In less than two months, I will be walking across the stage at the Civic Center to receive my diploma for completing my undergraduate career at Florida State University. To put it in the simplest way possible, that is absolutely insane to me. If I think about it for too long I get very emo, but then again, I am a Cancer.
As the day gets closer, I find myself reflecting on the past three years and everything I have experienced and learned. My time at FSU has been an absolute rollercoaster full of so many stories that I cannot wait to tell my kids one day. My mom’s college experience was so different from mine and hearing her stories helped prepare me for my own. So to my future kids, here’s my advice to you for college.
The first thing you should know about college is that it is nothing like high school. At all. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but be prepared to be very outside of your comfort zone at times. You’ll meet so many unique and eclectic people who are so completely different from you and take classes that look nothing like what you’re used to. Believe your professors when they say attendance is mandatory and that they won’t accept late work, I’ve learned my lesson the hard way. Also, nothing that you experienced in high school will prepare you for the absolute horror of an 8 AM class, so avoid it at all costs.
Do not be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and branch out! The people you never expected to get along with can become your best friends overnight, regardless of their major or interests. I met some of the coolest people who are nothing like me in terms of beliefs and opinions, and TBH, I appreciate them more because of it.
College doesn’t have a pre-determined path of success for anyone. Everyone’s experience is different and you should never, ever look to someone else as the example for what your time in college should look like. Wouldn’t we all like to have Rory Gilmore’s college life? Sure, but that’s not 100% realistic. There will be times that you regret things or wish things were different but time will show that your life is unfolding in the exact way it’s meant to.
I never could have predicted what my college experience would be like, but I still wouldn’t change a single moment of it. Everything I have experienced has helped me grow and become the person I am today.
I had certain expectations going into college, as everyone does, but I learned to embrace reality rather than what I had pictured. I promise that the best aspects of my time at FSU were those that I never predicted. The people who come into your life unexpectedly, the spontaneous trips and the bumps in the road are all the most formative parts of your experience at school.
So no, college isn’t all frat parties and wild tailgates, it’s so much more. It’s everything you never predicted and (mostly) nothing of what you expected. It’s wild, it’s scary, it’s nerve-wracking but it is full of some of the best days of your life. Take advantage of every opportunity to try something new, learn, grow and branch out. I’m already so proud of you.