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My Advice on Navigating the Roller Coaster Called “College”

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Emmanuel chapter.

Nathan Scott from the show One Tree Hill once said “It’s the oldest story in the world. One day you’re 17 and planning for someday. And then quietly and without you ever really noticing, someday is today, and that someday is yesterday and this is your life.” It really is crazy how fast life goes by; at one point you are filling out college applications and next thing you know you are moving into your new home for the next four years. It can be an exciting and tough adjustment when this chapter of life starts and even afterwards. No matter how close or far you are from home there are various obstacles to learn from and persevere through. It is completely normal to feel uncomfortable during the college experience; many have felt the same way. I’m even still figuring out how to navigate this experience going into my senior year at Emmanuel College. I have found that in order to make the most of your college town, it is important to learn about it and know your resources. Discover what makes you happy and fulfilled; here are some tips below on how to do so!

  • Find Your Favorite Study Spots

When it comes to college, finding your go-to spots to get work done is always the best. Check out your school’s library, the quad or some green space, academic buildings and even go beyond the campus. I personally find it difficult to get work done when I am in my apartment because of how distracted I get, so having a place where you can be focused is key. On top of getting work done, it is comforting having a place that you consider yours. At my school I love studying at the library, the quad and one of the residence halls that has a study lounge on the 17th floor!

  • Get to Know your Professors and Resources 

It can be intimidating reaching out to new instructors and the programs around you, but there are great benefits. First off, forming connections with professors is awesome because they can give great advice on future careers and are people to guide you. Most of them genuinely care about students and want them to do well, so connect with the ones who possess these qualities. Do this by sending emails, participating in class and going to office hours. Along with professors there are helpful resources at colleges like writing tutors, academic counselors, class peer tutors and counseling centers. These people are usually free since your tuition is being used for their services, so you might as well check them out! I love using the writing tutors at my school to help edit essays; they are so helpful. 

  • Join Clubs and Get Involved

It can be difficult meeting people when you come to college, so that is why it is important to join clubs. I love being a part of Her Campus; I have met many great people and now have the opportunity to be on the e-board as the treasurer. Every school has different options, so explore them; these are the places where you could meet some of your best friends. In general, just get as involved as possible- I can’t stress that enough. Go to club events or residence life events, volunteer, work on campus or go on an excursion that is being put on. The more activities and organizations you become a part of, the more people you will meet. It is always good to relax as well, but don’t miss out just because you do not know anyone going to an event or club. Most likely someone else is in the same boat and does not know many people, so you will not be alone.

  • Go Beyond the Campus

Yes, your local campus can be fulfilling, but it is always exciting to branch out and go out of your comfort zone. Check out a coffee shop, restaurant, store, park or shopping area that may be nearby! If you go to school in a city, take the local transportation or go on a walk to get out and explore the area. That is why I love going to school here in Boston; there is always something going on and new places to constantly experience. I enjoy going to cafes and finding places to eat with my friends. If you do not go to school in a city, try to research anything else you can check out, there is likely something nearby to try!

My best advice for when it comes to being a college student is to do what makes you happy, and to find out what that may be. Even if you end up not liking where you go and transfer, you still have to try. Nothing changes overnight whether you stay or leave somewhere; it is ultimately what you make of the place and the experience. If there are aspects you are not utilizing, then you may never know if they are helpful or if you like them. College is a transformative time; you are thrown into a new social bubble and go through many drastic changes. You are with all these random people, there is someone else living in your room, and you have to navigate these new classes. It can be overwhelming, but make sure to pause and breathe. Make goals with some of the tips I listed; maybe you try to join some new clubs or go explore the area during the first weeks. After that, evaluate it from there, see what is working and what you need more of. As long as you try, that is all that matters in the end. This time of your life really is a fast moment, so make sure you do it right. It feels just like yesterday that I was moving into college and going into my freshman year; it’s crazy to think I will be graduating soon! No matter what class you’re in, it is never too late to make the best of where you are. Join a club, go to the writing center, attend a play or sporting event; we are only young once. This chapter of your life will end sooner than you think, so put yourself first and enjoy the time you have.

Hi my name is Karly and I am in my Senior Year at Emmanuel College. I am studying Communications with a Minor in Marketing and Writing. I plan to someday work in marketing and live in Boston. In my free time I love to walk around the city, read, get coffee, see my friends and family. For a fun fact, I have my Cosmetology License!