Success: What I Wish I’d Known as a Freshman

When I entered college, I thought that dreams had to be grandiose nigh-unattainable notions that when, if ever, achieved would lead to great fanfare and celebration. But I have since come to learn that dreams don’t only have to be that massive ultimate goal that I’ve worked for. And I’ve learned a few tips along the way that have helped to bring my own dreams closer to earth. Here are a few of them: 


  1. Write them down. It really helps to have a tangible list of things that you hope to achieve. You can read them every morning in order to motivate yourself, or you can glance at them at night, and reflect on how close you’ve gotten to achieving them. You can also create a visual representation of your dreams – photos and text of your goals in a print or digital document. It can be really inspiring to look at everything that you hope to one day have and to remind yourself of the bright future that you have ahead of you. 

  2. Anything can be a dream. A dream doesn’t just have to be a job or graduate program. A dream can be any goal, no matter how big or small. If you recently started going to the gym, you’ve fulfilled a goal of yours, and have therefore fulfilled a dream. In fact, the more goals that you consider to be dreams, the more dreams you would have achieved, and the more confidence you’ll have in yourself to achieve even more.

  3. It’s okay to give yourself a break. When you’ve achieved something big, you’ll be elated, but you also might be exhausted. It’s okay to enjoy the moment for a while. You don’t have to move on to the next big thing right away. Taking a breather might also help to prevent burn out. 

  4. Ask for advice. Some dreams might be harder to achieve than others. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the people around you when you’re in need of some help or advice. Most people need a boost in order to make their dreams a reality. 

  5. Focus on the brightness of your future rather than on erasing your past: As a freshman coming from a relatively small town, I was desperate to get out and thought college was my ticket to do so. But I spent so much time worrying about the things I didn’t like about high school and hoping that college would be different that I couldn’t even focus on working towards my goals. 

  6. Don’t forget to enjoy the present. Sometimes we can get so caught up in the future, we forget to live in the present. Working hard to achieve your dreams is essential, but enjoying life along the way will leave you feeling much more fulfilled. It’ll also make your hard work seem truly worth it.