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College is arguably one of the most significant times for growth, whether that be in your relationships, knowledge base, personal life… there’s a lot of seeds to water in your early twenties. Yes, it can feel super uncertain and scary, which is why this week, we asked our members “What’s one thing you’ve learned this year (so far)?” Here are some tips that’ll hopefully make the uncertain feel a little less intimidating– from your besties at Her Campus CNU.

Don’t let opportunities pass you by 

Shaunny couldn’t have said it any better: “One thing I’ve learned so far this year is not to be afraid to branch out and take advantage of new opportunities. I’ve learned to take a chance on things, even if it makes me nervous or is out of my comfort zone. Many great things can happen as a result of taking a chance. For example, you can gain experience, learn about yourself, and meet new people. Joining Her Campus CNU was my way of branching out and taking advantage of new opportunities. It’s allowed me to have a creative outlet and meet some incredible people!”

Live Authentically

According to Sierra, “This year, I’ve learned how important it is to be your most authentic self. It’s easy to get lost in trying to present the most likable, palatable version of yourself to everyone else, but the only way to really find your people is to unabashedly be who you are. Say the things you’re scared to say, and if you say them loud enough, you’ll find the people that speak the same language.”

Stay in the Moment

It’s difficult to appreciate everything around you if you’re focused on what the future holds. Simply put, it’s so crucial to “Stop dreading and stressing over what’s yet to come and live in the moment.” Well put, Monica

Do Not Disturb is Your Best Friend 

Teagan says, “The Do Not Disturb setting on phones is the best invention for easily-distracted college students like myself. It keeps notifications from popping up on your screen, but still allows you to use your phone if you need it. There’s a graphic going around Instagram right now that says ‘it’s okay to disappear until you feel like you again,’ or in my case, until my to-do list is blank again.”

Take Time for Yourself

While growing academically and socially are both so important, Ella points out that putting your needs first is such a key part to developing a good relationship with your inner self; “I’ve started to learn that it’s okay to take time for yourself. I’ve always known this, but never KNOWN this. I’ve learned that you can accommodate things in your life to help your mental health.”

Express How You Feel Openly

Adding on to Ella’s point about self-prioritization, Nicole says “Do what you want to do. It’s so important to make time for yourself and do things that you want to do. It is completely fine to say no to things. It’s completely fine to have a moment and scream because you are overwhelmed. At the end of the day, I hope everyone finds calmness within themselves.”

Design your Life IN a Way That Makes You Happiest

While bringing new things into your life is important, letting go of the old is just as important, according to Ceci. “A big lesson I learned this year is to really evaluate your life and make it your own! Anything that you can get rid of that doesn’t serve you or doesn’t make you happy, you absolutely need to eliminate! Friendships, habits, routines; question it all and if it doesn’t make you happy, figure out why. Also, don’t be afraid to set boundaries with people you hold in high regard. If the people closest to you don’t make you feel good about yourself, something needs to change.”

Reach out to Professors

Ella, one of our graduating seniors, has these wise words for us: “Academically, this year I have really learned the value of forming close relationships with my professors and really seeking them out. This has opened up many new opportunities for me, like being able to present my research!”

Know That You Are So Worthy

All-in-all, it’s good to just sit back and appreciate yourself, even in the process of navigating life. Allison says, “One thing I’ve learned this year is that we are all worth so much more than we realize. Sometimes we have a habit of getting into our heads and letting the negative outweigh the good around us, but no matter what is happening in your life, you are loved, you are worthy, and you are important. I think we forget this too often and need to be reminded of it from time to time.”

Sierra is a junior at Christopher Newport University. She is majoring in psychology with intent to receive her masters in teaching. In her free time, she loves thrift shopping, going on Target runs, and caring for all of her plants.
Teagan is a senior majoring in communication studies.
Hi! My name is Shaundrea. I am a sophomore majoring in psychology at Christopher Newport University.
Hey all! My name is Monica and I'm currently a senior at CNU dual majoring in History and English Literature. Most likely you're going to catch me on campus stressed, binging House or Criminal Minds or hanging out with my roommates and watching horrible movies, fixing family dinners, and wasting all my money at Barnes and Noble.
i am ceci. i am a senior political science major and i love her campus.
My name is Allison and I'm a freshmen at Christopher Newport University. My plan is to major in Psychology and go on to be a Clinical Psychologist. I'm really into reading and writing, especially poetry for both.
Hi everyone my name is Nicole and I am a senior at CNU. I am majoring in psychology and am currently applying to graduate school to become a licensed counselor. I currently enjoy watching American Horror Story with my roommates and reading.
Hello! I’m Ella and I’m a sophomore studying psychology at CNU. I'm a newly recent member of Her Campus but I'm already loving it! I haven't written for my own enjoyment in a long time so this opportunity has been so freeing for me. Always feel free to reach out! My Instagram is @ella.caroline.shields :)
Ella is currently a senior at Christopher Newport University studying History and Classical Studies. She has been the social media director for HC @ CNU since 2020.
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