vision for life has shifted dramatically since I’ve been in college.

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It’s a great thing to have dreams and goals to get there, but don’t limit yourself from exploring other options because you feel like you have to do ONE thing. Try some new things! Take a class that has nothing to do with your major! Get an internship that you find interesting! Let yourself dream about other things just for fun, just to see what it might be like! You might find that you are super passionate about something completely different from what you thought you wanted to be in high school (or what your parents told you you should be) AND THATS GREAT!! College is one of the only opportunities in life where you’ll be able to do just that and explore other options without it really effecting anything. Take advantage!

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YOU MIGHT CHANGE.

Ah this one’s my favorite. I can guarantee you, you will change in college. This really freaked me out when I discovered it was happening to me. In high school I got pretty comfortable with myself; how I looked, how I lived life, what I believed and then I went to college and BAM!  My whole world was shaken up, everything changed and I felt like I didn’t know anything anymore!!! BAH. For the first few years, I resisted any change that came my way and stuck to doing things the same way I had done them my whole life. I mean come on… I had lived a whole 18 years, of course I knew everything!! 😉 Wrong. When I started to accept the fact things were changing and I was changing, things were so much better. I had to let go of my high school mindset before I could receive and accept myself as I was, which was an adult who was growing up and making decisions for herself and developing into a strong, confident woman. Don’t be afraid if what you thought you always knew starts to change. That happens because we grow up. It might be awkward for a few months and it might seems strange around your family or people who have known you for a long time, but that’s why we have to have extra grace for ourselves and each other because we are all #adulting.

EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY. 

I really wish someone could have been there for me every day to tell little worried freshman Nicole that everything was going to be okay. I spent so much time stressed out over things that never happened and worried about the smallest little things. Save yourself the energy and heartache and relax. Find your balance and learn what works for you. Work hard in your classes, but know when it’s time to put the books down and do something fun. Diversify your life and get involved in things that give you life! When I look back and think about the best parts of college, it’s never a test or assignment I did. It’s always the events I went to when I wanted to stay in my dorm and be a hermit. It’s the people I spend time with and the professors that invested in me.

College is one crazy ride, but I know you’re going to love it and before you know it, you’re going to be where I am, looking back at your college career, wondering how it went by so fast.

Love y’all so much. It means so much to me that you read this today. Subscribe to my blog if you want to stay up to date with my life these next few months. It’s about to get CRAZY!!

xx Nicole #DoStuff

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