The time is almost here…you’re about to graduate from high school!! Then after what might seem like the shortest summer of your life you will head off to college! There are so many amazing things about college, it would be impossible to list them all. Each and every experience is different and advice is abundant but here are my thoughts on how to make the best out of your college experience!
…and also some low quality photos from my days – I’ve for real always carried around a camera!
Tip #1 – Meet New People
You may be going to college with tons of people you know from high school or from growing up in a small town and there is nothing wrong with nurturing the relationships you have with those friends but MEET NEW PEOPLE!! This is a chance to meet so many people who have different views, different backgrounds, different stories, etc. and with that comes different experiences. There are so many people I wouldn’t have the pleasure of calling friends if I hadn’t made an effort to meet new people and so many experiences I may not have been able to have without those friends!
This is my college BFF (Lauren) and I – we met somewhere between 2004 and 2006 and without her willingness to knock on random bus doors with me we probably wouldn’t have met Luke Bryan (several times), among other things we may have gotten in to!! To be honest…she’s put up with a lot from me over the years 😂😂
Tip #2 – Find something you love
If you know my college journey story then you know it was a true journey. I went to college out of high school, took some time off to work 800 jobs in Statesboro (all at the same time), then got my stuff together to reenroll and graduate. There were a lot of things I loved – tip #3 will cover this a little more – but when I went back to school I found the equestrian team. I’ve always loved horses and being able to ride and have them as part of my weekly life probably helped push me along to finally graduate. There is something out there for you that will keep you motivated and allow you stress free time away from the day to day things college brings, find that thing!!
Tip #3 – Stay out of trouble!
Listen – I had a great time in college and overall I stayed out of trouble but there were times that the only reason I stayed out of trouble was because I had just enough sense to leave a situation (ahem – a party) before it went too far. There are ways to have fun without getting in trouble – it’s smart to figure these boundaries out for yourself early on before you end up in a place, situation, or with people who don’t have your best interest in mind.
Tip #4 – Go to the things and participate in the themes!
It’s college!! Where else can you get away with random dress up evenings and enjoy sporting events at every turn!! Take advantage of the opportunity to do all these random yet fun things, even if they feel really stupid at the time! Trust me – being an adult at a toga party isn’t quite the same. If you are going to an event on or off campus and there’s a theme – DO IT!! If you can get tickets to the game – GO!! One of the things I regret the most about my days at Georgia Southern is skipping or working during the football games. I had the time to go and be carefree at a game but I didn’t and now when I go I have to pay for tickets and monitor children.
Tip #5 – Graduate!!
That’s right – it’s got to end sometime and capping one of the best seasons of your life off with a celebration is amazing!! To get to the finish line I have a few suggestions. Go to class – yep, it’s that simple. Go, listen, and do some homework. Don’t make your schedule crazy. One semester I thought it would be a good idea to only take classes on Tuesday and Thursday, I mean 5 day weekends, RIGHT!!! Nope, wrong. I was so burnt out from going to class from 9:30 am to 7:00 pm every Tuesday and Thursday that guess what…I started skipping classes to take breaks. It was not a great semester. Be realistic when making your schedule, you know what you can handle and what you can’t. There’s no shame in staying away from 8:00 am classes if you know you won’t be waking up in time each day.
When you get the go ahead on graduation I HIGHLY suggest booking a photographer for pictures! Not only because that’s what I do but because this is the only picture I have of myself to remember the day I graduated college.
Yep…it’s blurry, my ear is not participating in the overall “look”, and a water bottle is my accessory. I wish I had a better shot to share but this is it.
Bonus Tip – No means No!
So I mean this in the very literal sense with all the sexual connotations this statement brings to the table but I also mean it when it comes to friends and the people you associate with. If you find yourself with a friend or a group of friends who constantly makes you feel bad for saying no…it’s time to find new people. I’m not talking about saying no to a night out and having a friend try to talk you into it I’m talking about people who are always making you feel like crap because you don’t go along with what they have in mind. I’m talking about toxic people.
I know it seems like common sense but trust me, been there, done that, it’s hard to step back from feeling like you’re the only person in the group that doesn’t like an idea or you are “lame” for not wanting to go get tanked when you have class tomorrow. It’s easy to fall in with a group that seems like the life of the party, everyone loves them, they always have the best times and they are the best of friends because sometimes toxic doesn’t seem toxic at first. Sometimes it looks like the couple who gets invited to everything and they always have such a great time, or the girl who means well but gets a little to drunk every single night, or the group sitting at the front table signing along to every song having what looks like the best time of their lives.
Let’s end on a positive – Have Fun!!
Ok so one more because how can I end on that. Have a good time!!! It’s college – you are there to learn and become a better person but you are also there to spend time with friends, form lasting relationships, and become a better person. You have to have a good time while you are there! If it wasn’t meant to enjoy you could just do it from your laptop in your parents guest room.
Seriously – some of my best memories and best friends come from my time at Georgia Southern. Even with the up and downs I wouldn’t trade it for the world!!
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