The Real Tea on College

College is a big part of your life, academically, socially, and emotionally.  So much is going to happen during your four years of undergrad. It can get overwhelming extremely quick. Below are some honest tips to help you through college and to make it some of the best years of your life! 

  1. 1. No one knows what they’re doing. 

    It’s okay not to know what you’re doing. So many people come into college undecided or switch their majors (many times), or even switch colleges. It’s not necessary to have everything decided by the time you enter college. College is when you learn about who you are and what you want from the world. Many of my friends have given themselves overwhelming anxiety because they thought they were wrong for not having their entire life planned out. Although it may not seem like it right now, everything will work out the way it’s supposed to. Give it time and things will fall into place. 

  2. 2. Imposter Syndrome is real.

    Everyone is too worried about what others are thinking of them to think about what they're doing. So, don’t worry. It may seem like everyone has their life together and knows what they’re doing, but in actuality, they are struggling just as much as you are. Everyone is weird and awkward in college. I once saw a guy dressed in a dinosaur costume walking through the dining hall...in the middle of January. I’ve tripped up the stairs in class buildings, many times. Things happen. Go ahead and be as weird as you want to be. Don’t worry about that one embarrassing thing that happened today. Chances are people won’t remember it the next day.

  3. 3. It’s okay to take time for yourself.

    For a long time, I felt guilty for doing anything to relax. There were even times when I was watching TV while doing chores, and felt guilty. I just felt like I was wasting my time by not being productive. I stopped letting myself relax and enjoy things like watching TV or taking a nap. I couldn’t let myself spend time on anything that I didn’t deem productive. This is why I burnt out. Don’t let this happen to you. Obviously it’s important to study and do your work. At the same time, it’s important to relax and let yourself rest. Don’t feel guilty for taking the time to enjoy yourself.

  4. 4. Grades aren’t the most important thing.

    Obviously, you want to do well in class. But don’t make unnecessary sacrifices in your life just to get a good grade. It’s okay to prioritize your physical and mental health over your coursework, like I mentioned in my last point. I’ve seen too many people go without sleeping and eating just to finish an assignment. This is very bad. Don’t make yourself sick just so you can get that A. I know this is definitely easier said than done. Honestly, it’s advice I need to work on myself. Though trust me, when you start prioritizing yourself, you will be able to focus better and submit better quality work. 

  5. 5. Drinking isn’t the only way to have fun!

    You don’t have to drink to have fun. I repeat, you don’t have to drink to have fun. I know I’ve felt self-conscious hearing people talk about the parties that they were going to or turning down a party invite. I’ve learned that I don’t need to feel bad and that there are way more ways to have fun than partying and drinking. The best times I’ve had with friends have been spending nights hanging out in someone’s dorm eating take-out and talking about the most random things or walking around downtown Boston. There are so many different things that you can do besides going to a party or drinking. 

  6. 6. Bathrooms are gross.

    The bathrooms will be gross at some point. Like dirty-water-an-inch-deep-because-of-clogged-drains-no-one-will bother-to-clean kind of gross. No one ever wants to talk about how gross the bathroom can get and how gross people can be. This was one of my biggest pet peeves my first year. Please clean up after yourself and don’t be afraid to bring up cleanliness issues with roommates, floormates, etc. You won’t realize how much a dirty environment can affect you until it does. Also, bring flip flops for the shower. Even if it looks clean, it’s not. Trust me. 

  7. 7. Use your voice!

    This is applicable in so many situations. Relating back to my previous point, talk with your roommates. It’s not necessary to become BFFs with your roommate, but it is necessary to at least talk with them. If you have a problem, don’t let it go unresolved. This is how you build resentment with your roommate. If the problem is so big that you don’t feel comfortable going to your roommate directly then you can also go to your RA. But it’s always better just to have an honest conversation with your roommate about whatever is bothering you. 

    Talk to your professor. Go to their office hours and ask for help if need be. Also, professors love when you come just to talk. When you’re in college, you’re taking classes that fit your interests so you will have so much in common with many of your professors. Also, they often have so much worthwhile advice. So, really, talk to your professors. 

    Talk with people in your classes. You don’t realize how easy it is to make friends when you just start talking to random people in your classes. This is how I’ve made some of my best friends in college. 

I definitely didn’t cover everything, but these are some really important pieces of advice. College is a fun adventure that you get to learn how to navigate! I hope this inside scoop helps you while you’re in college. Don’t take yourself too seriously and have fun!

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