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My Biggest Takeaways As a Soon-To-Be College Alum

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal State Chico chapter.

As a graduating senior there are so many things that I wish I knew beforehand. Some pieces of advice, or even just a guide to the endless possibilities of what could happen in each and every situation. I learned so much about myself, and my environment through these four years and I want to share some of my biggest takeaways with you all.


Throughout college I have interacted with so many people who I’ve both become close with and only had brief encounters with. Yet, those people that stay for the long run are unexpected. You’re not seeking out comfort or companionship, yet rather it finds you and sticks with you. I have made relationships that will last a lifetime and we just happened to find each other at the perfect time. 

Friendships also come and go. We’re getting older and maturing and with that, you may grow out of certain relationships, and that’s okay. Through these four years, you’ll find out things about yourself you never knew, and with that you’ll find what type of relationships you want to prioritize and what relationships make you not only the best version of yourself, but the happiest version of yourself. 

Also, just another tip; don’t worry, you’ll find your people. I went through hardships these four years, I hit points where I had never felt so lonely. Where I felt as if I would never have that friend group that everybody around me seemed to have. It just took some time, and now I found the people that I want to be in my life until the end. So don’t worry, everything happens for a reason, and your time will come. 

Work Ethic:

High school work ethic is nothing like college. In high school, I remember every teacher telling me that nothing will slide in college, that life is going to get drastically more difficult. From my experience after these four years, I’ve come to realize that my teachers may not have been as right as I thought they once were. 

To get into it, there are less reminders of when things are due, some content may be more difficult to grasp, and the rules may not be as lenient. Yet, I found that my work ethic in college seemed to drop since highschool.

Okay, let me rephrase, I worked equally as hard, maybe even harder, but it felt like less of a hassle, less of a work load, less of a stress on my shoulders. From my experience, once you find your passion that you follow through your major, work seems less like work, and it begins to get fun and interesting. I never would’ve thought I would enjoy doing my coursework four years ago. 

Taking in the moment:

It’s so cliche to say, but these four years have gone by incredibly fast, making me wish I had taken in the moment of some events even more so. In some circumstances, you may feel liberated or amazed that such things can happen at such a young age. For some people, you’re living on your own for the first time, not having your parents around all the time, experiencing real freedom, and becoming a young adult. You’re making choices for yourself that could result in some of the most amazing memories. Taking in these moments and realizations will give you an opportunity to reflect, which is so important in times of stress. Even meeting new people for the first time, trying things for the first time, joining a fraternity, sorority, or club. These years go by, and in the moment it may feel long and exhausting, but looking back, I’m glad I took in the experiences that I did and held myself in that moment. I’m glad I have something to return to, to make me smile. 

Trying everything:

Bid Day 1
Anna Thetard / Her Campus

Go for it, join that club, join that greek organization, these four years have been filled with opportunities I’ve taken and missed. And I look back wondering why I had missed those opportunities. In reality I was scared, and that feeling is very valid, college can be overstimulating and new environments can cause these feelings, but putting yourself out there will not only help with that feeling, but be so rewarding. For example, I ended up joining a sorority, and I’ve met my best friends through it. I got to experience unique things that wouldn’t have been possible without Sigma Kappa. I joined the club volleyball team in my earlier years, making friends and memories from traveling with my teammates. I also joined this amazing organization that I write for, Her Campus. This organization gave me newfound confidence not only in my writing, but in myself and that I’m capable of things that I put my mind to. So go for it, try that thing you’ve wanted to, even that thing that may not think is for you. Try everything once, college is only here for a short period of time, take advantage of it and what it has to offer. It’s better to say you tried and failed, than to not have tried at all!

These past four years at Chico have been some of the best years of my life. I have met such amazing people and made the best memories. Thank you Chico State for all you’ve done for me and given me. You’ll always hold a special place in my heart.

Taylor Wagner

Cal State Chico '24

Taylor is currently a fourth year student at Chico State expecting to graduate in Spring 2024. She is an English education major with a double minor in creative writing and secondary language, she is also working towards her editing and publishing certificate as well. Taylor has been on the dean's list for five semesters at Chico and is also a current member of the greek organization Sigma Kappa. Taylor has many passions including the environment and writing! In her free time you will catch her hanging out with friends, making food, sitting down to read a book or working out. She loves staying active and meeting new people. Taylor is originally from Encinitas, California, a city in San Diego county. After college she hopes to become a high school English teacher. Yet, to begin that journey she wants to move back to her home base and get her teaching credential, then to a larger city shortly after to get her Masters.