As I watch my friends from high school prepare to graduate, I started to reflect on my own four years of college so far. My time here at Drexel has gone by way faster than I thought it would and I realized how much I have grown in these past few years. When I was a freshman, I was so worried and anxious about college in general. They were all the usual worries an incoming freshman would have, and as much as I prepared and thought myself ready for college, I still found myself struggling a little. I was so excited about being away from my family for the first time ever, I made decisions that turned me into a mess of a girl. I ate mostly junk, I stayed up way too late every single night, I only drank coffee or iced tea, and I really struggled with finding my right way to study. I didn’t take as much care of myself as I should have. It was hard finding stuff that I liked and that worked for me. When I was a freshman, I was constantly trying to keep up with the others around me. What I forgot was that everyone goes at different speeds and that in order to live a sane life, you need to admit that.
Freshman year turned to sophomore year and classwork changed to co-op work. Finding my own speed became a priority. What’s special about Drexel is its quarter system. Sometimes you can feel so overwhelmed at the workload and unsure where even to begin, but you should dive in and work through it. When I did that, I changed my priorities. I began to find routines and schedules that allowed me to be the most productive girl I can be. I started to eat healthier when I could, I started to drink more water, I tried to give myself a full night’s sleep every night, and I finally found a study tactic that is truly helpful for me. In essence, I learned how to be a better version of myself. I’ve learned there’s nothing wrong with working at your own speed, with having priorities that are different from your friends. (There’s also absolutely nothing wrong with going to bed at 9:30 p.m. when everyone else stays up past midnight! Tomorrow you will be grateful!) The more your struggle to accept this, the harder a time you’ll have. This was a tough lesson for me to learn, but I’m glad I finally know it.
College has taught me not only what I need to know to prepare for my future career, but it’s taught me how to care for myself and how to carve out routines and habits that work for me and the ones I live with. Every student at college deserves to make it the best time they can, and one major way to accomplish this is to focus on yourself.