Friday, January 31, 2014

Why Didn't You Tell Me This Earlier?

     I suppose this title is self explanatory, as it should be. Now I am slowly approaching the end of my sophomore year and I feel like I have college life pretty figured out (sometimes). Even though many people tried to give me tips and tricks to having a successful college career, I was always the one to just shrug it all off. Looking back, I wish I took all of their advice sooner. So, seeing as it is almost time for the class of 2018 to make their final decisions on where they will spend the next 4 years of their lives, I figured I would let you in on all the things I wish I had known before college. 

1. Making real friends takes a good amount of time. In your first week you will find someone who you automatically click with. They will become your instant BFF. All the normal things will occur, like you calling your mom to say that you have found your absolute best friend. Beginning of second semester you awkwardly pass them on the way to class and think to yourself, "why were we even friends to begin with?" BEEN THERE. DONE THAT. This happens ALL THE TIME. It is basically impossible to become best friends with someone in a matter of hours. Finding people that will always be there for you may even take over a year. I am so blessed that I have been able to find a group of friends that are always there for me. Sure, we have had our ups and downs, but they will always have my back. 

2. It's hard being away from home. If you would have told me this back when I was filling out my college applications, I would probably have laughed in your face. As much as I love my hometown, I was so desperate to get out. While I don't regret my decision to come to SMC one bit, at times it is hard to be away from home. I don't want to go home every weekend to do my laundry, but it would be nice to go home to see my dog occasionally or be there for my best friend's birthday without a 5 hour drive each way. I love SMC more than words can describe, it has become my home and I am so thankful for that. I am also so thankful for technology because it makes being away so much easier. 

3. Classes can (and will) be challenging. Who ever said getting into college was the hard part, boy were they wrong. My first couple of semesters showed that. The purpose of being in a place of "higher learning" is to be challenged and to think in ways that you never have before. Its not supposed to be a repeat of high school, and if it is, then you may be in the wrong place. All of the information you are learning is advanced information so it is expected that you produce high-quality work. Be prepared to spend hours studying for one thing. The thing that I am grateful about here at SMC is while my classes are challenging, they are classes that I am extremely passionate about. My first couple of semesters, I was in a major that I chose just for the heck of it. I wasn't until last semester that I found a subject that I am truly passionate about. While at times spending hours in Bergeron seems daunting, I wouldn't change it for the world. 

4. Go to Office Hours. Everyone told me this. I even tell people this every Monday when I give tours (come take a tour with me!) Practically everyone that I met told me this little tidbit of information but I always just brushed them off. I tend to be fairly shy unless I know you really well. I had it in my head that I was not going to go to office hours. BIG MISTAKE. I didn't go to my professor's office hours until after Thanksgiving. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING SUSANNA?! Professors can be intimidating, you can't find their office, you don't have time. Before you know it, the excuses just start building up and it is the end of the semester and your grade isn't all that hot. Go to their office hours a couple of days a week where you can just talk about life. Let them get to know you outside of the classroom. I love talking with professors here at SMC. While I was nervous at first, it totally helps. Before you know it you will be eating lunch with your professor or talking about the latest episode of Scandal.

(P.S.- I wish I took everyone's advice. I didn't and my GPA would be much higher if I did.)

5. Everyone changes their major. Ok maybe not everyone, but a lot of people do. I know that you have loved the business world since second grade and that you always wanted to be the next Donald Trump or Oprah Winfrey. But then you start struggling in your classes needed for a business major and begin to question everything. And this my friends is why Liberal Arts schools like ours exists. They help you figure out where you fit the best. Go from education to business to media studies. Take classes outside of your comfort zone and test your boundaries. This could help you realize a new passion. Changing your major, even multiple times like me, is completely normal.

6. Don't judge a person by their Facebook profile. Being a media studies major, this is one lesson that I have learned about social media. In May, I was added to the Class of 2016 Facebook page and instantly went into creeper mode. Ask my friends, I am seriously the best Facebook creeper ever. In the midst of doing that, I made assumptions about people that were completely false and inhibited me from getting to know the real them. Some people that I thought were totally weird are actually some of the nicest people I know. I guess that the 2014 way of saying don't judge a book by its cover would be to say "don't judge a person by their Facebook profile."

7. You will make mistakes. You will fail at things. You may fall down the stairs. You may set the fire alarm off in your room because you burnt popcorn. But then you will achieve at things. You will get up after you fall. You will learn the exact time it takes to pop a perfect bag of popcorn. Mistakes are how you learn. Maybe brushing off studying before your macroeconomics final wasn't the best idea. Or eating an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's Americone Dream in one sitting (even though it was delicious). You try and try again until you can finally get it right. In college you don't only learn things about biology, philosophy, journalism or all the other subject areas. You also learn things about life. 

This blog post might have been a little heavy, but it is super important. To make things a little lighter, I will leave you with a wicked pretty picture of SMC, because it is the most beautiful and magical place on earth!

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